A devilish new classmate appears.
Story/Art: Miyoshi Tomori
English Adaptation: Ysabet MacFarlane
Translation: JN Productions
What They Say:
The start of her second year in high school brings someone unexpected into Maria’s life: Shintaro Kurosu, a brash first-year student who does as he pleases. He takes a strong liking to Maria and sticks to her, making Maria and her crush Shin Meguro extremely uncomfortable. Like it or not, Kurosu’s presence is about to change Maria in a surprising way…
Though Anna has disappeared, life continues on for Maria and her friends. However, Anna left behind one last letter, clearing things up between the two former friends. Next up, the class participates in a marathon, which allows Maria and Shin to grow a little closer, reinforcing her love for him in the process. Things start to heat up further when the first-year students arrive, with two of them snapping pictures of Maria. Before Maria can take matters into her own hands, another first-year by the name of Shintaro Kurosu appears and destroys one of their phones in an attempt to destroy the photo. Though he was technically helping out, by taking things too far (and then going on to taunt Shin), he ends up leaving a bad first impression with the main characters. Trying to apologize, he offers to be Maria’s bodyguard for a while, an offer which she decides to accept.
Shintaro proceeds to quickly get on Maria’s nerves by insisting on physical contact. However, his words do end up leaving quite an impression on Maria, showing that they may just have something in common after all. Later on, Shintaro gets into a fight on the roof, but when Maria tries to interfere he is annoyed, deciding that he can’t simply grovel and beg in front of her. However, thanks to the appearance of Maria’s other friends, things don’t turn out too bad. Time passes, and though Maria starts to grow accustomed to Shintaro’s presence, Shin warns him to back off. However, Shintaro throws him completely off guard, even learning the secret of Maria’s past in the process.
The group then ends up making a (somewhat impromptu) plan to visit Shin’s beach house together. The girls go out to buy swimsuits together, with Shintaro somehow managing to come along. This of course results in a good bit of silliness, climaxing with Shintaro realizing out loud that he is in love with Maria. When the group finally arrives at the beach house, they unexpectedly find Shin’s dad, who quickly snaps only to be lectured by Shintaro. While cleaning up, Maria talks Shin into playing the piano for her, and his father ends up completely impressed by the sound. As the volume wraps up, Shintaro goes to kiss Maria.
In addition to wrapping up the previous arc rather nicely, this volume gives us an exciting new character. Shintaro seems to have integrated himself into the main cast rather nicely, and the parallels between him and Maria are definitely interesting to see. Furthermore, he manages to provide some rather hilarious moments throughout the volume, and he seems to serve as a rather dangerous rival for Shin, throwing him off guard nearly every time they talk. His interactions with the cast really manage to shake things up throughout the book, and he simply makes a great addition to the group. Though for different reasons, this volume is every bit as good of an entry into the series as the last one. Hopefully the series will manage to keep up this streak, as it’s really been on a roll lately.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: B+
Package Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B
Age Rating: 13+
Released by: Viz Media
Release Date: April 2nd, 2013