Yuki practices her cooking skills and Kyon comes to realize that an important event in the middle of February is coming up. Both of them continue to stress over when they should reveal their new relationship. Wait…when did this start becoming a shoujo manga?
Story/Art: PUYO (manga story and art), Nagaru Tanigawa (Original Story), Noizi Ito (Character design)
Lettering: Abigail Blackman
What They Say:
Yuki and Kyon have been taking things slowly as a new couple, allowing the romance between them to blossom in its own time. But now February is upon them, and February means…Valentine’s Day! Kyon and Yuki haven’t been on a real “date” yet, but the impending holiday forces them to take this big step as a couple. An even greater leap looms, though—will they find the courage to reveal their relationship to their friends?!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One could hardly be faulted for thinking that the moment when Kyon and Yuki became a couple would have been a perfectly good stopping point for the story. It often is the point where the words “Happily Ever After” appear and the curtain draws to a close. But Puyo has decided to explore further into the world of the young couple as they slowly grasp their way forward in the new world that has opened before them. This is not untrod territory…for shoujo manga. A good many of them (My Love Story!! is a recent one that I enjoyed in anime form which covers those halting first steps into coupledom) show us the early phases of the relationship.
In general, though, those works move at a bit faster a pace than the glacial relationship between Yuki and Kyon. Actually, glaciers move at a faster pace. It took forever for them to get together and now, had it not been for outside actors, it would likely have taken them an even greater eternity before they managed to go out on their first date. But the chance appearance of Taniguchi, who has come to Kyon for dating advice, reminds Kyon that Valentine’s Day is coming up and this year it’s on a Sunday meaning Kyon and Yuki won’t see each other at school. They’ll have to make an effort to get together…and this means planning a date.
The date itself is very laid back and loose. Very Kyon, in other words. They go to a cafe and then do a decent amount of window shopping before heading to a game store where Kyon suggests Yuki pick out a game the two of them can play together.
As the volume comes to a close, Kyon and Yuki are now faced with the intimidating prospect of telling Asakura about their relationship. (Of course, Asakura has known all along). Having had a date now, Kyon feels like he has to come clean to Ryouko. Will he be able to tell her? Read and see.
What I do know is that at this rate, we could well require another full volume to pass before a second date occurs. That doesn’t mean that time has been passing at the movement speed of molasses. It has been barreling forward and we have in fact come to the end of another school year, which means our third-years (Mikuru Asahina and Tsuruya-san) are graduating. A tearful moment for all.
That doesn’t mean this volume is full only of Kyon and Yuki looking at each other in embarrassed silence (though that does happen a lot). We still get some light comedy to lighten things up, especially from Haruhi who is still very much Haruhi. She forces everyone to celebrate setsubun, though her new take on it is to have three oni masks prepared: a red one, a blue one and a gold one. Yeah…that last one isn’t quite right, but this is Haruhi being Haruhi.
So, another largely subdued outing, with humor to leaven the proceedings.
Yuki works hard to help Ryouko make a lunch box for Kyon. She still thinks Ryouko does not know that she and Kyon are now officially a couple, though Asakura is not one easily kept in the dark. The approach of Valentine’s Day, however, forces Kyon and Yuki to take their dating a little more seriously (by, you know, actually going out on a date) as well as confront the need to reveal things to Ryouko. The school year comes to an end, which will bring other changes in the future. Another volume of the slow dance of Kyon and Yuki, with some humor (mainly with Haruhi serving as comic relief) to lighten things up.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B+
Package Rating: A-
Age Rating: Older Teen–LV
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: March 22nd, 2016