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Hatsu*Haru Vol. #10 Manga Review

3 min read
Kai and Riko's romance continues at a turtle's pace.

Kai’s plans for a romantic hot springs getaway go awry.

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Shizuki Fujisawa
Translation/Adaptation: Alethea and Athena Nibley

What They Say
Thanks to Riko’s heroic instinct, she took first prize in the Hottest Guy Contest and won a trip to a hot-spring resort. Kai has been eagerly awaiting their romantic getaway, but unfortunately for him, the dream trip for two has suddenly become a group affair. With Shimura and Misaki tagging along, alone time has dwindled to a thing of mere imagination. Odds take a turn in the boys’ favor, though, when Shimura insists on sleeping in Misaki’s room…The hope for intimacy may not be lost, after all!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The last volume ended with Riko winning Hottest Guy Contest, and Volume 10 dives into the hot springs trip Kai was hoping for. Only it’s not the intimate getaway he’d been dreaming of. Yes, we get to see our characters in traditional clothing in a charming setting, but in keeping with the pattern of Kai’s romantic plans getting thwarted, this time he’s blindsided by a third and fourth wheel. The circumstances that have Misaki and Ayumi joining their overnight trip are fairly improbable, but this is shojo manga, so oh well.

Not surprisingly, Riko’s awkwardness about being alone with Kai interferes with his efforts to grow closer to her, but he manages to get a kiss without getting punched, so that’s progress in a sense. As for the other pair, they’re still not a couple, but Ayumi’s forced to face Misaki’s feelings more directly than she’s ever had to.

Then the timeline speeds up, and we zip through three holidays: Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day. Most of the focus ends up on Valentine’s Day when Kai, who despairs that it will even occur to Riko to give him chocolate, decides to make Valentine’s chocolates for her instead. A third of Chapter 39 winds up an illustrated recipe for chocolate muffins as Kai and his guy friends head to the kitchen to bake treats. The narrative’s taken pains to point out how manly Riko is, and this arc highlights Kai taking the traditionally girly role.

Predictably, Kai’s Valentine’s chocolate arc ends with a comic twist. For Misaki, though, it extends to a get well visit to Ayumi’s house when she falls ill on Valentine’s Day. Unlike the time Kai took Riko home, Ayumi’s conscious for all of Misaki’s attentions, and it is sweet seeing him dote on her. However, the mood shifts to comic when Misaki encounters Ayumi’s parents. The arc reveals quite a bit about Ayumi, and the way it strengthens Misaki’s resolve to pursue her is adorable.

Extras include story-thus-far, mini-manga about Fujisawa-sensei and her assistants, afterword, and translation notes.

In Summary
Kai and Riko’s romance continues at a turtle’s pace. Despite an overnight trip and a tremendous effort to make Valentine’s Day special, they only manage to progress to the point where Kai can kiss Riko without getting punched. Misaki, though, is making great strides with Ayumi. Although she’s yet to reciprocate his feelings, it’s a delight to watch the two grow closer.

Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: January 21st, 2020
MSRP: $13.00



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