“Way Home and Celebration”
Story/Art: Nene Yukimori
Translation: Amanda Haley
What They Say
You can’t be invisible when the heroine has her eyes on you!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
As the series rolls on, still without a huge chunk of chapters as Viz Media started this later in its run this property from Nene Yukimori continues to prove itself to be an entirely accessible work as I was able to pick up this in the early 80s range of chapters and enjoy it easily enough. The series is one that works through some familiar kinds of material here for a high school romance with a bit of comedy and that helps as you just have to get a handle on the way the characters interact with each other. Yet Yukimori’s a solid artist with good designs for the characters that feel their own so that it’s not just a carbon copy of something else and they make the locations work in their favor, though there are some slim panels as you’d expect.
With this installment, we get to see Shiraishi’s obliviousness go to a whole new level. Initially, it’s just him recuperating from all that happened after the festival since there was a lot of attention placed on him, a group photo back at the class, and just a sense of fun and enjoyment that comes from that. But now, he’s off with Kubo as they’re spending some time together outside at the school and she’s teasing him about the interview he has to do. There are a lot of nice little playful bits with this as Kubo gets him a drink that he thinks will be cold but isn’t and it comes at a time he’s doing some reflection on just how important the whole event was and how busy he was. It put him in front of a lot of people that he wouldn’t be otherwise and while it hasn’t made him visible, he’s been able to connect with classmates unlike before.
Where things go, well, not off the rails but opening things up to a new direction of misunderstandings is when he goes back to the class to get his phone having forgotten it. When he’s walking back toward Kubo, who talked to him before he left about the way she’s seeing him look a way he hasn’t before, he ends up stumbling across a conversation with other students, including the one that confessed to Kubo. Shiraishi is kind of oblivious to part of this as he doesn’t like eavesdropping since people don’t really see him, but when he hears about how Kubo was involved in the confession and that others like her, the push at the end that she admitted to having a crush on someone herself just hits him in a big way. I expect it’ll be that he misunderstands and will think she’s crushing on someone else so he could go a few ways with it in how he reacts/helps Kubo, but it does make for some fun to come.
I can’t say I’m surprised that the discovery of confessions and Kubo will likely put Shiraishi into a tailspin when he really processes it but it unfolds in a pretty organic way here simply because of his invisibility. The time between him and Kubo really is adorable for a lot of this as they come down from the high of the haunted house and all that came with it and the shift to something more intimate, at least for them, delivers some good character material. What will come from events now remains to be seen as there are a few options to be sure but it’ll be fun, adorable, and possibly a little heartbreaking for a bit as well.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Shonen Jump
Release Date: June 6th, 2022