I feel like we translated this book about a million years ago, so hopefully that won't affect the review too much, but we'll never know, since I can't go back in time and write a review right after we finished the translation. My first thought on looking back at this book and trying to remember how I felt about it is boy I'm glad Kai and Riko's friends have a clue, because those two are soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo dense.
When we last saw Kai, he was angsting about the fact that his true love was apparently crushing on his best friend, who was also the one guy he felt was more of a keeper than he is. Oh, poor, poor Kai. But the ensuing chapter was the best. I mean, it's all the best, but this was pretty awesome. First we have Takaya talking to Riko, and she's like, "Apparently this guy showed up who's better for her," and Takaya was like, "By the way, have you met anyone?" And poor, sad Riko didn't figure it out. We were sorely tempted to translate Takaya's "by the way" to "apropos of nothing," because we heard it in Galavant and it was hilarious then, so we were sure it would be hilarious here, too, because it was an extremely similar situation, but it just didn't quite fit Takaya's personality enough, so we resisted.
Meanwhile, Ayumi catches Kai watching the two of them from afar, and can I tell you how much I love the Japanese verb tasogareru? Literally, it's the verb form of "twilight," and they use it to describe hot guys gazing angstily into the sunset, and it's so perfect. Here again, we were sorely tempted, this time to translate the verb literally: "whatcha twilightin' for?", for example. (I don't remember the exact context, so I don't remember how we would have worded it exactly.) Instead, we opted for "whence the ennui," which also worked very well, and has the word "ennui," which is also delightfully angsty. I can be a sadist when it comes to hot manga heroes. But anyway, this was the best, because Ayumi figured it out! Oh, how I love this series. I don't know why I expect the misunderstandings to drag on and on and on and on and on in stuff like this, but oh my goodness, I was so happy to see somebody put two and two together so quickly. I'm also amused that Takaya didn't figure it out without help. He can be a little clueless himself. But I'm also glad Ayumi didn't have to work too hard to convince him of the truth.
And then the solution. Seriously, everything always works out the best way possible. Ayumi's all, "You'll just have to get a girlfriend. Yeah right, that would be too cruel to the girl." And then Takaya's all, "Well, how about you?" The problem is solved, and now both members of the couple are aware of the deception, so he's not hurting anyone. Or is he? Probably himself, actually. I have to say, I'm pretty annoyed that the mysterious texter never showed up, because the kanji for their name did and we're not 100% sure how to read it, rassa-frassin'... So I think Takaya is crushing on this mystery person more than Kai, probably, and then we get the surprise that Ayumi actually does not have any stirrings for Takaya? What!? I think that's been the most surprising thing this whole series. ...Well, except for some of Riko's reactions to things, but those are only surprises in the moment and are more like, "Well that figures."
Anyway, when Ayumi told Kai she's not interested in Takaya, we were like, "She never actually said it..." But the way she acts when the "happy couple" is alone seems to be pretty solid evidence that it's true. And speaking of the "happy couple," Takaya is the worst fake boyfriend ever. It's like, "This was your idea, dude. You could at least try." I mean, at least he has the sense to walk off with Ayumi when she says, "Come on, New Boyfriend, let's go have some alone time," but other than that, man.
Fortunately, all they really needed to do was convince Kai that Riko had no feelings for Takaya (and now that I think about it, it was super cute that Kai was like, "What!? He would obviously make her happy! How can you possibly be against that!?" Awww, poor Kai. He cares too much), and when Riko was sincerely happy for Ayumi, Kai found hope again! Tadah!
Meanwhile, Riko is trying to figure out why she was so upset about Kai being a philanderer again, and wow, this girl is in such denial about her feelings. She has such a hard time figuring it out that she literally loses sleep over it, and she makes herself sick, and again Kai is the cutest ever! It's just so heartwarming every time the smallest thing happens to Riko, and he's like, "What!? What's wrong!? How can I fix it!? Overheated? Okay, I will buy all the Pocari in the vending machine!" Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cute.
And then there's summer break, where Kai is adorable again as he sits around wishing he could see his true love. The other most adorable thing is how every time he thinks about texting her or saying anything to her, he has a whole essay of things he wants to tell her. It's kind of funny how he always manages to get it typed out in a text (which he deletes as soon as he regains his composure), but when he sees her in person, all he can do is insult her. I'm glad he at least realizes after he does it how stupid he's being. Poor, Kai. You need to get a hold of yourself.
Anyway, Miki and Kiyo come to the rescue and invite everyone to go to the beach! This was a curious thing, because Kai's all, "Riko's gonna be there? I need a new swimsuit!" so he calls Takaya and demands that they go shopping together, and Takaya refuses, but then Ayumi, who's there with him despite the fact that they're only a fake couple (Athena says Ayumi is the type who says, "If we're gonna do this, we're gonna do it right"), says, "I only have my school swimsuit, is that okay?" And despite being the worst fake boyfriend ever, Takaya is suddenly convinced that they really should go shopping. Maybe he realizes that they'd never pull off the fake couple act if he looked like a boyfriend that would let his girlfriend go to the beach in a school swimsuit. We also suspect that he'll get better at the fake boyfriend act when his true crush shows up.
Not surprisingly, there are Happenings at the beach, and Kai and Riko are able to watch the sunset together from Kai's favorite date spot. Awwwwwwwww. But he still can't stop himself from insulting her. We also find out, because the Happenings obviously involve guys trying to hit on Riko and her handing their butts to them, that Riko is even tougher than we all knew, because after that we discover she beat those dudes up when she was injured. Wow.
Now that the beach trip is over, Kai is trapped in isolation once more, and Riko is busy helping her true love and her best sister figure get ready for their wedding. Ah, the bittersweet feelings. This is when we learn that even more of Riko's friends are the opposite of clueless, because Akemi tries to give Riko a pep talk, and we later discover (at the wedding) that she knew all along about Riko's crush. And I really have to hand it to her, because even though she knew that Riko was in love with Suwa, she didn't get all jealous, and she even felt bad breaking Riko's heart like that. I mean, you could say it was rude of her to keep Suwa anyway, but if she's the one he loved, that wouldn't have really been good, either. It gets complicated, but frankly I agree with Akemi that Riko can find somebody amazing, too. Of course, that's because I've seen the lengths Kai will go to for her, but the fact of the matter is, first loves don't always work out, and that doesn't mean people are doomed to misery.
Anyway. Kai finds out when and where the wedding is, and at this point, I'm thinking things are leading up to another, "Whoa! Surely their feelings will get through to each other now!" moment that are sure to result in disappointment at the beginning of the next volume. Well, the wedding is over and Kai "just happens" to be in the area when Riko is all by herself being sad. She says she's okay, because she was able to sincerely congratulate the newlyweds, and she knows she's not just a horrible jealous monster. But she's still sad, so she starts to cry and then! Kai kisses her!!! WHAT!!!
At first I was like, "Well there's no denying it this time!" And then I was like, "On the other hand, this is Riko." Kai did try to kiss her at the end of volume one, after all. She's a little better primed for it this time, especially with all of Takaya's questions about "why do you care so much?" and with Ayumi making a very specific point of telling Riko that Kai isn't philandering anymore, so we'll see. But whatever happens, I'm sure it will be highly entertaining in one sense or another. Kai and Riko are extremely slow on the uptake when it comes to this kind of thing, but fortunately, we have all their friends to be annoyed at their cluelessness with us, and that makes it fun! I'm so excited for the next volume!
Awww, what a great series! If you haven't checked it out yet, I highly recommend that you do!
This week...is another week with no new releases, alas. But tune in next week, for our review of In/Spectre 9!
Today I'm thankful for this week's episode of Real Girl not being very time consuming, finding a great new cat bed for Page at Target, Page not taking very long to warm up to the new cat bed, Page being super adorable in the cat bed right now, and the adorableness of Hatsu*Haru.