By Kiyo Fujiwara
Viz, 200 pp.
Volume seven of this series begins on a low note with a jealous student scheming to keep a girl he likes from confessing to young Yakuza bodyguard and school prince Rakuto (a plot which proves hopeless in the end), though this story line eventually takes a more serious turn as Rakuto’s teacher decides to visit his home to determine why he’s been unable to decide on a career track. This scenario is followed by an aimless romp at an amusement park where Rakuto and rival Azuma bicker over who should get to share rides with the object of their
affection protection, Sachie. Later, another seemingly pointless story begins with a rival “heiress” challenging Sachie to a meaningless duel. Surprisingly, this ends up providing the first real turning point in Sachie and Rakuto’s endlessly drawn-out romance, as Rakuto is forced to admit to himself how much Sachie cares for him, and Sachie learns that it might actually be okay to show her true feelings.
This volume starts off weaker than the one previous, but it ends (uncharacteristically) with a little cliffhanger which offers up some small hope that something might actually happen between Sachie and Rakuto at long last. It suddenly seems possible that the spark that has been missing all along may finally appear to rescue this vaguely attractive series from the dregs of mediocrity. As both characters finally drop their false disinterest in each other, there is actually some real chemistry between them for the first time as well, making it easy to root for them and providing some real impetus going into the next volume.
Though for the most part this volume is no more exciting than those that precede it, its final chapter makes a tentative promise of better things to come.
Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at PopCultureShock.