I’m Anna. I’m 14 years old and I’ve just entered the ninth grade. Sou and Hinata, who live in the same apartment complex as me, are my childhood friends and we’re all the same age. I thought that from now on we’d become even closer friends, but then Sou suddenly did that to me…!!
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The three childhood friends and neighbors, Sou, Anna, and Hinata, are high school students now. Anna and Sou are still attending the same school, but Hinata transferred to Tokyo. To sum up some of the main events that happen in this volume, Anna sets Sou up with Ayane, a girl from their school, and Sou gets mad because he likes Anna. To get back at her, he decides to go on a date with Ayane anyway. Afterwards, Sou tells Anna that Hinata's planning on coming home for Golden Week.
Sou and Anna's relationship is still mildly strained because she rejected him, but Anna still treats him like she always has. That makes things worse from Sou's POV and he decides to finally stop being in this awkward limbo of not being "just friends" and not being a couple either by telling her to stay away from him.
I love Anna. She's a simplistic, honest, and rather clichéd shoujo heroine but I like her nonetheless. The artwork is simply beautiful and I like that there's a distinct maturity in the faces of all the characters that marks them being high school students, as opposed to their slightly baby-ish looks in the beginning when they were middle schoolers. I also like how the friendship between Sou, Hinata, and Anna seems genuine rather than being an obvious excuse for a love triangle.
So who do I like better, Sou or Hinata? Tough question. I usually don't have a problem choosing a guy and sticking with him in love triangles, but I'm actually uncertain about who's the better hero here. I liked Hinata in the beginning because his personality was so adorable, with his sleepy and rumpled, just-woke-up look, but after he transferred to Tokyo, I'm not so sure anymore.
I didn't like Sou in the beginning because he was so much like every other male love interest in shoujo, but he's growing on me, especially with how much he's supported Anna and always been there for her whenever she needed him. I'm glad he's finally given Anna - and the story - the push it needs to slowly move towards the climax. Anna's a great heroine, but she really needs to make up her mind about Sou and Hinata soon. I hate it when authors drag out the ending the readers foresee happening for unnecessary volumes, but I don't think that'll be the case here since Sou's already given Anna an ultimatum.
Here's to hoping the romance picks up speed soon!
Two of my favorite scenes from this volume: