Kare Kano, vol. 4

513SCEWFWHLThis volume of Kare Kano introduces another rival for Yukino, then sees the resolution of both that conflict and Maho’s from the previous volume.

A classmate of Arima’s from the past, Tsubasa, joins Arima and Yukino’s high school late in the spring semester, and is immediately jealous of Yukino for “stealing” Arima out from under her. She was in the hospital recovering from an injury for the past few weeks, which is why she started late and feels like Yukino got the jump.

Arima sees through Tsubasa’s antics and bluntly tells her to treat Yukino with respect, but it doesn’t seem to work all that effectively. She still bullies Yukino at every opportunity she can and gets her friends in on the action, albeit in subtle ways similar to Maho.

Yukino isn’t too quick to act on the drama, but I love her approach. True to her realization in the last volume, her choice is to just face it head-on. Rather than play off of Tsubasa, she approaches her friends calmly, who comment on how different she is compared to the impression Tsubasa gave them, and proceed to make friends with her despite Tsubasa’s efforts.

As for Maho’s crew, Yukino just owns the fact that a lot of her old persona was an act, one that she isn’t proud of, and then comments on Maho’s attempts to bring her down, commenting that she’s no different from Yukino. Maho’s gang recognize truth in Yukino’s words and start to turn on their ringleader. It’s a great moment for Yukino. When her peers go low, she goes high, and treats Maho with respect while calling her out. I was honestly proud of her while reading this one. Especially since she specifically asked Arima to stay out so she could handle it on her own.

She puts Tsubasa in her place, too, albeit in very different way than how she handled Maho, and true to her introduction as a weird girl with a nasty temper. In all honesty, the anime adaptation depicts this scene perfectly, with very little changed in the adaptation. Rather than describe the altercation in the manga, I’ll just share the anime’s portrayal of it:

I loved it.

I don’t have much else to say about this volume. Yukino is the best, and I loved seeing her resolve these conflicts, both with and without poise. She’s a great character. Even when this series can be lackluster as it was a few volumes ago, she keeps me wanting to go back.

Kare Kano was written and illustrated by Tsuda Masami. It was serialized in Hakusensha’s LaLa magazine from 1996 to 2005, and it was later collected in 21 bound volumes. The series was licensed for release in North America by Tokyopop, who released all 21 volumes between 2003 and 2007. This release is now out-of-print.

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