Kare Kano, vol. 5

41OdlUpHbnLAfter the resolution of all the high-profile conflicts in the last volume, this one, like volume 2, is a bit more mellow. It focuses a bit on developing Tsubasa now that she’s been accepted into the Yukino’s group.

Summer vacation is upon the cast of Kare Kano, and Yukino and Arima are unable to be together because Arima has a kendo competition in Kyoto that he has to participate it. Yukino spends her time hanging out with Tsubasa, Maho, and their friends.

Tsubasa’s been having trouble lately because we find out her dad is remarrying another woman with a child. This makes her uneasy, because Tsubasa just had her dad around for as long as she could remember. She doesn’t like the way she’s treated and doesn’t want things to change. Her friends confide in Yukino that she’s never been good at expressing her feelings, but Yukino tries to help her throughout these chapters.

Tsubasa’s main lifeline is Kazuma, the son of her stepmom-to-be. They have very different lives, her a student with exceptional beauty, him a would-be rock vocalist, but they get along very well, with Kazuma protecting her from some bullies. They comment that they give each other something they both wanted from a young age, which was a sibling.

Besides that, there’s a chapter that focuses on how Yukino’s parents met. It’s sweet, but fluffy.

The main thing I enjoyed this volume is Yukino’s reaction to her friends’ goals and accomplishments. She has some anguish over the fact that, due to her facade, she never really did things for her own sake. She feels like she’s missed out. Thankfully, Maho tells her it’s never too late to start, which is nice. There’s unfortunately not a lot to this plotline – it pretty much ends from Maho’s remark. Still, it helped clue us in to Yukino’s struggles.

Beyond that, this volume wasn’t noteworthy. Tsubasa is kind of cute, but I don’t like her as much as other characters. She’s not as fun as Yukino herself is.

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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