This volume continues the plot thread that I don’t care about, and introduces another one that isn’t much better, so you know where this is going.
The last volume ended with drama between Kazuma and Tsubasa, to the point where Kazuma moves out and lives with his bandmates. Here, he grows so serious about the band and its future that he elects to drop out of school. That way, he can make it his full-time focus. To his surprise, he gains his mother’s blessing, so he continues on his way.
Tsubasa is distraught about the move, to the point where she can’t even acknowledge that his band is a thing when out in public. I imagine that’s a gargantuan task when the band is on such a public rise, but that’s Tsubasa for you. As all her friends bask in Kazuma’s glory, elated that a friend-of-a-friend is enjoying success, Tsubasa only recedes more and more into herself.
Kazuma writes a song for Tsubasa, and he’s able to reintegrate into her life. When he plays her his song, she comes to better understand his passions, and she learns to support him. She even gets a front row, center-stage seat at their Budokan show. Kazuma and Tsubasa grow closer, confess their love, and that’s pretty much it.
After that, the last chapter focuses on yet another classmate of our gang, a girl who is great with textiles but who feels she has no defining qualities. She falls in love with a friend’s older brother. Close the book on her subplot pretty much right when it starts, I guess.
This volume was thoroughly meh and doesn’t play to any of the series’ core strengths. Nothing is more disappointing to me than to see Yukino become a bit character in her own story, especially here.
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.