Hana-Kimi 14 by Hisaya Nakajo: B+

From the back cover:
Plumbing problems erupt in Dorm 1, forcing the residents to move into Dorms 2 and 3. Mizuki must now deal with two male roommates, one of whom introduces her to a dorm custom she could never have imagined! Dr. Umeda reflects on his past after hearing from an old friend, while Mizuki and Sano find their mutual attraction pulling them ever closer to the brink!

Mizuki and Sano get a new roommate for a week. And apparently it’s a tradition in the jocks’ dorm for them to simply walk into the bathroom where their roommate is bathing and begin scrubbing their back. Um, okay. And of course, Mizuki stupidly leaves the door unlocked and has a brush with discovery.

I can forgive some of the goofiness of this plot because it prompts Sano to get annoyed with Mizuki’s carelessness, and try to caution her without revealing that he actually knows her secret. They almost smooch, and after some avoidance and awkward apologies, the plumbing gets fixed and new roommate guy goes away, leaving them alone again.

My favorite part of the volume is the three-part side story about Umeda’s past. We get a little more elaboration on his character (he’s foul-mouthed and complains, but deep down really enjoys taking care of people) and also learn he’d already accepted his sexuality by the time he was a freshman in high school. Therefore, he’s able to recognize his growing love for Ryoichi without angsting about the attraction to a male classmate. This whole tale was sweet and a bit sad, and frankly better than the bits with the main cast.

Despite the implausible elements in the first half, this is definitely one of the strongest volumes of the series in a while. I’d happily read more about Umeda and Ryoichi, and it seems like we might finally be on the verge of progress in the Mizuki and Sano relationship.

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  1. […] Reviews: Julie checks out vol. 7 of Kamui at the Manga Maniac Cafe. Lori Henderson reviews vol. 13 of BT’X at Manga Life. At Soliloquy in Blue, Michelle reviews vols. 13 and 14 of Hana-Kimi. Patricia Beard reviews the adult title Pleasure Dome at Anime on DVD. Bill Sherman reviews vol. 1 of Translucent at Blogcritics. […]

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