Hana-Kimi 15 by Hisaya Nakajo: A-

From the back cover:
Unable to forget her near-kiss experience, Mizuki finds herself drawing ever closer to Sano, and not in a “roommates” way, either. The tension builds when Nakatsu asks Sano point-blank: Do you like Mizuki? Can Nakatsu and Sano’s friendship survive the answer? Meanwhile, Sano’s old high-jump rival returns, along with a surprising new challenger!

This entire volume focuses on the love triangle between Nakatsu, Sano, and Mizuki, and that is why it’s so good. Nakatsu learns that Sano does indeed like Mizuki, and struggles with this knowledge for a bit. All of the pining and sighing and leaning one’s head back against a wall that the boys engage in is very entertaining.

Somewhat less successful is the segue back into Sano’s high jump career. I’m glad to see its return, but this is a little clunky, with a few long-forgotten supporting characters making random reappearances and stuff. And, of course, the identity of the “surprising” new challenger is not at all a surprise.

My only worry going into more of the high jump focus is that we’ll lose the relationship momentum that’s been building for a few volumes.

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