Hana-Kimi 19 by Hisaya Nakajo: C

From the back cover:
This is what it’s all been building up to… Shin, Izumi, and Kagurazaka* compete against one another in the high jump! Then, Sekime gets his own moment in the spotlight when his classmates see him with a strange girl. But if we’re talking “strange,” she doesn’t even begin to compare to the woman who comes onto campus and sweeps an embarrassed Nakatsu off his feet… Nakatsu’s mother!

* Name spelled incorrectly on actual cover.

Meh. I didn’t like this volume very much.

The first couple of chapters weren’t bad. They wrapped up the track meet arc and included some cute moments between the Sano brothers and also some nice art during the meet itself. I could’ve done without Shin having feelings for Mizuki, though.

The third chapter, however, sucks! The rehash of the “Mizuki is anxious about her future” plot certainly wasn’t exciting, but the worst was when Nakajo decided to have her characters spout random anti-drinking and anti-smoking messages with no IC basis for doing so. The next chapter didn’t improve much, with Sekime inspiring some girl to have surgery because he decided to follow his dream of being a long distance runner. I am not making this up.

The last two chapters also weren’t very good, since Nakatsu’s mother is annoying, and all of a sudden there was the possibility he’ll be compelled to go back to Osaka which nobody in their right mind should believe will actually happen. Zero drama there, folks.

About the only thing of significance to happen was that Mizuki acknowledged that pretty soon she’ll have to go back to being a girl. And Nakatsu grew frustrated with watching Sano and Mizuki not acting on their feelings, so maybe he’ll do something in the future to help them get together. Let’s hope so.

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