Love*Com 4 by Aya Nakahara: A

From the back cover:
Risa has finally realized that she has feelings for Ôtani and can’t wait to confess her love. But dense Ôtani won’t take her hints! With the help of all their friends and a romantic beach vacation, can Rise get her affections past his thick head?

What makes this series special to me is actually its normalcy. Simply put, it’s about a girl in love with a guy friend. Her internal agonizings and doubts over the fact are realistic and understandable.

In this volume, Risa was determined to make her feelings known to Ôtani. Hints fail, so she tried telling him outright, to no avail. His continuing cluelessness was kind of unbelievable, but he finally got the message. I was kind of bothered by all the yelling and name-calling that ensued in these chapters—I get that Risa was trying to act like her old self around him, but it just seemed more pervasive than before. I’d be glad to see this aspect of their relationship go by the wayside.

With these complaints, it might seem strange to grade it so highly, but Risa’s struggle was really well done. And there were a few great moments between them, especially after Ôtani realized it was him she liked. He thought it over very seriously, and I thought his eventual response to Risa was realistic, given the circumstances. I look forward to seeing where things go from here.

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