Kare Kano 3 by Masami Tsuda: B+

From the back cover:
Things are going well for Yukino and Soichiro. They have accepted each other for who they are, and have truly become boyfriend and girlfriend. But they’ve been concentrating more on each other than on their schoolwork, and it shows. When the two best students in school suddenly let their grades drop, it draws the attention and concern of one of the teachers. He wants Yukino and Soichiro to break up so they can concentrate on their grades again. And he even calls a dreaded parent-teacher conference to tell their parents his concerns. Will Yukino and Soichiro split up for good?

This is as far as I got through the manga my first try, but I can’t remember whether that was due to an ebb in the story’s awesomeness or if the rest of the volumes weren’t out yet and I just got so far behind I figured I’d just wait ’til the whole series had been released.

In any case, there’s a real slice-of-life vibe to this volume that is both good and bad. Yukino and Arima share some quiet moments that are quite nice and while I like that they had to face the academic repercussions of spending so much time together, three long chapters on the topic is a bit much. Yukino is also starting to feel the consequences of the other girls in her class realizing she’d been duping them with her perfection act.

Kare Kano is still a very good read, but like any relationship, it’s moving past the opening dramatics and settling into something more comfortable. I’m a little concerned because in the anime, it was soon after this point that the focus drifted from the main couple to the supporting cast (who I found far less interesting). I hope the same isn’t true of the manga.

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  1. I’ve only read 1-3 now myself (that was the compilation I bought and there doesn’t appear to be a 4-6 yet) but from the author’s comments, it seems like she really didn’t have much of a plan for the series after the first volume.

  2. Yep, I saw that bit, too. She said she’d planned it to be 3 volumes and then sat down with the editor and fleshed out a bunch of extra stuff about the characters. Since the first volume was really great, I kind of wish she had stopped there, even though I like the characters and stuff. It would’ve been an excellent one-shot.

  3. Mostly every supporting character will have some focus and sometimes a story only for themselves actually, but that will happen after vol 7 if I remember correctly.

  4. I think my main issue is that it’s kind of too soon. We just met these people, and now we’re getting all this stuff before we really care about them, you know?

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