Kare Kano 4 by Masami Tsuda: B+

From the back cover:
A pretty little girl named Tsubasa, an old friend of Soichiro’s from junior high, comes back to school. When she sees her beloved Soichiro with Yukino, Tsubasa gets extremely jealous and goes on the warpath to try to get Soichiro for herself. Meanwhile Maho, another girl who’s jealous of Yukino, gets all the girls in class to gang up against Yukino and give her the silent treatment. Yukino decides she has to face these problems on her own, without relying on Soichiro…

I had mixed feelings about this volume. Tsubasa’s jealousy-inspired antics were pretty annoying, and I got rather tired of the time devoted to the anonymous female students as they worked out (through somewhat incomprehensible logic) that one girl had manipulated them into snubbing Yukino due to her own personal vendetta.

That said, there were more nice, quiet moments between the main couple and I was also happy to see Yukino straightforwardly face the consequences of her deception and also start to make some friends. Tsuda totally used Meg Cabot’s trick of giving each prospective friend some kind of hobby or interest, though. It was pretty silly when three girls in turn introduced themselves and their hobby in the same sentence.

This volume also included a short story written early in Tsuda’s career, about a planet of rabbit people and the human political prisoner who crash lands on their planet and then saves their village from a forest fire. No, really. It wasn’t awful, but neither was it particularly good.

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