Touch 2 (Japanese) by Mitsuru Adachi: B+

Book description:
Junior High life continues for the Uesugi twins and their childhood friend, Minami Asakura. Minami volunteers Tatsuya to run the final leg of the mixed relay for their class in the inter-school athletic meet, Tatsuya gets (falsely) accused of reading Minami’s diary, Kazuya begins dating a cute girl named Kaori and ends up seeing a movie with her that he’d promised to see with Minami, there’s only one call for twinly substitution, and both boys are convinced that Minami likes the other one better.

I liked this volume better than the first. There is only one scene where Tatsuya stands in for Kazuya, and he isn’t really pretending to be him, either. Also, each chapter seems to flow better from the last—a few spent on the athletic meet, a few on how Tatsuya owes his friend $255 for breaking his swanky binoculars, etc. Tatsuya is far less bumbling this time around, as well, and I can already see my wish of further development for him beginning to be fulfilled.

Of course, the most important thing is how each of the characters feels about the others. One of their classmates, Kaori, has a crush on Kazuya, and talks to Tatsuya about him. He does his best to convince her that Kazuya and Minami have something going on, thinking to spare her heartbreak by encouraging her to get over Kazuya quickly. (Lest one think his motives are pure, he also wouldn’t mind if she were to transfer her affections to him.)

Minami foils his plans by telling Kaori that she and Kazuya are just childhood friends. Kazuya hears about this, figures he has no chance with Minami, and begins dating Kaori. So, each twin is convinced that Minami loves his brother. This could’ve been handled with high angst, but instead it’s pretty low-key, with the brothers’ emotions obvious but not melodramatic. Minami’s romantic feelings are a mystery at present, though sometimes her behavior makes me wonder what the boys see in her.

I really enjoy Adachi’s art and pacing, and it’s a testament to his storytelling skills that when the volume left off on a mild cliffhanger concerning Tatsuya playing in a baseball game due to Kazuya’s unavailability (because he’s supposed to go see that movie with Minami), I was actually tempted to start the next volume right away. All of the little details of the story come together nicely, and character motivations and emotions are always clear. I’m definitely beginning to really enjoy this series now.

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  1. *does happy dance* Enjoy, enjoy!

  2. Hee, thanks. 🙂


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