Love*Com 10 by Aya Nakahara: B+

From the back cover:
Risa got a job at a restaurant so she could be close to Ôtani’s cram school. But now it looks like one of her coworkers wants to get close to her! Kohori is cute and short and majorly into Umibouzu, but Risa just wants to be friends. When circumstances conspire to make it look like she’s interested in more, what will a super-stressed Ôtani do?

It seemed like I was always annoyed with one or the other of the two leads throughout this volume and, at different times, mentally advised each to dump the other. First, Ôtani, with the excuse of being stressed out about college entrance exams, says a lot of really unkind things to Risa, saying that she’s basically useless and has nothing to offer in terms of helping him out. Next, Risa, who already knows a guy at work fancies her (since he’s been caught in the act of kissing her while she slept) and that Ôtani is exhausted and jealous, stupidly agrees to basically go on the date with the guy to a concert. And, of course, Ôtani runs into the two of them together.

This act is so stupid, in fact, that it was EXTREMELY satisfying that Ôtani breaks up with her as a result. I was probably supposed to be all, “Oh noes,” but instead I felt a vicious glee. One thing I didn’t like is that, because Ôtani is always mouthing off and saying mean things he doesn’t really mean, the impact of his harsh words was lessened. The rest of the volume is Risa trying to get back into his good graces, eventually resolving to stay away from him until he finishes his exams and planning to persuade him to take her back at that time. Interesting how I kind of forgave her too by this point, making the volume’s happy ending a welcome one.

Risa’s propensity to start sentences with “Well,” continues. In one chapter, she did it ten times. Three of those were the “Well, gosh” variant. I had to snicker at one square o’ narration (squarration?) that was comprised entirely of this meaningful sentence: “Well, I mean, gosh.” I assume that she really is saying some particular Japanese phrase over and over again, but it’s starting to get on my nerves. While I’m griping, who the heck is that other kid on the cover? I recognize Kohori (the aforementioned coworker who fancies Risa) but I have no idea who the other dude is.

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