From the back cover:
The entire gang travels to Karuizawa to hone their skills. There, they meet Chihiro Osawa, a famous but nasty hairstylist who breaks Kiri’s scissors on purpose! But even more distressing to Narumi is a dream he has about Kiri…
This series really is at its best when it focuses on makeover challenges. In this volume, Kiri encounters the unfriendly Osawa, who gets peeved when she fixes the extremely curly hair of a girl whose request for help he had sneeringly ignored. His destruction of her scissors is enough to spur Kiri into anger—a rarity—which leads her to accept his challenge for a public showdown. Not only are such challenges themselves fun, but I enjoy seeing the kind side of Kiri as she helps solve beauty problems for average girls.
After Kiri’s efforts in the contest attract notice from the media, Ochiai characteristically seizes the opportunity to announce that she’s the daughter of Seiji Koshiba, a legend in the business. And here’s another parallel to sports manga: Kiri’s father, Seiji, was the best in his day, but retired from the spotlight to live in relative obscurity and train his offspring for greatness. I am strongly reminded of the relationship between Nanjiro Echizen and his son, Ryoma, in The Prince of Tennis. I think I even spotted an “Ero Ero” magazine in one panel, though Seiji is less upfront about perusing nudie mags than Nanjiro is.
The rest of the volume deals with the beginning of a new school year, the appearance of a troublemaking imposter, and Narumi’s confused feelings about Kiri after learning she was his first love and experiencing a dream in which she confesses her love to him. Due to looks and his position as Kiri’s rival, Narumi is definitely the guy one would assume would end up with feelings for her, but I don’t really buy it yet, given how antagonistic and jerky he’s been thus far. It’s not just that I don’t think he loves her, it’s that I think he’s too immature to love anyone, as exhibited by the whole “icky girls give me a rash” thing he’s got going on. I’d love it if this series subverted convention and had Kiri end up with Seki or Ochiai instead, but I doubt that it will.