Boys Over Flowers 22 by Yoko Kamio: B-

boysoverflowers22From the back cover:
Tsukushi has left her on-and-off boyfriend Tsukasa, his mansion, her school, and Tokyo altogether! Down and out, she heads for the seaside village where her family has gone to live and work. Unfortunately, her parents are about to be run out of town. Just then, visitors from Tokyo arive!

What a disappointment! After the awesomeness at the end of the last volume, I was expecting something much better than this. Instead, we get a ridiculous plot where Tsukushi flees to the fishing village, where her incredibily annoying parents have told everyone that Tsukushi is engaged to Doumyouji and are racking up bills with the expectation that he’ll pay them. She also meets a slacker surfer guy who is waiting around for the girlfriend who left him to return and who has garnered a reputation as a “no-account.” Inexplicably, everybody in the village seems irate that Tsukushi is hanging out with this dude, and there’s a completely dumb scene where they all turn out at her parents’ house to confront her.

Meanwhile, Tsukasa is reverting to his violent ways, threatening his friends with bodily harm when they come to talk to him about what’s happened and being cruel to a girl who takes advantage of Tsukushi’s absence to confess her feelings for him. This, at least, is better than the fishing village story line and I kind of love the scene where Rui, having seen Tsukushi on TV (some kind of program was filmed at the beach and had Tsukushi in the background), goes to goad Tsukasa into going to see her, pushing all the right buttons by exaggerating her frail condition.

Ultimately, the best part of the volume is the ending, in which Rui and Tsukasa turn up at the village just in time to prevent some angry mob action. Yes, it’s completely goofy, but that Rui came himself (thinking he had failed to motivate Tsukasa) is actually pretty sweet. I’ve learned my lesson, however, and shan’t be anticipating any greatness out of the next volume just because this one ends well.

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