Boys Over Flowers 23 by Yoko Kamio: B

boysoverflowers23From the back cover:
Tsukushi ends her visit at her parents’ quiet seaside home and returns to Tokyo. She is welcomed back with a “girls’ night out” and ends up meeting a ton of guys! Unfortunately, they all turn out to be losers. In fact, one of the boys is downright terrifying and bears a striking resemblance to a certain curly-haired ex-boyfriend! Could they be related?!

The fishing village story line wraps up fairly decently, actually, with some nice awkwardness between Tsukushi and Tsukasa (in which she has trouble not confessing her love), the “No-Account” dude being reunited with his girlfriend, and, back in Tokyo, the Makinos being given use of a condo by Shigeru. It turns out that all of Tsukushi’s rich friends wanted to lend her accommodations and had talked about it at length to figure out whose generosity would put the least strain on her. Aww.

Of course, Tsukushi is determined to get a job so that the Makinos no longer need depend on Shigeru and so that she can fund her brother’s high school ambitions. Sakurako dangles the carrot of a high-paying job that she knows about and manages to get Tsukushi to attend a group date along with Shigeru and Yuki. These scenes with the four girls hanging out (and trying to help Tsukushi forget Tsukasa) are a lot of fun and I hope we see more of them together. I can even forgive the ridiculousness of encountering a Tsukasa look-a-like on the date and Tsukushi’s subsequent moron moment as she keeps mistaking him for Tsukasa.

As usual, the final scene of the volume offers some particularly scrumptious angst between our two leads. It’s worth noting that Tsukasa, who had said that if the two-month dating experience didn’t work out that he would let her go, is being true to his word and not exerting any effort to get Tsukushi back. I’d like this scene better if the Tsukasa look-a-like didn’t show up at the end, but it still serves to acquaint Tsukushi even further with her true feelings, so I can’t complain much.

I can complain about the Story Thus Far, however. Usually, this is pretty decent but this time it contains errors. It says of the final chapter in volume 21 that “Tsukushi does not reveal the real reason for leaving Tsukasa, and instead, tells him that she no longer loves him.” Er, that’s completely untrue. She specifically mentions his mother and the threats on her friends’ families. Also, how could you tell someone you no longer love them if you’ve never told them you love them in the first place? What she did do was allow Tsukasa to think calling things off was easy for her because she had no feelings for him.

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