Cactus’s Secret 2 by Nana Haruta: B-

Miku Yamada has finally managed to make her dense crush, Kyohei Fujioka, understand that she has feelings for him, even though he doesn’t reciprocate. Meanwhile, a pompous classmate publicly declares his affections for Miku and attempts to get Kyohei expelled for stealing the answers to the midterm exams. Later, Miku and Kyohei are both assigned to the Sports Day Planning Committee, where the lovely chief gets too close to Kyohei for Miku’s comfort.

I didn’t have too great an impression of this series after the first volume, since I found the lead character abrasive and largely to blame for her own angst. Things improve in volume two, in which Miku’s tendency to rant actually helps clear up the cheating accusation and in which Kyohei exhibits sufficient obliviousness to justify her irritation. There’s also an especially nice chapter where the two of them get lost on their way to karaoke with friends and end up having a nice time together at the arcade, complete with some genuinely amusing photo stickers.

Unfortunately, we’re only in volume two and the cast already includes four romantic rivals. They do propel the plot along, at least, with the Planning Committee chief causing Miku some pain when she realizes that something Kyohei said to her is the same thing he’d say to anybody else and the new male character offering to reveal Kyohei’s mysterious secret if Miku goes out with him, but it’s still tiresome.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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