In this second volume, we go on an adventure with our main characters as the student council representatives and volunteers go on a leadership retreat. This includes Futaba and Kou, as reps, and Makita, Murao, and Kuminato as club volunteers. This team from couldn't be more different, and they don't work well together at the outset. But, through Futaba's encouragement and the five teens actually opening up to each other, we find out that each one has their own motivations for getting involved in leadership, and what the high school experience means for them. Futaba is still, unsuccessfully, trying to figure out what happened to Kou in their absent years to make him change so much from the boy she knew in junior high.
This story is cute and touches on some themes of high school that seem to be universal. There is a drive for acceptance from their peers and to make lasting memories, to make the most out of high school. Futaba and Kou are also exploring what kind of people they are and who they want to become as adults. I enjoyed the retreat setting and the challenges it forced the characters through because we got some really great development from our supporting characters in this volume. The art continues to be classic and beautiful. The nature scenes in this volume are particularly enjoyable.
VIZ rates this series for Teen, and there continues to be nothing in this volume that defies that age rating.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Realistic Fiction, Romance
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