Mitsuki started at a new high school far away from her middle school in the hopes of starting fresh. She has some social anxieties and desperately wants to make friends, but doesn’t know how. Four best friends on the boy’s basketball team invade the quiet sanctuary of her job at a café, but without their screaming entourage of adoring girl fans, the boys are decent. One of them is in love with Mitsuki's coworker, and he's convinced if he comes around often enough, she'll fall in love with him too. The boys are initially rude to Mitsuki, but they slowly prove they're good people and become Mitsuki's friends. Another girl at Mitsuki’s school, Reina-chan, also becomes her friend, but she has a slightly unhealthy obsession with the basketball boys that we don’t quite get fully explained (preliminary signs point to a boys-love fantasy). Mitsuki and Reina-chan go to the first Basketball game, and Mitsuki leads the crowd of admirers in cheers that help the boys get to their first victory.
This story starts of really choppy and overwhelming, but the text bubbles mellow out as Mitsuki befriends the four boys. The more I think about it, the more I think the mangaka is portraying Mitsuki’s social anxieties and how overwhelmed she is at the very beginning. This was a really subtle and effective way to showcase this anxiety and help readers understand what is happening in Mitsuki's head. It might need a warning, however, upon checkout just to make sure the beginning wouldn't trigger a reader's own social or other anxieties. The mangaka actually accomplishes quite a lot in the first 200 pages of this series, so this summary doesn't entirely do it justice.
The artwork is typical shōjo illustrations and interesting panel layout. The characters mainly wear all their emotions on their faces, and Anashin has some really great technique in portraying these emotions.
Kodansha rates this for Teen (13+), and there is nothing in this first volume that would make in inappropriate for even middle school audiences. There is a lot of talk about crushes and attraction to people, but so far nothing further than some flirty. One of the boys does put Mitsuki in some uncomfortable positions as he "practice" flirts with her.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
Publication Date: July 18, 2017
ISBN: 9781632365163 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Friendship,
Romance, School Life, Kodansha
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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