‘Tis finally here! The much-awaited follow up chapter to chapter 83’s mysterious (and LONG anticipated) new male character in this long-running series. This chapter is also only 17-pages long, and KKWH will take a break for the next issue of Sho-Comi and will be back on track on the 12th issue (to be released around 5/20). So us fans will have to wait patiently a month for the next chapter. I do believe, though, that the 12th issue will have Minami-sensei back in full force, hopefully with a cover + kantou color combo (wishful thinking!).
Alright, enough of the vapid chit-chat, let’s get down to the chapter synopsis! Story + scans behind the cut!
It is after dinner in the Hibino household from where we last left off. Tsubaki is doing dishes with her mom in the kitchen, looking gloomy and sad because she’s thinking of what Sakura said, about how Kyouta will definitely break up with her. Her mom breaks her line of thought by saying that she’s proud of Tsubaki because she’s serious about finding the path to her future and because she’s taking a break from seeing Kyouta. The mom says she’s relieved and gives Tsubaki a warm look. Tsubaki is a bit taken aback when the mom points out in a comical way that she was seriously starting to worry when Tsubaki was coming back home in the morning, started dating, and was secretly wearing her skirt short (!!), but she also says that because Tsubaki has turned herself around, she trusts her again. The mom hands back Tsubaki her cellphone that she took from Tsubaki a few months ago. Tsubaki’s eyes get wide and she quickly tells her mom that she doesn’t need it anymore and that she should just cancel her policy or have her mom use it, instead. Tsubaki then runs to her room and closes the door behind her.
She thinks to herself sadly that getting her cellphone back will only be a painful reminder that she cannot message or talk to Kyouta during their time apart. Tsubaki falls to the floor and is overwhelmed with sadness and wishes to be quickly back with Kyouta…
The next day Tsubaki is walking around the streets with heavy bags in tow, struggling. She looks extremely tired and stressed and realizes that none of the open campuses appealed to her much (an open campus is like school campus orientation). She wandered around three schools and thought about what one of the students said: Most students don’t have have a clue as to what they want to do as their careers when they enter college. Since you have four years to decide, you can go about it leisurely. She then thinks that if she goes down that route, it may take her 4, 5 years until she can confidently face Kyouta again. She decides that she cannot be half-assed about this and gets her determination back (!!) and decides that she’ll go to another campus orientation on Saturday.
At that moment, the handle of one of the bags she was holding with all the college info papers tears and the papers go flying, landing on the streets. Tsubaki chalks it up as a loss when all of a sudden she hears extreme car screeching and honking. Shocked, she looks up and sees the mysterious guy from the previous chapter just in the middle of the road amidst the cars picking up her papers.
As he hands her the papers, he smiles (damn hawt smile) and says, “So we meet again. I couldn’t forget you since the last time so I’ve been looking for you.”
Tsubaki remembers him as “the weird fraudster” from before and starts getting nervous, when he says, “Oh, don’t worry, I won’t ask you to be my model now…Since your hair isn’t even pretty anymore.”
He goes all around her, observing her hair, and asks what she did to get her hair in such a bad condition. Shocked and pissed off, Tsubaki asks him what the heck he’s talking about, saying that her hair is her point of pride, and she starts touching her hair to prove her point…When she realizes that her hair indeed is dry. She then thinks to herself when the last time she treated her hair with conditioner was or when she blow dried her hair for a reason other than to fix her bedhead in the morning. She says a bit nervously that she’s had a lot of things on her mind and hasn’t had time to think about fixing her hair. Then she thinks about Kyouta and says that there’s no one around her she wants to look good for, either.
Upon hearing her excuses, the guy asks her, “So after you stopped caring about your hair, did you have any progress with your problems?”
Tsubaki is about to angrily retaliate, when she realizes that no, she really hasn’t had even 1 millimeter of progress. She realizes that no matter what she tried to do or how many schools she tried to visit, she wasn’t moving forward. She’s now at a loss for what to do…
The guy says that he needs to get back to his shop and is about to leave. He remembers that he still has Tsubaki’s pen and is about to hand it over to her when he sees a tear fall and hit the pen. Surprised, he looks up and sees Tsubaki’s face, all wet with tears.
And…That’s it! We’ll have to wait a whole month for the next chapter (sob) but hopefully Minami-sensei will think about the story more deeply and will be re-energized and come back full force!
And actually, this is somewhat tangential, but Sho-Comi is notorious for slave-driving its manga artists and not allowing its manga artists to take breaks and have more freedom with their art/story. This is the reason why Shinjo Mayu went from Sho-Comi/Shogakukan to Shueisha. I’m just glad that Minami-sensei is “big” enough to possibly negotiate some of her terms with Shogakukan and while it sucks a bit for us readers, I think this is much-needed for our manga artists.