Last Game, Game 2

People who know me probably already know that I would love this manga. It’s fairly straightforward so far, so I don’t know how long they can keep this going without jumping the shark or losing the flavor. It’s the type of story that I usually expect to end with one volume, but we’ll see…

Also, I’ve just realized that this series was being scanslated, and at a fairly quick turnaround. It’s rather amusing just how much more widely available titles are these days. I still remember the days when you couldn’t find any info on any manga. XD;

Kujou and Yanagi are now in high school, and as Kujou does the welcoming speech, we are once again reminded that his mission is to make her cry. He teases her the first chance he gets, noting how she doesn’t he have any friends. He finds her so pitiful that he offers to go out with her. Her response: “Where to?” Shocked at the unexpected response, he could only come up with “the cafeteria”.

She’s up for free food, but wonders at what he wants in exchange. She’ll do what’s needed as long as it doesn’t interfere with her part-time job. Imagining how she’ll probably get picked up by some random customer, he rejects the idea, telling her that the school forbids students taking on part-time jobs. He offers to pay for her time as his tutor instead.. a double-edged sword of learning her secrets and tiring her out from competition. She agrees to do it for a month.

When he asks her for her cell number, she tells him that she hasn’t found a necessity to buy one. He’s outraged, telling her that one is necessary. What would she do if something bad happened!? He tells her to meet up for phone shopping that weekend. Realizing that it’s a potential date, he dresses up for the occasion and preens. Only to have an equally dressed up Kujou appear, and wondering to herself that she must have misjudged his wealth since his jeans are ripped. XD; (I LOVE HER.) She also ends up buying the phone with her own money [because she said so!].

Later, he thinks back to how she noted that she wanted to make her mother’s life easier. He asks why she doesn’t consider marrying a rich guy – not that he means him, of course! She tells him that money isn’t the point. She wants to repay her mother, and it wouldn’t mean anything if she didn’t attain the means with her own efforts. He thinks to himself how the person she falls in love could be comforted over the knowledge that she would love them for themselves… before he catches himself, frustrated.

Noting that she seems to think that the cell phone is complicated, he programs in his address and tells her to message him later that night. Though, as he smugly awaits her message, he’s only met with frustration – and amusement from his mother and sister – when she texts, “This is Kujou. I messaged you. Bye.” He comforts himself that it can’t be helped; he’s gotta help her along. (By the way, I’m not the only one having flashbacks to KareKano’s Miyazawa Yukino sitting in that same position that Yanagi is in, right? XD)

As the days pass by, it seems that all his efforts to make her fall for him just end up failing. She turns out to be an effortlessly easy to understand tutor and a strong girl who does not need his help with either carrying heavy things or protecting herself. They’re together so much, though, that other girls in the school wonder if they’re dating. But, of course not, he reassures them.

It seems that she only has one weakness, though. Receiving a phone call that her mother had gotten into an accident and had been committed to the hospital, she freezes… unsure of what to do next. Yanagi immediately takes action and hails down a cab, holding her cab the whole way. Thankfully, it turns out that she had “only” broken a leg. Kujou bursts out in tears.
Later, Mikoto (let’s call her that from now on) tells him that she wouldn’t have known what to do without him. She says, “Thank you”, with what is probably the first smile anybody has ever seen on her.Stepping out for a bit later, Yanagi finds himself alone with Kujou’s mom… who thanks him for being a friend. She had been worried about [Kujou] Mikoto, who has always been such a serious child.

“That time… when I held that shaking hand… I became conscious that Kujou was a girl.” (If you haven’t read much manga or watched anime/drama, it’s those first steps to love.)

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