As the word implies, this one takes place Before Aoba works at Eagle Jump. We start with her buying that Faires game when she was a kid, then we skip to her High School years, were she joins artclub, meets Hotaru, and makes plans to go to art college and become a character designer. As the road continues you see her make decisions, get better at art (though she already was quite great).
I am delighted that we meet Hotaru in honest now. We also see her in volume 3, but that was only 1 chapter, and I wanted more Hotaru. She is such a sweet, kind, talented girl who definitely deserves more of the spotlight! I wouldn’t mind a spinoff with her in the main character role. I want to see her decide to go to France.
It was also definitely fun to see Aoba, to see her like this. To see what really solidified her resolve to go to Eagle Jump. To see her work hard for her goals. I also loved how supportive her parents are. She wanted to also do a job application, they were OK with that, as long as she also did college exams. Which is totally logical, considering she might not have gotten the job, and she had a fall-back/safety net behind her saving her.
Still not a fan of Nenechi. She is just a bit too annoying for me, and I just want to smack her for just going along with everything. Sure, she eventually does something of her own, but still she was just following along quite a few times. Luckily, she isn’t as bad as she is in the other parts of the manga.
What more? Mm, I think I mentioned everything. I loved how the manga started with Aoba buying that game, and then her ending up getting an interview and getting accepted for the job. 😛 It is perfectly rounded that way.
The art, well, I still love it to bits. 🙂
All in all, this is definitely a volume I would recommend. You could read it whenever you want. Before the series, or when you are like me, after volume 3 or 4.