Squee! I just needed to read this one. I have been planning to for a while, so imagine my delight when I spotted it on Netgalley. Manga! On Netgalley! OMG squee! And this one is by the co-author of YOI, a series that I absolutely adored to bits (Give me second season now please!).
This was just too much fun to read. We have our MC, Imamura, who is a loner. In the before (at the beginning of the book and in the flashbacks (or are they flashtocomes)) he is sporting long hair, an aura of come near me and I will throw you out of a window, and well, his years at HS weren’t the best. But he gets a second chance when, after graduation, he gets curious about the ouendan club, or well, one specific girl who was the only girl and the captain and the only remaining girl in the club when Imamura joined the school. But he is spotted by another girl while doing some cough interesting break-in moves, and then during a chase they both fall off the stairs and time travel back to 3 years ago. Yep, instead of graduating, they are now back at the first day of their first year! 😛
And so they can start their days in high school again. Imamura gets another chance at school, maybe he can make some friends, maybe he can make it a more fun time than the first time. I do hope so, that guy definitely deserves friends and a happy HS experience. I do get a bit tired of the trope of scary looking guys. OMG, the guy looks scary + bleaches his hair, how terrible. Give the dude a chance people, he is totally nice and friendly. He is just a bit awkward. I loved what he was trying to do for ouendan in this one. How he tried to figure out what was going on with it, why the members left, and how he could help out Usami (even though she doesn’t want that).
Aki/Akira, I quite liked the girl. I had such a laugh when she woke up during that first morning and was shocked to see that her boobs got smaller. Poor thing. Her reaction to the fact she lost 3 years/has gone back 3 years was also hilarious, I think I would have done the same as she has. I did feel sorry for her and the fact that she and her boyfriend (well, he was her boyfriend in the present day parts) aren’t a thing in this timeline yet. In fact, he doesn’t know her. You could see the realisation hit her when he kept rejecting her/was spotted with a girl that should be his ex. I am quite curious what Aki will do in this one. Will she join ouendan? Or will she just go along with the path she followed in the present day (tennisclub it seems).
I am not too sure about Usami. I get that she is probably a sweet girl who just loves the ouendan a bit too much. But the way she is recruiting, the way she keeps shouting, the way she just does everything… well… I am sorry, but I didn’t like her. I can imagine that no one is joining. Yes, this sounds rude, but given her attitude towards newbies and how she practically forces them to continue even if they are dying (yes, I get that this happened when you were in the club, but this is a new batch, you can’t treat everyone the same).
The cheerleaders? Or well, one specific girl. I was so relieved at first that they seemed to be a good batch of cheerleaders. That we would finally break through the trope of bitchy and manipulative cheerleaders.. But no, of course not. Dear Lord, that captain is a bitch. She is like a cat, she likes to toy with everyone, and will manipulate those around her to do her bidding. And it seems this has been going on for quite some time. 😐 I hated what the girl did. Bah.
We still aren’t sure if these two time travelled or that they are actually in a hospital. I guess as the story continues we will get hints to either of those. I am not sure which one I prefer. Both are tropes that happen in manga quite a few times, but they are tropes that I find interesting. Plus it brings so many fun and delightful questions with it. Like, if they are dreaming (hospital scenario), how can it be that they are both in the same dream? And if they did time travel, will they be able to get back or will they have to sit out all those years again (though then again, given that they know all the answers to the tests/questions, is quite fun)? I hope that the author will bring some more clues in the next volume.
The art is pretty great, I love the style. The characters look great, well, Usami just stands out, I am not too sure how to explain why. I also like the backgrounds.
All in all, I hope that these books also come out in paperback, as I want to add them to my collection (plus I still prefer physical copies). And I would recommend this book to everyone. Fun, drama, mystery, comedy.