Hatsu*Haru Volume 13 Review

Riko has been acting strangely, and although Kai (and others) notice something’s off, Kai is too busy trying to get up the nerve to invite her on an overnight trip to dwell on it. And when she finally accepts, he’s ecstatic! Of course, then the reason for Riko’s depression comes out: her mom is being […] The post Hatsu*Haru Volume 13 Review appeared first on TheOASG.

Hatsu*Haru Volume 13 Review
Riko has been acting strangely, and although Kai (and others) notice something’s off, Kai is too busy trying to get up the nerve to invite her on an overnight trip to dwell on it. And when she finally accepts, he’s ecstatic! Of course, then the reason for Riko’s depression comes out: her mom is being transferred to a different branch for work. We all know what means: Riko’s staying here! …Wait, what? Yes, Fujisawa pulls a reverse-Uno card on the parent-needing-to-move-for-work trope. With Riko being in her second year of high school and being a responsible girl, her mother isn’t going to drag Riko to a place to only stay for a year, year and a half before heading off to college. Kai, of course, is happy they’re not going to be forced into a long-distance relationship, but Riko’s downtrodden mood still doesn’t improve. As I said in my last review, I wasn’t sure if Fujisawa was going to give everyone a satisfactory conclusion in volume 13. That worry proved to be grounded. The Taka/Ayumi storyline from volume 12 is not something that should have been saved for the penultimate volume. Kai and Riko did need the spotlight back, but everyone else is mostly there to cheer up Kai/Riko and then share their college plans at the very end. Quite frankly, I didn’t care for this ending drama. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone so upset at not being dragged away from their friends. Riko’s mom ends up confessing to Kai’s mom she does not want to be apart from Riko but feels she’s been too neglectful to suddenly make such an ask now. When Kai tells Riko to go with her mom, she gets very upset, saying that neither her boyfriend nor her mom cares if she leaves. It takes some heart-to-heart talks for Riko to make her final decision. Spoiler alert: Riko moves. So volume 13 is a farewell to Riko and to Hatsu*Haru as a whole. The two overlap in some odd ways (why are so many parents coming to hang out with at a goodbye party for one of their children’s friends?). More importantly, we don’t feel the weight of those months apart for Kai and Riko. But I did like how Kai was so in love and awkward to the very end, crying when saying goodbye instead of playing the suave card like most shoujo heroes, and the two do get some sweet moments together. Fujisawa does leave open the possibility of a college years Hatsu*Haru, but if that was an option, I wish we could have just spent time with the gang up to their graduation. I know it’s hard, but I’m siding with mom’s initial statement here. Seems like such a waste to move with your daughter 2 hours away when she’s just moving out in over a year. Riko’s sudden departure felt like a disservice to all these lovable characters and, more importantly, good story structure that builds toward and makes a manga ending feel like the end of a journey and not some excuse just to end serialization. The post Hatsu*Haru Volume 13 Review appeared first on TheOASG.