The World’s Greatest First Love, Volume 2 by Shungiku Nakamura

The World’s Great First Love gives us more backstory on “Saga” and Onodera while also introducing a possible rival for Masamune.  More of the manga publishing industry is revealed as well – from author preferences to deadlines and how new titles are introduced. But at heart, it is still about Onodera’s love/hate relationship with Takano-san.

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In the first story, Onodera reminisces about his crush on “Saga” (Masamune) and how he helped Onodera with school. That segues into present time with Onodera struggling over a layout – and Masamune staying late to help him finish. When coworker Yokozawa catches an intimate moment between the two, he’s quite assertive about Onodera backing off and leaving Masamune alone. Turns out, Masamune never got over the broken relationship with Onodera and Yokozawa doesn’t want Onodera to break Masamune’s heart again. Meanwhile, Onodera meets up with an old coworker who gives him the inside scoop on Masamune.

In the second story, Onodera gets apprenticed into the industry, learning about meetings and deadlines, introducing new titles and print run amounts. But through it all, Onodera has to decide if he will make a lateral move in the company to the department of his first love, literature. A run in near his apartment sees Yokozawa caring for Masamune’s pet cat – a cat that Onodera remembers from high school.

In the third story, we have more background on the two from high school days and how the two came to be a couple. It’s a sweet end to the volume.

In all, we have a bit of relationship furthering as well as a lot of the history of Masamune and Onodera.  In addition, a lot of inside peeks of the manga publishing industry.  Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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