With this second volume, we get a much better view of the characters, especially Tokita (the scientist). What at first looked like a simple story of a 31 year old reverting to 15, becoming an idol, and eventually finding the courage to go after the guy she liked in high school now has the added dimension of Tokita’s connection to her. We get his backstory at the beginning and it is both sad and heartwarming.
Story: the humiliations continue at the office but Deguchi is fortified by her nightlife as a 15 year old idol. But that life is also problematic as she is introduced to a rival who will happily take her out. What it amounts to is a showdown – each girl singing the same song and the one who sells the most CDs will get Hibiki as their music producer. Yuko wants Hibiki for herself and is afraid Deguchi will steal him from under her. Curious about Hibiki herself, Deguchi follows him home and finds out he is caring for a large family of siblings. When she runs into Haru and finds he’s broken up with his girlfriend, her thoughts become transparent to Tokita. As he helps her choose a dress for the competition, he has to remind himself that his girlfriend Hina is his current priority.
There are several romances going on – in the past and the present. Tokita/Haru for adult Deguchi and Hibiki/Ryu in the past. It’ll be interesting to see where Tanemura takes this – though I have my own suspicions about how Deguchi will end up with at the end. The ‘wardrobe malfunction’ was cute and the solution was expected of a Tanemura story. Since 31 year old Deguchi is constantly told to stand up for herself, it will be interesting to see her modern life transform as she becomes more confident in her idol work.
This volume also features an interesting interview with Tanemura where she talks about this and other series. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.