With so many shoujo titles, it can all be about the couple getting together and then plenty of misunderstandings and rivals. But with this volume 5 of Honey So Sweet, the focus is on the slowly developing relationship. Even after all these chapters, the couple is nervous about holding hands, hugging and haven’t even kissed. As such, this is a lovely slow burn of two people coming to know each other better.
Story: Nao and Tai finally get enough courage to go on a date on Christmas. But their friends crash the party and the pair have a great time but wonder if they will ever get time alone. When the group leaves suddenly, Nao and Tai finally get their real date. Until Tai’s mother returns home from work with gifts from abroad. Circumstances ensue where Tai gets knocked out and Nao gets alone time with Tai’s mother. When the two stay up too late talking, Nao stays the night. But this leaves the lonely Sou upset from the worry over Nao’s whereabouts. Nao will need to address that problem as well as a teases from her friends that she has yet to kiss Tai.
Since the focus is on all the relationships – how her friends interact with her, how the parents/guardians interact with their kids, and how the various relationships in their lives are evolving, this is more about feelings than drama. It’s also about communication and coming to honestly understand one’s self.
Nao and Tai’s relationship is slowly progressing and it was cute seeing them finally attempting a kiss at the end. Meguro has created a very sweet but also emotionally grounded series that manages to eschew all the drama and melodrama so rampant in the shoujo genre. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.