Ah, I still love this series – so surprising that after 14 volumes it still manages to be so good. Fujiwara keeps the storyline fresh and new without resorting to silly melodrama. Especially in this volume, where we get the big confession, Ayuzawa doesn’t turn into a lovesick fool and Usui remains inscrutable but strong as always. I love that both characters are intelligent and grounded rather than ditzy genki airheads.
Story: Ayuzawa finally gets the courage to tell Usui her true feelings. But at the same time, things are drastically changing in Usui’s family situation. Just admitting to her classmates and friends that she is now dating Usui is hard enough for Ayuzawa. But a class trip to Kyoto leads to some interesting situations for the new couple.
This volume does mark an important moment in the relationship since we finally have the pair getting together formally. It was great seeing Ayuzawa deal with how her friends will view her now that she has a boyfriend – and Usui of all people. Of importance to her is that she still retains respect as class president but at the same time, there’s no way Usui is going to let their relationship be hidden or downplayed for too long. But the shock of her classmates was quite amusing.
As with all the volumes, there are wonderful tender moments between the couple – fujiwara is so adept at drawing and showcasing their little bits of intimacy and I always look forward to those parts most. But she also intersperses the humor, most often at the great expense of poor Ayuzawa.
These volumes set the scene for new challenges for Ayuzawa in the future; With Usui at a new school, she will have new rivals and a lot of challenges ahead. But of course, we know she will weather them with gusto, intelligence, and heart. And that’s what makes this title continue to shine. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.