After 16 volumes, you’d think Fujiwara would have plumbed the depths already and come up empty. But 15 and 16 were a surprise as both Usui and Misaki have to deal with the ghosts of their pasts. There are, of course, other lighthearted moments but for the most part, these two volumes focus nearly solely on our favorite couple and their trials and tribulations.
Story: As Usui is thrown a huge birthday celebration befitting a person of his status, Misaki is once again reminded of how far apart socially they exist. But she is well past the point of giving up or questioning Usui’s affection for her. When Usui’s prep school classmates visit Misaki’s school, Misaki’s sister is the unwanted focus of one of the prep school’s ‘beauty makeover’ experts. When a hero appears, does little sister also have a suitor? Meanwhile, Usui has decided to finally confront the Walkers and ask to be formally emancipated from the family. But what he will find is a not only a nest of vipers but also truths long kept from him about his mother and father.
There were some nice advances to the story in these two volumes and it was great to see some progression in the overall plot. But with only one 2-in-1 (the final volumes 17 and 18) this looks to tie up nicely and with a great final ending. There are a few small side stories and Misaki’s sister’s story was very cute as well. Fujiwara continues to mix the humor with the pathos beautifully. In all, looking forward to the final 2-in-1 so I can see how it ends! Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.