Being "stuck" with living with her father's best friend's family may or may not have its perks, especially when the eldest son is the one who humiliated you with a public rejection after you tried to confess your deep feelings to him. Naoki's parents may be wishing for him to change his mind, with a match making schemer of a mother furiously doing her best behind the scenes, but this doesn't mean Kotoko is in for an easy ride. Valentine's Day is coming up, and so are Naoki's entrance exams for the prestigious Tokyo University (or Todai as its nicknamed from its Japanese name of Tokyo Daigaku) and each of these event brings its own set of dilemmas.
Naoki's mother cooks up a plan regarding the Valentine's Day chocolate, while Kotoko comes up with the idea to make him a good luck charm to take to his exams. She will make it herself and it will show her feelings of love and support, or so she thinks. For as always, thanks to Kotoko's inability to not only be able to read a situation, but her timing and lack of skills; things don't quite go as planned. His entrance test day is a disaster from start to finish and rather than getting into Todai, he faces going to the university attached to the high school he already attends with Kotoko. Kotoko has other worries though, as her classmates discover that their school actually DOES have an academic cut off point and despite having an elevator system (students from the high school gain admission to the university) they have to reach a certain, admittedly low, standard. But this IS the F class, and reaching even that seems a mountainous task. Will Kotoko and her friends manage to pull their grades up or will F start to stand for FAILURE? And just what is Naoki's mother planning to do about it? Not to mention, how does Naoki feel about having ANOTHER four years of school with Kotoko?
It is another serving of laughs as romantic comedy Itazura na Kiss (Mischievous Kiss) returns for a second instalment. By this volume, the characters have settled in and are more fully fleshed out, and the plotline is well and truly moving along. Ditzy Kotoko is as disarmingly charming as ever, perfectly matched with Naoki's mother s an accomplice (even when Kotoko is blissfully unaware of it!). We finally see some personal development of note with Naoki as ell, getting a glimmer of what may be going on in that cool head of his. It is a tantalising glimpse that would no doubt set Kotoko's heart thumping doki doki like mad, if she was observant and savvy enough to figure out what it meant. With the introduction of new characters from the university, the stage is set for even more future complications and misunderstandings aplenty, so the bumpy road to love everlasting has not reached its final destination yet. It is light hearted innocent fun sure to brighten a gloomy day.
***I would like to thank Digital Manga Publishing for providing me with this review copy. ***