Kiss of the Rose Princess Vol 2

Kiss of the Rose Princess Volume 2 by Aya Shouoto

I enjoyed the first volume of this series, but it was a bit on the light and fluffy side. When I finished reading this volume, I felt much more invested in this series because this volume BROUGHT THE ANGST! And while a funny paranormal manga might be a disposable distraction, I find myself much more intrigued by a funny paranormal manga that is also serving up a side dish of emotional trauma.

All along there were some hits of something dark in the first volume of this series, as Anise’s anxiety about losing her rose necklace and her memories of her father threatening to punish her seemed a bit extreme. This volume fills in the background of the Rose Princess and her Knights, introduces a new character/romantic rival, and establishes that Anise’s father is indeed very evil. So many shoujo manga set in high school get livened up with the the addition of a new transfer student, and in this case it is Haruto, and old acquaintance of Anise’s from Osaka who announces that he’s transferred to her school because she is the perfect foil to team up with in a comedy duo tournament. Reverse harem shenanigans ensue, as Anise’s Rose Knights end up challenging Haruto. Unfortunately Haruto is somewhat unscrupulous and poisons Kaede with an expired juice box.

Horrible things seem to happen to the Rose Knights after Haruto comes to town, most notably Mizuki being mysteriously attacked. It turns out that Haruto is the yellow rose of jealousy. It turns out that the Rose Knights of the past used the yellow rose as a sacrifice to seal away a demon lord, and now the seal needs to be redone. Anise’s father and Haruto are clearly on the side of evil, but the angst comes in when one of Anise’s knights decides that it is his role to serve as the new sacrifice.

This volume alternated between comedic high school shenanigans involving goofy contests and giving classmates chocolate, but there were a few good moments of character development along the way. Kaede is always steadfast, the reader gets a peak into Mizuki’s point of view, and Anise is growing stronger and stronger, determined not to give in to a predetermined destiny that was placed on her with the role of Rose Princess. This second volume was more entertaining than the first, so I’m hoping that this trend continues in future volumes!

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