Takane & Hana, Vol. 4

Takane & Hana, Volume 4 by Yuki Shiwasu

This is my far one of my favorite current light romance reads, mostly due to Takane’s surly facial expressions and imperious manner and Hana’s excellent way of totally deflating him with a cutting remark. This volume opens with the aftermath of the big school trip, where handsome scions of industry decided to hang out with a group of high school kids.

In this volume, some major conflict arises from the corporate world, as Takane’s evil Uncle decides to assign a new, alarmingly efficient assistant to him. Kiragasaki acts alarmingly unemotional, although sometimes he looks more animated when the light glints off his glasses. He observes Takane closely, but doesn’t have much to report other than his stellar performance and dedication to his work. When Kiragasaki figures out that Takane is meeting again with a girl from an arranged marriage meeting he manages to discover the truth about who Hana is.

One of the frequent plot elements in Takane & Hana that I never get tired of is seeing how the couple supports each other in their unusual relationship. Kiragaskaki ends up going to Hana and requests that they break up, because he sees how other people in the company will use their relationship against them. Hana has some hard decisions to make, but Takane’s unshakable confidence ends up being rooted in reality, because he sees his excellence at his job as a shield against corporate manipulations. Takane wins Kiragasaki over by just being himself and rising above any corporate plots.

Aside from the more serious core story of the volume, there are plenty of hijinks as Hana steps through some manga plot staples like preparing for the school festival. Each volume of this series is breezy and fun, and made a little more lively and unusual due to the odd-couple nature of the relationship, and Shiwasu’s gifts at comedic art.

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