Shortcake Cake, Vol. 2

Shortcake Cake Volume 2 by suu Morishita

The first volume of this series efficiently introduced the boarding house where most of the characters live, showed Ten to be a cheerfully blunt heroine, and hinted at an intriguing love triangle. The second volume provides more depth about the relationships between the characters along with some dramatic confrontations and too many flowers. As the volume opens, Riku is dealing with his feelings of rejection after Ten offhandedly asked if he liked her, and then turned him down, assuming that he was just being his normal overly flirtatious self. Chiaki quietly observes their interactions. Just when things are starting to calm down again, Rei shows up when Ten and Chiaki are walking home from school to issue the command “Be my Girlfriend!” Considering that his name for Ten is “Ugly”, she resists his allure easily, pointing out to him that he’s clearly never been in love. Rei is actually Riku’s younger brother, so his pursuit of Ten is more of a cry of attention than anything else.

shortcake cake 2

One of the things I enjoy about this series are the distinct character designs, but I have to say Rei’s almost feral facial expressions and perennial tired look make him appealing, even if he does have the emotional maturity of a baby squirrel. I enjoyed seeing how quickly Chiaki and Riku moved to help Ten out, even though she shows that she’s perfectly capable of defending herself. Shortcake Cake feels refreshing to read, mostly because many of the characters are in tune with their emotions and what they want. Leaving things unsaid or not knowing one’s own feelings are familiar shoujo conventions, and even if that will be happening a little bit in this series, Ten seems capable of handling it.

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