Shortcake Cake Vol. 5

Shortcake Cake Volume 5 by suu Morishita

I feel the need to preface this review by noting that there is absolutely no Rei content in this volume, for those readers who might have been hoping for that. What this volume does feature is plenty of internal anguish and teenagers just being weird in endearing ways. There’s something about the way that Morishita is skillfully navigating some familiar shoujo tropes that has me full of suspense about what happens next instead of rolling my eyes at the potential love quadrangle that is slowly being explored.

The volume opens with Ten still trying to sort out her feelings, as her feelings for Riku have grown only after she turned him down. Meanwhile, Chiaki lurks in the background, doing his best impersonation of a second lead guy from a Korean drama, as he makes veiled references about a girl he likes to Ten, with her not realizing he is actually talking about her. There’s some great paneling in the opening pages of the manga, when Ten is thinking about her and Riku living in the same house, the illustrations of them silently looking at each other interspersed with the everyday interiors of the boarding house underscore her quiet contemplation and awkward feelings about the whole situation. Ten continues to just be adorable all around, as she starts acting incredibly awkward around Riku and boisterously slaps Chiaki on the back and tells him not to give up on his mysterious crush.

shortcake cake 5

The part of this volume that I absolutely loved was when Chiaki comes up with a bizarre excuse to go on an outing with Riku, in an attempt to smooth over any issues with them both liking the same girl. They go on a random shopping trip, followed by some bookstore browsing and debating about UFO machine strategy. It really underscored how socially awkward Chiaki is, and if if I wasn’t rooting for him do to my general tendency to fall for second lead guys, the fact that he quotes from Anne of Green Gables in this volume was extra adorable. I’m enjoying the slow pacing of this series, and definitely recommend it if you are looking for a high school romance with more depth than the typical shoujo series.

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