Title: Takane & Hana Vol. 2
Author: Yuki Shiwasu
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shojo, Romance
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
The second volume of Takane & Hana was, in short, a letdown. The first volume painted a picture of a generic romantic comedy that didn’t really come across as being all that funny and the second volume reaffirmed my suspicions.
Here in volume two, Hana is invited to a Hole-In-One Celebration for Takane’s grandfather, but the problem is that they invited Hana’s sister Yukari. It’s up to Hana to try and make herself look like she’s 23 so she could pass herself off as her sister. With the help of Yukari, they do everything in their power to make her look older and while it does fool Takane’s grandfather, other people at the party are not so convinced. Hana even overhears people talking about how Takane could get arrested for dating a high school girl, or how it would damage his reputation at his family’s company.
This causes Hana to distance herself from Takane, which ends up getting on his nerves. The two of them “reconcile” at the beach, though… and by reconcile, I mean that they declare that they will do their best to annoy each other. They try to mix things up by introducing a new character in Nicola Luciano, a foreigner who was Takane’s friend in college and a major playboy. The arc didn’t really go anywhere or have much of a point to it as it was just Takane coming to the rescue once again without any real development.
The volume ends with a mysterious person (assuming it’s Luciano again based on how he was drawn), approaching Takane, Hana, and her friends while they are out together.
This manga is just the same gag over and over again. I found myself trudging through the pages looking for anything to hold my interest, but I wasn’t finding much. The overall premise of the series sounded good, but the execution makes the humor come off as annoying and run-of-the-mill rather than something exciting and engaging. There really wasn’t much “story” here as it’s still just Takane and Hana either hating each other or sarcastically liking each other. Shiwasu has flip-flopped between those two emotions so much that the whole premise of the humor seems like a lost cause as this point.
The only real “development” here is the ongoing denial of the feelings Takane and Hana have for each other. It’s obvious that the two of them like each other, but they continue to go about it in such a way where they’re both playing the tsundere role and it’s causing an awkward clash that was, I’m sure, meant to be funny, but it’s really not. I didn’t really laugh at one joke throughout the entirety of the second volume. Instead, I merely rolled my eyes whenever these characters couldn’t push themselves over that hump and actually cave into one another.
Adding Luciano to the mix was an attempt to stir things up, but when the end result changes nothing between Takane and Hana, then you have to ask what the point was in even bringing in this character now. If they really wanted to make an impact, then continue on with the tease throughout this first volume, introduce Luciano as the cliffhanger to end it and in volume three, have the resolve to the conflict actually bring Takane and Hana closer together. Like… let a true feeling slip or something. Give us a hint of development. Don’t just put us right back to where we were for the first two volumes as a whole.
That’s probably the best word I could use to describe what I have read so far of Takane & Hana. Humor that fails to hit the mark, the same scenario played over and over with a different setting and no real advancements in character development are making this series a pretty run-of-the-mill romcom that’s failing to set itself apart from other series.
Sadly, I cannot give this series a recommendation as it hasn’t done much of anything to make itself stand out. It’s filled with tropes and characters that we’ve seen a dozen times over in other series and if it’s unique angle is pitting tsundere vs tsundere, then perhaps it needs a shift in focus because the clash is ugly and not in an interesting or exciting way. I give kudos to Shiwasu-san for trying something a little different, but it’s just not different enough to make this a good series.
Follow me on Twitter @TheAnimePulse
You can also check out other The Outerhaven reviews on your favorite social media networks:
This item was provided for review by Viz Media