Title: Shortcake Cake Vol. 7 Author: suu Morishita Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 176 Genre: Slice-of-Life, Romance Publication Date: February 4, 2020
Volume seven of Shortcake Cake flew by when reading it because… well… there was a LOT of stalling in this volume… some of it was a bit confusing to me. It picks up at the end of volume 6 where Ten confesses to Riku. Riku is overjoyed that Ten likes him but before he can give his answer (which, to me, he actually did but I digress), Ten asks Riku if he wouldn’t mind waiting.
We then spiral into Ten just stalling and stalling and stalling. She sees Ageha and spills the beans about her liking Riku and ends up getting makeup tips from her. They actually go into detail of everything that a girl could do in order to doll herself up. Maybe it’s because I’m a guy and don’t understand why they have to go to such lengths but I can tell you from a guy’s perspective that, more often than not, I find girls with no makeup just as or even more beautiful than girls with it. In fact, to me, wearing too much makeup shows a lack of confidence and sometimes it’s just gross. Like… I want to take a chisel and hammer it off.
I’m going off-topic here but you get what I mean. I just kind of rolled my eyes at the whole thing. Also, it took up SO MUCH content in the volume that I was starting to get a bit disinterested. The parts with Ten walking to school with Riku were cute and it got to the point where she decided to invite him to the shrine to confess… again… and she does… again… except right when Riku would give his answer, Chiaki appears and interrupts the whole thing but instead of there being drama, he simply gives them his blessing. On the bus ride back, they confess…. AGAIN… and FINALLY… Riku accepts her confession…
But wait! There’s more!
Just because Riku accepted the confession, it doesn’t mean they’re dating! He then asks Ten to be his girlfriend (I thought they did that three times already!?). There’s even MORE HESITATION until they get off the bus and Finally… after 150ish pages… Ten says YES. We can all exhale now.
Since when did asking a girl out become so complicated!? This is like dating with extra steps!
The rest of the volume was them going back to the house, telling Ran, keeping the secret (even though only 2 people don’t know) and all that fun stuff. We finally see Rei at the end and it looks like he became quite popular with the girls but it’s obvious he still has his eyes on Ten. Like it actually matters at this point.
For the four pages that we got to see him, Rei seems to be the same as before. He likes Ten but he’s not exactly good about showing his true feelings, being a rich snob and all that. Still, he just seems really lethargic when it comes to accepting gifts from girls, though… which fits his character pretty well.
Chiaki seemed a bit too passive here. Just giving up (which lead to a pretty hilarious moment with Riku in a karaoke bar) might have been the right thing to do but I wouldn’t have had him show up to ruin the confession. That just seemed unnecessary and could have been handled differently. Maybe hearing the news and going into a bit of regret for not pushing harder could have been in order. Then you could have him realize that things are better this way and have him do the ultimate concession in front of Riku and Ten, giving them his blessing.
Ten was hilarious in this volume despite all of the stalling. Her overreactions to everything were pretty good and it added to the entertainment value of the volume. If it weren’t for that, this volume would have been quite a mess due to all of the aforementioned stalling and dragging out of the main plotline. The bigger question is where does everyone go from here?
Overall, the volume was good in the fact that we finally got the Ten x Riku ship that we, pretty much, saw coming all along but I just had an issue with all of the stalling the volume did to get there. Because as such, even though it contained a major turning point, I felt that it was the weakest volume of the series so far.
In addition, I don’t really understand the point in really showcasing Rei at this stage. Ten rejected him already and she’s now with Riku. Any attempts he makes at this point are just going to be futile. The only benefit I can see Rei getting out of this is a change in character. Maybe he’ll become more self-aware of his actions and attitude and opt to change for the better. The way the character has been written so far, I can’t really see any other direction to go in that would bear fruit. He could try to go after Ten but it’s super obvious that he’s going to end up failing.
I really felt that they missed the boat with Rei. Morishita could have done so much more with him but he was treated like an afterthought more than anything so trying to put focus on him now just seems like a waste of time… unless it does result in substantial character development. I guess we will have to wait and see.