Title:Mint Chocolate Vol. 8 Author: Mami Orikasa Publisher: Yen Press Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 160 Genre: Slice of Life, Romance, Comedy Publication Date: July 18, 2023
Volume eight of Mint Chocolate kind of says a lot of nothing until the second half of the volume but we do get a bit of character development with Kyouhei as we learn where he got his name from along with the relationship he had with his mother. This is after their parents go through some old photo albums… one of which Kyouhei wasn’t particularly fond of since it contained some remnant photos of his mother… photos that he admitted that he wished he had thrown away.
Outside of that, the volume picks up the animosity between the Student Council President, Sakuma, and Kyouhei. He reaffirms that he has a personal disdain for both him and Nanami and announces to her that he’s hatching a plan to drive a wedge between the two of them. This causes a conflict with Nanami where she feels that she can’t tell Kyouhei what happened. Andou and Itou are on the case, though, so it’s not like Nanami has to face this alone.
The volume ends with Kyouhei seething in anger… but at who?
While there wasn’t much in terms of plot as the volume did keep things rather simplistic, there was some pretty deep character development… all on Kyouhei’s part.
Learning about Kyouhei’s mother and his resentment toward her really put some things into perspective. He never forgave her for leaving him and his dad and he just assumed that she never really cared about him. When Nanami does some digging and asks Kyouhei’s father about his name, it was revealed that she actually did care since she was the one who named Kyouhei. Even if that came to light, it didn’t really change Kyouhei’s mind all that much. It’s not easy for him to forgive and forget the other things that she did.
However, this would come into play later with Sakuma. Somehow, he got wind of Kyouhei’s disdain for his mother and assumed that’s why he had a hard time trusting women. He wanted to use that to drive a wedge between him and Nanami and hatched a plan where he summoned Nanami to the student council room to set her up in a situation where another boy would feign interest in her… all to get that message back to Kyouhei. It was a rather juvenile plan from someone who, for a Student Council President, doesn’t think too deeply about these sorts of things. Still, it shows just how petter of a character Sakuma truly is.
Andou and Itou are a treasure for helping out Nanami during the whole Sakuma ordeal. For small part side characters, they sure do have a big impact when they are needed. I know we got nice background information on Andou the last time around but it would be nice to see these two more involved.
It was a pretty good volume that built upon Kyouhei as a character and then threw some drama in at the end. In the next volume, we’ll see how the drama unfolds as it’s pretty apparent that we will see its conclusion come to light.
The one thing that’s been great about this series is that we have a mild male tsundere character whose shell is getting chipped away at bit by bit. Compare Kyouhei from volume one to the Kyouhei in volume eight and while there are still a lot of similarities, there is also a very stark difference between the two of them. Little by little, he’s letting his guard down and his feelings come through, something the volume one version of Kyouhei would never do. This is why I believe Sakuma’s plan is going to blow up in his face… well… I mean, it was a really dumb plan from a low-IQ President to begin with so it was doomed to fail just on general principle alone.
Since it is painfully obvious that Sakuma is going to get thwarted, the real reward in volume nine is going to see how hard he gets thwarted… but this also does something negative to Sakuma’s character in the sense that it sets him up as a villain that can never be taken seriously. After this, there’s really nowhere for this character to go except to fade back into the background. That makes me wonder why they even bothered to create this character, to begin with. Right now, he just seems like a plot device to help Kyouhei and Nanami become closer and more open rather than a villain.
Oh well, hopefully, this is the last we’ll see of Sakuma because I can’t imagine any plan of his in the future even coming remotely close to working.
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