Title: Kimi wa Sakamichi no Tochuu de
Ribon Mascot Comics, 2008
Okay, here is a more recent release. I almost passed this one up because the cover is so dark, and I found it difficult to see what was going on in it. This cover design bothers me a little bit because I keep picking up the book the wrong way, and I have to flip it around every time I look at it ^_^;The scan I provide here is a bit more clear and detailed than the impression the volume gives in person. Anyway, I am glad I did notice this book, because it is a cute, non-smutty story with nice artwork. This is volume 1, so there will be more after this book. This series is still being published at the time I am writing this.
I like the heroine of this book. She is cute and friendly, and doesn’t get all emo and depressed over things. And while she is cheerful and nice, she isn’t a total airhead either (though I wonder about her hairstyle choices sometimes…). Her name is TAKESHITA Ayu, and she is currently living with some relatives, including her cousin Daisuke, who is the same age as her. Ayu, as I said before is enthusiastic and friendly, and has a nice, supportive circle of friends at school.Her relationship with Daisuke is very close, comfortable, and friendly, and he acts protective of her.
One day, on the way to school, Ayu sees an unfamiliar boy outside the train station. He looks like he is about to get into a fight and is badly outnumbered, but his expression is flat and serious. Ayu can’t look away from him, and when they make eye contact, Ayu is instantly smitten. She really likes this guy! Could he be the new transfer student everyone is talking about?
Naturally he is. His name is KUDOU Chiharu, and while he is initially surprised to see Ayu (he recognizes her from their eye contact outside the station) he soon turns rather surly and unfriendly. But Chiharu’s moody behavior does not bother Ayu. Oblivious to it, she smiles at him and, through her friendliness, eventually wins him over. His surliness can’t stand up to her niceness, and soon Chiharu is helping out in the restaurant Ayu’s family runs, and he (reluctantly, after some coaxing) becomes a part of their circle of friends.
But Chiharu has some unpleasant baggage in the form of a bad family situation, some very unsavory acquaintances (such as the guys he fought with at the train station), and some traumatic memories. Can Ayu help him move away from his past? Her own past isn’t pleasant either. Then there is the little matter of Daisuke’s possible feelings for Ayu…