Rating (Out of 5): 3.5/4
Five friends who grew up together while living in a shopping arcade experience love, humor, and adventure!
This was about as good as the last one, if not more.
Unlike the first volume, they are all older in this one; about 15 now and in high school.
So, in the first chapter, the group takes on the problem of a newly engaged couple at the street market, who are having problems with some vandalism. When they take on 'cases' like this, as they do another one later in the volume, they aren't totally exciting to me, but they aren't bad. I'd probably enjoy some more of the characters and relationship development. It's mostly fun just seeing all of the characters interacting with each other, like they did while thinking up what to do and while staking out outside the shop.
Oh, also, there's a bit where the friends decide that they aren't going to grow apart, and they'll still be friends in twenty years. This is pointed out to them, since several people have commented that it's nice they're all still hanging out with each other, and it bothers them. This is cute, and, while realistically they probably wouldn't have been so close still, it isn't unbelievable that they still will be in twenty years. (Although, I would have liked to be able to read it...)
The second chapter focuses on Mike and Kuro's relationship. Although there was also some focus on them in the last volume, and I'd hopes to see some more of the other characters, I still enjoyed it. They're both going to the same high school (and the others are going to different ones, I believe), and several sports teams want them to join. They aren't interested in any of them, but they get pushed into doing a race with one of them, which it's then pointed out that only one of them can join the team if they lose, as it was agreed between the sports teams that one can't have both. This is obviously upsetting to them, and most of the chapter is focused on them not wanting to be separated. It's sweet and cute. (Also, Mike finds out that Kuro likes someone, and doesn't know who, and their friends won't tell her who [because, you know, duh,] and she doesn't know what to do about it. It's a little ridiculous for her not to know yet, but very believable for her character.)
The third chapter is about another family in the street market that is just opening it's shop. And the wife has hurt herself, so only the husband can work. So Mike's father (I think?) volunteers the kids to help. So Mike and Kuro are set to help out, but their friends are busy, but they end up coming to help anyway. Also, the family has a little daughter that's upset about them moving away from her friends, and who isn't making any new ones. Mike is sweet and gets her to cheer up and help out at the shop. (Also, the little girl proclaims that she's going to marry Kuro, which freaks him out, and makes Mike mad, even if she doesn't know why.)
And then there's a short story called “Stand By You”, an earlier work of Fujimoto's. It's about these two girls who are best friends, and one of them finds out that her family is from the future, and they've finally fixed their time machine, so they have to go back to the future. It wasn't amazing, but it was cute, and the two friends were sweet.
I don't believe I talked much about the art in the first volume. Well, I mostly like it. I was a bit unsure of it at first, since it's a bit messy, and looks a little like sketches, but it's easy to get into.
I'm really enjoying this series. I really like the characters, and would like to see more of them. I believe that the third volume was (just barely) released, so I'm going to try to find it, and if I can, then I'll review it. I'm also still hoping that someone picks this up, since it's really good, and only a few volumes were released before Tokyopop closed.