Rating (Out of 5): ~4-4.5
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo Beat)
Reads R to L (Japanese Style), for audiences rated teen.
Meet Maria Kawai—she’s gorgeous and whip-smart, a girl who seems to have it all. But when she unleashes her sharp tongue, it’s no wonder some consider her to be the very devil! Maria’s difficult ways even get her kicked out of an elite school, but this particular fall may actually turn out to be her saving grace...
Hana Ibuki, a cheerful soul, waltzes into Maria’s life and befriends her right away. She even convinces wary classmates to join Maria’s choral group. There’s something suspicious about Hana’s help, however, especially since misconceptions about Maria occur every time Hana is involved. Is Hana really a friend or actually a foe?
So, I am officially impressed with this series. I’m not really sure why, or what exactly happened in this volume to pull me over the edge, but I am now kind of loving this series. I want the next one, now, and am not looking forward to the wait, although I know it should be a normal length-ed one.
In this volume, Maria is still dealing with her jerky classmates, but now there’s another one. The girl coming back at the end of the last volume shows up, and her name is Hana, and apparently everyone likes her. She’s practically the exact opposite of Maria. She ends up taking Maria’s necklace, the one that the teacher took, and that’s not a very good start. Maria doesn’t make a big deal of it, but others ask her about it, and like with most things, she plays the victim card and cries.
She’s nice to Maria, and doesn’t like that the class is fighting and split up, and so makes them team up again. She makes Maria uneasy, though, and Maria doesn’t believe all of the nice things being said to her. They have a falling out, not surprisingly, and Hana does a couple of things to set her up, all of which were cliche and none of which did as much good as she wanted, which I am glad for. Maria wants to have some kind of relationship with her, though (which I was surprised by, but in a good way), and so, funnily enough, says that they are ‘frenemies’. Hana doesn’t know how to take Maria’s blunt personality or odd behavior, at all.
The volume ends with Maria agreeing to do this big show in front of a TV crew recording her classes song (which is Amazing Grace, a song that Maria tends to sing to herself a lot), where her classmates, Hana in particular, will come out looking like angels making up with Devil Maria. I don’t think it’s a good idea, but I understand why Maria agrees to it, and I’m intrigued to find out what happens with it in the next volume.
Also, there’s a very small extra chapter at the end, showing Shin and Yusuke when they first met and how they started to hang out. It’s cute, but way too short. I was hoping for more, more of an insight, as to how they became friends, and hope there’s more to come, but I still enjoyed it.
I like Maria. I’ve said this before, but I like how blunt and straightforward she is. She deals with people in her own way, and keeps things inside most times, and I like it. It’s very refreshing. In this book, she also realizes that she has friends. After a small debacle with Hana, she goes up to the roof, upset but still keeping it mostly inside. Shin, Yusuke, and Tomoyo come up after her, and end up telling her how they care about her and that they’re friends. It’s the first time Maria has had friends, and she feels much happier and calmer and reassured upon realizing this. It was nice to see that. Also, there was a super cute moment between her and Shin here, in front of everyone, where he gets all flustered and holds her to his chest. It was just really cute and funny. Oh, and she does finally get her necklace back, which was good.
I just really enjoyed this book, and am looking forward to the next one. I’m glad that I enjoyed it so much, too, because I was hoping that it would grow on me, as I could tell that it would normally be something that I would enjoy. Even the artwork grew on me more, and I’m liking it as well. And Yusuke.
I wasn’t really too big a fan of him, which is weird, since I normally like the happy-go-lucky characters. He’s kind of growing on me, though. Shin is still my favorite, though, and I really enjoy the scenes between him and Maria. And there was a chapter in this volume, like in the first volume, in his point of view, which I enjoyed. He's so awkward and such a loner, and it's just kind of adorable. I don't know, I just like him, I guess.
I’m just unabashedly enjoying this series now, which was an unexpectedly fast turnaround. I’m happy about it, though.