Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
And you thought your family was strange? Miki's world gets turned upside down when her parents swap spouses with another couple and all decide to live together under one roof. It only gets weirder when Miki falls in love with her new stepbrother Like a dysfunctional version of the Brady Bunch, Marmalade Boy will hook readers with its odd premise and wacky relationships.
This volume starts where the last one ended, with Miki and Ginta standing outside her home, right as he proclaims to love her. She doesn’t know how to handle it, and, when Yuu interrupts them, she hurries inside and to her room. For a bit of the volume after this, Ginta and Miki are awkward around each other, and Ginta is a bit hostile toward Yuu, since he’s the competition.
Yuu and Ginta end up partnering together for a tennis competition, against Ginta’s cousin and Yuu’s school rival/enemy/a guy that hates Yuu because he loves Arimi, Yuu’s ex-girlfriend. Arimi and Miki end up standing on the sidelines, rooting for the boys, during the tennis match, which lasts about a chapter (that was, honestly, filled with unneeded tennis lingo). The boys seem to form some kind of bond after this, and then Arimi convinces Ginta that it would be a good idea to pretend they’re dating to make Miki jealous. Which, maybe works? She isn’t very happy with them getting so close, but I’m hoping she’ll get over it.
There were some side stories within this volume, as well: Yuu inadvertently spotted Meiko (Miki’s friend) making out with Nachan, their tennis coach/homeroom teacher. He promises not to tell anyone, including Miki. Near the end of the volume, Yuu’s and Miki’s parents go out to dinner to celebrate their new marriages, which Miki dumbly skips out on. And then the volume ends with their parents going on a two week honeymoon, leaving the two home alone during winter break.
This series seems to be a very solid 3.5 stars so far, but a very good 3.5. Which is to say, I’m enjoying it and looking forward to the next volume. It’s a very happy-go-lucky, light read, very typical, but something I am really liking.
Sidenote: I just seem to be noticing several formatting differences, in how Tokyopop used to do it, and what’s different from more modern things. Like, it still bothers me that the sidepanels are taken up with notes from the manga. Some of the stuff might be useful, too, but I’d rather be reading the authors comments than the editors. I think, nowadays, they tend to put those things in the back of the book, or in footnotes, though, which is why this bothers me. Also, I noticed that there are a lot of page numbers in this book. I don’t know if that’s just the way this manga is, but there are page numbers on a lot of pages. In most of the manga I read recently, there might be numbers every fifty to a hundred pages. That was just odd to me.
Also, very off track: The ads in the back of this series. In several, or at least the ones I’ve looked, have an ad for Mars, which is a series that I completely love and am forever upset about the fact that I do not own all of the volumes. It bothers me, saddens me, every time I see the picture for it. I just felt I had to say something.