This is starting to drift into “Why am I still reading it?” territory. It looked for a while that the series was going to become more than a wacky rom-sit-com as Tsukimi, Kuranosuke, and the rest of the otaku AMARS gang branched out into making their own fashion startup. That completely fell through and now Tsukimi is on her way to Singapore with quasi-shady CEO Kai to design clothes for his company as part of a deal that saves her friends’ residence. Tsukimi’s ostensible fiancee, Shu, is off being his clueless self in Italy completely unaware of what’s going on thanks to a contrivance regarding his cell phone. Kuranosuke, however, is the only member of the cast who isn’t going to take Tsukimi’s plight lying down and heads off to Singapore, making his modelling debut in the process.
What bugs me the most about this series is that, as the plot progresses, its characters stubbornly refuse to change. They continue to act like they’re in a sitcom even as the narrative makes it clear that’s not what this story is. It’s especially grating when it comes to anything involving the AMARS girls these days, and more than a little depressing in the case of Tsukimi. Seven (actually 14) volumes in and she’s just about the same easily frightened wallflower she was when we first met her. To see her thrust into the harsh and demanding world of fashion, complete with shrill gay fashionista stereotypes, with little to no support feels like a recipe for disaster.
Particularly with someone like Kai watching over her. The CEO gets some of the best material in this volume as his backstory is detailed and he emerges as the kind of complex character this series needs. My enthusiasm here is tempered by the fact that his relationship with Tsukimi falls more toward the “predatory” scale of the romantic spectrum as he seeks to manipulate this new talent he has brought under his wing. Despite this, I’d still like to see Tsukimi really make a splash in Singapore and emerge as a notable talent in the fashion industry. It’d set up some interesting dramatic challenges for Kuranosuke and Shu as they try to win her back, if nothing else. Seeing Tsukimi flame out here, however, would at least offer me all the reason I need to stop reading this series.