Book Review: “Kase-San and Bento” by Hiromi Takashima

Warning: If you have not read “Kase-San and Bento” by Hiromi Takashima, don’t read this review unless you want spoilers!

I’m back with another book review, and this time it’s “Kase-San and Bento” by Hiromi Takashima! It’s the sequel to “Kase-San and Morning Glories,” so I’m glad to pick up this series and continue it! Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

Yamada may be shy and rather clumsy, but the flower gardens at her school have always brought her happiness. Suddenly, a different sort of beauty catches her eye the vivacious track star Kase-san. Although the two girls don t seem to have much in common, they soon start a romance where each must learn an important lesson in tending their budding relationship. Can the two girls, so different from each other, learn how to make their first love blossom?”

This volume very much centered on the two of them trying to figure out how to communicate with each other, especially on Yamada’s part because she’d never really had a girlfriend before, and Kase herself doesn’t really have an idea as of what to do about it, either. Though they stumble and make mistakes, both of them also take the time they need to talk things out with each other, and the relationship overall remains not just endearing but also still quite healthy.

This volume also makes clear the differences and similarities they have. They have clear differences, with Kase being the more tomboy-ish and sporty person who’s wilder in personality and less worried about being seen naked (she literally stripped in front of Yamada once in one of the changerooms with literally no shame at all), with Yamada being the more feminine and also modest personality who gardens a lot (with Yamada blushing BIG TIME when Kase stripped, and she felt awkward about what to really do or react in that situation). However, they both have similarities—they’re head over heels in love with each other, they appreciate each other for who they are, for their own differences and not in spite of those differences, and they’re incredibly supportive of each other as well.

I also noticed the more sexual components, mainly in terms of just visual attraction than anything else—especially in terms of Yamada and how she sees Kase-san, because it’s literally the first time she’s seen a lady other than herself naked. The volume doesn’t do anything fanservicey, but rather it focuses on Yamada acknowledging that she has this kind of attraction towards Kase in a positive way. She and Kase get to talk about this after the whole naked scene, which is good because it was actually part of the whole learning-to-communicate-with-each-other plot of this volume that I mentioned earlier. For those worried, there are no sex scenes, just the nudity and it’s nothing too graphic.

Overall, I’m rating this 5 out of 5 stars!

I look forwards to reading the next volume in this series!

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