Warning: If you haven’t read “Kase San and Shortcake” and “Kase San and an Apron” by Hiromi Takashima, don’t read this review if you don’t want spoilers!
Merry Christmas! I hope you’re all having a wonderful Christmas so far. To celebrate, this post reviews not just one, but TWO books. Though they’re not Christmas-themed books, this time I have “Kase San and Shortcake” and “Kase San and an Apron” to review! I’ve read the first two in this series so far, so I’m glad to continue reading this series.
First, a summary of “Kase San and Shortcake:”
“It’s the last summer of high school, so Kase-san and yamada decide to make the most of it and head for the pool! Unfortunately, the end of high school isn’t only about celebration. Yamada cheers Kase-san on as she trains for the upcoming track meet, but her mind is filled with thoughts of the future—and what it means for her relationship with Kase-san.”
Some time has passed between this volume and the previous one, and we can assume that the two have kept dating each other. I’m glad to see Yamada and Kase so supportive of each other, no matter what decision they might be making, and even encouraging each other to go for what they really want to do in the future. The main dilemma involved here is Yamada, and whether she wants to stay in-town and therefore be in a long-distance relationship with Kase, or potentially go to a university that’s close enough to Kase so they can live together.
The resolution of this main dilemma is my main issue in character development for Yamada in particular. She chooses to go with Kase to Tokyo so they can live together post-highschool while they both pursue their university/college degrees, but my worry is that she’s doing it solely for the sake of them staying together. Because she is, my concern is that she’ll end up resigning herself to be just the love interest of Kase and not much else. Granted, I know this is a romance manga, but I don’t want Yamada to lose her own sense of person in it, either.
There was also much more exploration of sexuality, and with that comes some miscommunication which thankfully didn’t make things explode (though it did make things rather awkward between Kase and Yamada for a little while). However, I do think both of them patched that situation up nicely with some communication between them both.
Overall, 4 out of 5 stars!
Moving on, we have “Kase San and an Apron:”
“Yamada has made up her mind to go to Tokyo with Kase-san! Before that can happen, she has to get through her entrance exams–and that means cram school, which puts a huge limit on her free time with Kase. Studying is not the only thing interfering with their time together, though. When Kase-san’s senpai–the same one who’s rumored to be her ex–shows up, Yamada’s not sure what to think!”
It’s fair to say this fourth volume very much ties in with what happened in Volume 3, where Yamada made the decision to go to Tokyo with Kase! Of course, this means cram school, and trying to balance things out in life between relationships and other commitments (specifically academic ones in this case).
I’m glad to see the two finally hash things out in this volume in regards to Yamada’s worries and jealousy about Kase and her ‘ex’ (who actually doesn’t turn out to be her ex-girlfriend but was actually more of a mentor and close friend than anything). Misunderstandings as far as last volume or even from the first two volumes (given that Kase was rumoured to have had an ex long before said supposed ex actually appeared) get cleared up, and I’m glad to see that Kase and Yamada really work on their communication with each other here.
I’m also glad to see it cleared up that Yamada has changed schools and the one she chooses that happens to be near Kase, resulting in them eventually living together, also happens to have a program that Yamada is really into (which is horticultural studies). I do think horticultural studies is something well-suited to Yamada’s personality, given that we know of her love of gardening and plantlife since the very beginning of the manga, and so it shows that she’s not just pursuing the relationship she has with Kase in developing, but also developing a further passion for the things she loves.
There was also the treat of a bonus prequel story in this volume, detailing Kase’s past with her mentor prior to meeting Yamada. I thought it was really nice to see something from Kase’s own perspective, and it helped establish how she became the way she was at the start of the series.
Overall, 5 out of 5 stars!