With the class drama over, peace settles back into Tomozaki’s homeroom, which allots him the focus he needs to participate on the culture festival organizing committee. What was once an anxiety-inducing endeavor is barely a sweat now that he’s garnered so much social EXP. However, he doesn’t have the EXP to not sweat when Hinami assigns him the task of figuring out which girl he’s crushing on.
The Competent Style:
Something I’ve noticed for a while but haven’t made the opportunity to mention is how competently written and flavorful the prose in this series is. I don’t know if that’s the work of the original author, exceptional translation, or both, but the prose will sometimes employ a specific word choice to deliver unique imagery, without dyeing itself purple. It’s refreshing in an industry where the default style is writing, for the most part, exactly as a person would speak and sometimes writing like it’s the first time the author’s held a pen.
The Double Mentors:
First, Tomozaki had Hinami tutoring him, and partway in he briefly gains a second tutor in the form of his friend, Mizusawa, who teaches him how to pick up chicks, which he breaks down into an exact science. His interactions are shallow and his methods devious, but he has a way of explaining things to where you can say, “I don’t agree with that, but I can understand why you think that way.” He even scores girls’ contact info to prove his method’s merit.
Not since the third volume has Tomozaki taken such a stern, rigorous peer into his soul. In a series about self-improvement, these moments are the mainspring of his growth, because when you’re at the bottom tier of the social hierarchy, it’s as much about your behavior and appearance as it is the mindset you carry, and that eyeglass into his soul shows us what exactly is tripping Tomozaki in his clamor up the social ladder, and what pains might be afflicting the reader as well.
There isn’t much of what one might call a proper climax, but this entire volume is setup for the follow-up, which makes the wait to see the payoff agonizing, but the series has my respect for taking its time rather than cramming everything into its limited page count and resolving certain plot points with a hand-wave. Great read, but one giant tease.