Bloom Into You 2 - Nakatani Nio

Review for…

Bloom into You v. 1 by Nakatani Nio

A charming love story about two young women who together discover that their dreams of a heart-pounding romance can indeed come true!

Yuu has always loved shoujo manga and fantasizes about the day that she too will get a love confession that will send her heart a-flutter. Yet when a male classmate confesses his feelings for her ... she feels nothing. Disappointed and confused, Yuu enters high school still unsure how to respond. That’s when Yuu sees the beautiful student council president Nanami turn down a suitor with such maturity and finesse that Yuu is inspired to ask her for advice. But when the next person to confess to Yuu is the alluring Nanami herself, has Yuu's shoujo romance finally begun?

This volume, Koito (Yuu) and Nanami are secretly not-girlfriends, but dealing with their own histories and other characters’ perceptions. I don’t know that I would call this ‘charming’, this volume seems to be setting up drama for later.

I worry that this story isn’t for me. While this second volume makes me feel better, the first one had some problems and readers more astute than myself picked up on issues regarding consent… This volume doesn’t alleviate it much, with Koito repeatedly telling Nanami to ask and then respect her when she says “no.”

That said, Nakatani introduces another character who isn't interested in love, but he is interested in ‘observing the love stories of others’ which borders on creepy. Is it supposed to be a reverse-fujoshi type thing? He’s not a ‘fanboy’ cliché exactly, but perhaps he’ll change as well as the story progresses. (Fingers-crossed he changes for the better.)

In this volume, Koito is able to tell Nanami that she doesn't reciprocate her feelings, and doesn’t want to kiss her, but holding hands is okay. And she wants to support her. I guess it's all the comments about wanting to fall in love, wanting to feel that way about someone, that makes the whole thing misleading. Especially when she tells herself she wants to fall in love with Nanami.

And the splash page at the end leads me to believe that there will be drama and I saw a glimpse of a review saying that the next one becomes overtly problematic. And then there’s the other friend of Nanami who maybe has feelings for her?

There are times when the feelings Nanami expresses feel so sincere that I do begin to sympathise with her, but I worry that this is gonna go south so fast… that all this is set up for something needlessly angsty.

SPOILERS: Then the end where Nanami wishes that Koito doesn’t fall in love with her? This could go so badly or it could end up being so so so sweet. Why don’t I have faith in this?

Pages: 180
Year: May 16th 2017
Publisher: Seven Seas

Read: 2 August 2017
Stars: 3 (liked it)