by Karuho Shiina, 170 pages
The class trip to Okinawa is well underway and the kiddos take in the sites and snacks and enjoy the warm weather. They also take in a lot of time with each other. Everybody splits off during free time: Sawako and Kazehaya take a little craft class together, Ayane pushes the curfew envelope with her new boyfriend, and Chizu and Ryu run around with nonstop-talking Joe. (And their loud, wise, man-child teacher Pin predictably chases after the hot tour guide.) But under the surface, dynamics are changing.
Aw, poor Ayane! She sees love, requited and otherwise, all around her and wants to know what it feels like, too. She just doesn't see the potential in the shoulder she's crying on. What's Chizu going to do with her new knowledge? Personally, I'd like to see deadpan Ryu lose his cool just a little, but it's fun watching his perpetual calm make shout-first-think-later Chizu crazy. And I get so happy and anxious watching Sawako and Kazehaya go from nervously cozy with one another to ridiculously self-consciously awkward. Hee! and D'oh! Don't stress, kiddos, you'll figure it all out eventually. :) So good, so good.