Thursday, November 1, 2012
Volume 2 of Candy picks up right where volume 1 left off- with Chiaki meeting Tamaki after receiving her note. She handles the situation like a champ, and it seems like she and Kanan can finally just be happy.
But of course not. Chiaki and Kanan have to deal with something even more frightening than rumors and Tamaki's wrath...codependency, wooooooooooo~
Chiaki's graduation is coming up soon, and Kanan asks her if they can live together after she (Kanan) graduates. Kanan's seriousness about their relationship makes Chiaki happy...until she finds out that Kanan's grades and kyuudo performance have been slipping lately, because she's been focusing on their relationship at the expense of the other areas in her life ever since they first had sex. Kanan becomes afraid that Chiaki's feelings have cooled since she isn't spending as much time with Kanan as she used to because she's neck-deep in preparing for her college entrance exams.
Tamaki recommends that Kanan speak to the cool, young school nurse Eri-sensei about whatever's bothering her, since Eri-sensei gave Tamaki some good advice recently.
Unfortunately, Eri-sensei gives Kanan advice that just makes things worse.
This point is where the story took a detour into "Wtf is happening?" town. After Chiaki breaks up with Kanan for her own good (but without telling her why), she starts getting a lot of clingy texts from Kanan. Chiaki thinks that this isn't in Kanan's character, so there must be someone else manipulating her into doing it, but...really? Kanan acted codependent before Chiaki dumped her, and then, well, Chiaki dumped her without telling her why. But hey- Chiaki needs to follow that train of thought so she can relay her suspicions about Kanan being manipulated to Ichijou, so Ichijou can tell her that, hmmm, Kanan's been spending a lot of time in the school nurse's office, getting advice...
Things come to a head when Eri-sensei reveals her true colors to Kanan. This plot point wins the Most Ham-Fisted Means of Making a Character Realize What She Did Wrong in Her Relationship award. The other situations in this volume feel believable (or at least believable-ish), but I felt like I was reading something like Hot Gimmick when Eri-sensei started to reveal her true colors. On one hand, I'm very glad that the thing I was afraid was going to happen didn't happen; on the other, I was annoyed by how pat its resolution was, and the fact that Eri-sensei was, ultimately, just a lazy plot device.
But anyway, Kanan realizes that she needs to get it together.
She does so, but she and Chiaki remain estranged.
Graduation day arrives, and Kanan congratulates Chiaki on graduating. After some awkward conversation, Chiaki walks away, and it seems like this is it for them...but nope. Now well over her issues, Kanan asks Chiaki if she can fall in love with her again. Chiaki responds the same way she did when Kanan first asked if she could fall in love with her. ^_^
Hanging out at Chiaki's apartment later, Kanan gets the full story on why Eri-sensei had it out for them. I have mixed feelings about Kanan's reaction: on one hand, yes Kanan, way to finally come to the conclusion that Eri-sensei is messed up, on the other, Kanan's comment about not getting Chiaki's first kiss was really asinine, even if she was half-joking.
Then the ending becomes sweet again, and we get a pretty wonderful epilogue, showing what Ichijou and Tamaki end up doing as adults, before transitioning to Chiaki and Kanan's adult lives, in which they are both working and happily living together. ^_^
A short bonus chapter covers Eri-sensei's perspective, for the three people who care.
Another bonus chapter focuses on Tamaki getting closure for her feelings for Kanan.
The final bonus chapter (titled "Oyasumi") gives us more of Kanan and Chiaki's lovey-dovey home life. ^__^
Story: So variable. I hated the Eri-sensei arc and the fact that Chiaki never spoke with Kanan about their problems when it was obvious that Kanan had no clue what she was worried about. But I liked the rest of the story and loved what the story showed of Kanan and Chiaki's adult lives. I want a Candy sequel.