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As the qualifiers for the East Japan Competition begin, Kaori’s condition worsens despite her renewed dedication to fight so she can perform with Kosei again. Kosei’s best friend, Tsubaki, finally confesses her feelings and Kosei not only puts a name to his feelings for Kaori but makes friends of his rivals in the competition.

It was nice to see Kaori stop brooding and really try to live. Seeing her act in such a way so blatantly in contrast to how bubbly and spontaneous as she was in the first few volumes became tiresome and downright annoying.

Watching Kosei try to deal with how out of control things are around him is heartbreaking. He wanted to save his mom, he wants to save Kaori, he’s this all around decent, hard working kid having to deal with all these hardships and pressures that many adults would fold under. I did kinda feel like this volume didn’t move the plot forward enough (only one kid did his performance for the competition) I did enjoy reading it.

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