*I preface this with the warning that if “age gap” genre isn’t your thing then feel free to skip.*
So, Takane & Hana is one of my favorite romantic comedies that’s currently being published. From Viz’s official description:
After her older sister refuses to go to an arranged marriage meeting with Takane Saibara, the heir to a vast business fortune, high schooler Hana Nonomura agrees to be her stand-in to save face for the family. But when Takane and Hana pair up, get ready for some sparks to fly between these two utter opposites!
Hana is a sensible high-schooler while Takane is a 26-year-old narcissistic child. They fight, they try to one up each, they piss each other off. And yet Hana is the only person who really sees Takane for who he is beneath his persona.
Volume 7 was released this week and I read it in a day. (I REALLY hate waiting months for new releases so I rush through them *blush* I’m currently re-reading to figure out my favorite parts.)
At this point in the story, Takane’s grandfather (the head of the Takaba family) has stripped Takane of his money, his power, and his social standing. Takane is now living in a run down apartment working as a salaryman. He is understandably, absolutely depressed about the change. Hana has decided to not let him wallow and shows up everyday to bring him food and cook for him. His pride won’t let him accept her help at first but he eventually warms up to it. He even says “THANK YOU” which is so unlike his former self.
His work life gets better now that he’s eating better and (with Hana’s support) feeling better about himself. His old assistant even transfers to his new division in order to support him to get him back to his rightful place.
Meanwhile, Hana discovers that the worst possible scenario is now a reality. She’s fallen in love with Takane but she refuses to let him know for fear of losing to him.
This leads to a lot of comical moments in Hana’s head because, in Takane’s obliviousness, he gives her a spare key to his apartment. A SPARE KEY! A comedy of errors follows when two days goes by without a visit from Hana forcing Takane to go looking for her. He causes a scene in front of their friends asking why she hasn’t visited (did he miss her??!!). Their friends all decide to have a hot pot party at his apartment to which he protests but really enjoyed.
During the party, Takane and Hana walk to the store alone wherein he tells her that it’s her key and she has permission to use it however she wants, even if it is an imposing hot pot party. She throws excuse after excuse as for why she shouldn’t visit and he responds each time dispelling them.
The next day Hana goes back to Takane’s apartment to study (AND SNOOP THROUGH HIS THINGS) and he makes a big deal of tutoring her with her homework. In typical Takane fashion, he can’t really express his feelings and thoughts but he finally mumbles that he wants to tutor her to feel useful so that he isn’t just taking from her. Awww the little cinnamon roll.
Hana placates him by saying that his house will be study center. After a moment of staring at his face while he tries to solve one her homework problems, Hana confirms to herself that she is in love with him and tries to decide if she’ll get him chocolates for Valentine’s Day.
Within this volume Mizuki also got some focus and we met her two brothers. Her thoughts about herself and her crush on Luciano are a topic for another day.