Author: Tachibana Venio
Illustrator: Kitahata Akeno
This is the sequel to Sakuraoka Private Senior High School Dormitory but it actually took place five years ago when Himegi Shinobu and Mio Junya were still in middle school. In the first book, Himegi said he had been dating Mio since middle school. This story was about their meeting and falling in love. Frankly speaking, the plot here is extremely simple. Mio arrived at Sakuraoka and there was a rule – that second years would chaperone first years and naturally, Himegi was assigned to be Mio’s guide. Since Himegi was extremely pleasant, gentle, and kind, Mio was quickly attracted to him – so did many people before and would many people after. Himegi was this natural leader type and exceled in leadership roles. In short, he’s very charismatic and charming. On the other extreme, Himegi was living with an extremely unsociable and person with “a horrible character”, Matsushima. As Matsushima would refer to Himegi as “hime”, I would simply call him “Hime” in this review (a bit interesting because in the first book, the seme was referred to as the “prince” and now the seme of the second book is referred to as “the princess”). Mio also had a variety of names. The author would call him Junya, but Hime would call him “Mio” and I’d go for what Hime called him and therefore he would be “Mio” in the rest of my review. Anyway, Matsushima had the face of an angel but when he spoke, he was like a devil . His only friends were Hime and Saiki, the head of the dorm at the time when Mio first arrived.
The rest of the story really just surrounded the little things that happened between Mio, Hime, and Matsushima. There were a few interesting events in the story.
The black kitten incident
One day on the way back to the dorm, Mio and Hime saw Matsushima standing in the rain staring at something. He must have been there for a long time because his back was getting wet and he seemed to be stretching out his umbrella. When Mio went over to see what was happening, he found Matsushima staring at a baby black kitten. Mio tried to pick up the kitten but Matsushima stepped on his hand, pushing it to the ground . He then said if Mio could not help the kitten, why let him remember the warmth of the palm. Hime then came over and rang up his brother who was a vet. He then took the cat to his brother’s clinic and Matsushima gave him money just in case he needed cash for taxi back.
The tie incident
Mio was attending the morning assembly but he could not tie properly. Hime reminded him several times and in the end, tied the knot for him. It’s simple action but then it already showed how much Hime cared for him :D.
The rivals incident
There were also a few other students who either confessed to Hime or tried to win over Hime’s attention. In fact, when Mio saw Hime being kind to everyone, he was jealous and could not feel himself special. He then cried on Hime’s lap because he was insecure and not certain if Hime really loved him or just treated him like everyone else.
This was the last chapter of the first story and Mio was standing in the wind staring at the sky. Matsushima came over and gave him his jacket. He then left and not long later, Hime arrived. Seemed like Matsushima went to call HIme over. Mio then confessed and said his love for Hime was not just normal admiration like other students. It was “L.O.V.E.” as in a romantic relationship. Hime also confessed he really liked Mio and so the two started dating.
The second story was a bit complicated because it seemed Hime was not too happy about the idea of Mio coming to the high school dormitory when he graduated and went over to the high school section with Matsushima. The reason was because Matsushima was attacked (nearly raped) by his roommate but Matsushima was scary enough to kick the roommate out of the room and thus won over the reputation of the “demon of the Senior High Dormitory”. The rest of the story was really about the H-scene that was not included in the previous story (and I fear the reason was simply because Mio then was too young). At least by now, Mio would be in his third year of middle school (not that it makes a WHOLE LOT of difference to me though). What surprised me was how SEDUCTIVE Mio was in the bed. He might have an innocent and angelic look but he would ask Hime FOR SECONDS .
This was not included in the novel but it was a short aftermath story that was posted on Shy Novel’s Website. It began with a conversation between Matsushima and Hime, with Hime watching Mio from afar and said watching alone would cause him to “become excited”. That night then Hime paid a secret visit to Mio while he was still in the middle school dorm and when the lights went out, I think you get the idea of what happened next :D.
As mentioned in the review of the first novel, Tachibana sensei is very gifted in her style of writing and this continues to shine in this novel. Her writing is so smooth it takes half the normal time to read through the novel. The problem is that with Himegi and Mio, it’s really hard to write a story about them because their love is too “perfect” to be true. The theme of this novel is simply “how to make a nice guy yours and yours only” and it couldn’t be hard for Mio because he’s too adorable. I suppose what really made Hime go after him was because of his ability to like Matsushima even though the whole school hated him. Mio could like Matsushima because Matsushima was Hime’s friend and if Hime could like Matsushima, then Matsushima would be a good guy. In short, he illustrated 100% trust for Hime’s judgment on other people and that was the touching part of the story. To be frank, I thought rather than the main couple, this story made Matsushima a more multifaceated character because in the first novel, we only saw the “demon” Matsushima. Here, we still see his demon side but we also begin to see his “human” side.
I like Mio for the fact that he could try to love other people even though the whole school hated that person. He would “try” to like Matsushima and as a reward for his trying, Matsushima became very fond of Mio – to the extent he would help Mio later (giving him the jacket, calling Hime over), etc. Their friendship lasted through high school as we would see in the first novel, where Matsushima came to save the unconscious Mio. Mio was very pure, innocent, and cute and all he wanted was to be Hime’s special – period.
Hime is a rather complicated character because he liked Mio (no doubt about it) but then he was also a bit afraid that Mio liked him just like any new student liking a kind senior. He could not be certain that Mio’s feelings for him was “special”. In short, he was also wondering whether he was Mio’s special and frankly, he had reasons to fear. For example, in the restaurant in the second half of the novel when Hime was in high school, another student (from the middle school dorm) asked Mio to say “nyan~” and Mio did as told in a very cute way. So, just as Mio couldn’t be certain he was Hime’s “ONLY ONE”, Hime was not certain whether Mio really treated him as “THE SPECIAL ONE” and so he decided the best way would be to keep a distance but that turned out to be a bad decision and so they confessed and started dating at last.
As I have said in the first novel, Matsushima was simply a demon, a bastard, an a$$hole and there is NO QUESTION about this as it’s pretty much A FACT. HOWEVER, that would be only ONE SIDE of him. Really, Matsushima also had his human side, as reflected from the black kitten incident. If he would be THAT cruel, he would not stop and stare at the kitten for so long. He could not pick up the kitten because HE KNEW that even if he picked it up, all he could do was to give it non-realistic hopes and only to be disappointed in the end. I felt that whole incident was a way to illustrate the possible “trauma” Matsushima went through before. Saeki called him “Lily”, which was very interesting because why wh would Matsushima allow Saeki to call him “Lily”? Then, when Saeki graduated and Mio left his cell phone when visiting Hime in the latter’s classroom, he saw Matsushima sitting in Saeki’s old seat with a face that seemed more melancholic than a crying face. Matsushima then threw Mio’s phone at him when they met at the corridor and said it was noisy. (However, he did go through the trouble of intending to take the phone back to Mio or he would not have bothered picking it up). Matsushima had a terrible mouth and would not try to say “nice things” to please others. However, when he was with Mio, he showed a certain degree of kindness, which illustrated the fact that he could be kind. The question then is why does he have to act so cruelly when he could be kind and loving? I hope the next novel (should he be the main) would answer a few of the questions that went spinning crazy in my head. Actually since this novel was told from Mio’s point of view and since Mio LIKED Matsushima or never even thought he could not LIKE Matsushima because Matsushima was Hime’s friend, the Matsushima from his eye was a lot sweeter than the one we saw in the first novel. Probably the image here could be skewed but I do believe Matsushima is not a cruel and heartless demon but a human who also have flesh and blood. That’s why if you start from this novel, you will know Hime, Mio, and Matsushima more and will have a better impression for Matsushima. On the other hand, should you start from book one, then your impression of him might be so badly ruined it would be hard to believe he could be human too.
Nothing is known about Saeki except he wore glasses with a smart frame, he could crack jokes like when Matsushima disappeared after breakfast without a word, he joked “he was dumped” or he would call Matsushima “Lily”. He also said he and Matsushima used to play together when they were very young. Seemed like he would be the biggest clue to solving Matsushima’s mystery.
As I mentioned in my own blog, rather than a review, this almost seemed my love letter for Matsushima because I have a weak point for guys with cute faces and poisonous tongues. Rather than wanting to know what happened to Hime and Mio (as I KNOW from the first novel that they would be love-love), I’m rather interested in Matsushima’s past, his possible traumatic experience, his first attack when he was at the high school dormitory that left him a scar on his face, the reason behind his fight with Hime right after the incident, etc. In short, I think so far the first two novels for me are simply to set the stage for the grand opening night (which hopefully will be the next novel).