Volume 3 of Sasamekikoto (ささめきこと) begins with the advent of the school sports festival. Someone appears to be targeting Sumika in an attempt to sabotage her class’s chance at victory. As Sumi lines up for the final race, a shoo-in for her, she runs off to save a “kidnapped” Ushio. Sumi and Ushio – now in penguin costume – are happily reunited.
The school erupts in wonder at the arrival of Lotte, a cute little German girl who transfers into the school in order to experience Japanese life. Resisting Ushio’s attempts at dressing her like a doll, Lotte idolizes Sumi’s strength. In order to train Lotte in karate, Sumi picks up her own training for the first time since she met Ushio. We learn that she quit it because Ushio likes cute girls. Now back in the dojo, Sumi remember just how much she loves karate.
In trying to become strong like Sumi, Lotte over exerts herself and collapses. Ushio blames Sumi for not allowing for Lotte’s size and condition. Sumi responds that Lotte *wanted* to train hard, and likes Sumi’s size and strength – that yes, she is NOT cute. Sumi goes running out into the rain and promptly falls ill. (Once again causing me to speculate on Japan’s bacteria-endowed rains….)
Ushio comes to Sumi’s house and nurses her back to health, but pays the price and gets the cold herself. We spend a little while in Ushio’s backstory, learning how she and Sumi became friends when she transfered in, as a result of the rest of the girls in the class ostracizing her when she admitted to liking girls.
Sumi comes to visit Ushio – seeing Ushio upon the veranda, Sumi’s expression says volumes about her feelings, but Ushio runs away. Sumi bangs on the door and demands to see Ushio who, after extracting a promise that they will always be friends (despite the fact that, at this point, neither of them want to be just friends anymore) falls sobbing into Sumi’s arms.
What will happen in the exciting volume 4 of this manga? I don’t know! But I’m very much looking forward to reading more of this really quite excellent tale of best friends in love.
Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 8
Yuri – 4
Service – 5
Overall – 8
My favorite moment was watching Sumi watching Yabase Takemi fighting. The tension in her body, that desire to be out there, to test her strength against another champion…awesome. Like Lotte, I enjoy watching Sumi being not cute at all.