Welcome to the second and final volume of Tenbin ha Hana to Asobu (天秤は花と遊ぶ). I think I understand the title now.
But that’s the end of the story. Let’s start with the beginning.
Youko is a transfer student to this particular iteration of elite girl’s school and her guide around the school is the White Rose, Shuu (which means red. Ha?) Shuu, Yohko learns, is a blood-drinking human and, oh by the way, genderless until “she” turns 18 and takes the gender of the gender whose blood she drinks most. Yohko likes Shuu and is glad to be her soda fountain. But oh noes! someone knows Shuu’s secret.
Actually, no, the secret the secret letter writer knows is nothing to worry about, and the whole kerfuffle is clearly a clever way to introduce Popular Girl Aika and her Best Friend Forever, Rico.
Nudged on by her brother, Shuu is having issues with her feelings for Yohko, while Yohko is ferreting out the identity of the girl who wrote her a love letter. She is very sweet and kind about it when she does find the girl. Shuu is also dealing with underclassman Misora’s raging case of crush, but again, Yohko comes to the rescue and treats Misora with respect and kindness, even as she deals the final blow to Misora’s hopes.
Shuu tries to relax, but find herself getting all hot and bothered while reading a teen romance series – even going so far as to imagine herself and Yohko kissing! Shuu’s even more amazed to learn that it is Rico who authors the series, in a chapter where Rico goes missing and Aika becomes extremely depressed as a result. Aika tells Shuu that if they were male/female, she and Rico would definitely be considered “going out.”
Shuu tries to figure out what to do with her feelings for Yohko, and her brother points out that, if she continues to feed from Yohko, she’ll become a girl who is in love with a girl. Shuu pushes Yohko away for a while, but by the end of the book and the series, has decided that she really doesn’t care. The choice is not hard after all. She likes Yohko and likes her blood and that’s the way it is. The scales balance at last.
And, erm, the series ends there.
What made the series actually work is Yohko. She’s fun, lively, down-to-earth, but not stupid or provincial. The whole school steadily, irrevocably, comes to move at her pace – a smart, snappy pace into a bright future with a smile at what they might find there.
Fluff, fluff, fluff. Like cotton candy with a slight metallic aftertaste. ^_^
Art – 7
Story – 6
Characters – 7
Yuri – 4
Service – 1
Overall – 7
The whole vampire thing could have been thrown out and everything left as is and it would have been fine. Really.