Kaichou to Fukukaichou (会長と副会長: In Student’s Meeting) by Hakamada Mera, tells Story A all over again…but does it pretty darn well. President of the Student Council Fuji-kaichou and Vice President Nashizuka-fukukaichou are, without the other realizing it, attracted to each other.
There’s nothing specific keeping them apart, except the fact that same-sex desire is not the norm and therefore is accompanied by a lot of soul-searching angst.
The first chapter introduces us to the couple in question – and the situation between them – from the perspective of Fuji-kaichou. But the bulk of the book takes place from the point of view of Nashizuka-fukukaichou, who is a smart, competent, driven and very serious young woman. She struggles daily with her attraction to the President, tortured by her lack of context or role model, and by the fact that the President is very popular among the other students in the school. “She doesn’t love me,” Nashizuka thinks to herself at some point in the story, “Why would she?” I thought that line neatly captured the second hurdle anyone who has ever found themselves attracted to someone has to get past. We’ve acknowledged our feelings…but what reason, really, do we have to think that those feelings are returned?
For her part, Fuji-kaichou is torn between a complicated family life and a pleasant school life that she uses to bolster her peace of mind. When her family life begins to leak out of the box she’s put it in, it causes some crises in her school life. But through all of it, she’s convinced that Nashizuka is the one person she can turn to.
Ultimately, it’s the forthright President that pushes the issue, by publicly proclaiming that Nashizuka is *hers,* dammit…in front of the entire student body, teachers, administration and guests, at the school festival. And then there’s just enough time for a sweet wrap up and the volume comes to a close.
For a story that had such small crises, there were a lot of tears. I remember friends in high school who seemed to cry rather often about relationships, so, that’s pretty realistic. The characters were also fairly real – no wildly out of proportion skills or powers or situations.
Kaichou to Fukukaichou is about a girl who likes another girl who likes her back.
Art – 7
Characters – 8
Story – 7
Yuri – 8
Service – 1
Overall – 8
You’ll notice that I didn’t mention Hakamada’s trademark giant carnival heads. Either the heads were smaller or I’m getting used to them, or the story was good enough that I didn’t notice or something else.