In Volume 1 of Torino Shino’s Ohana Holoholo (オハナホロホロ), we have been introduced to Maya, her former lover Michiru, Michiru’s son Yuuta and the former lover of Yuuta’s late father, Niko. Maya, Michiru and Yuuta live together, and Niko lives in the same building, forming a loving alternative family.
At the end of Volume 1, one of Maya’s classmates from high school days, “Hidesuke” is introduced. Hidesuke was a top-notch soccer player, but after an injury that killed his career, he went into sports marketing. He starts to spend time with Maya and admits that he was in love with her in school. Which brings us to Volume 2.
Michiru cannot *stand* Hidesuke – she would be thrilled if she could hate him, but he is incredibly generous, polite, plays with Yuuta and takes them all out for dinner. He’s friendly, open, kind. And he makes Michiru jealous and angry.
Realizing that she cannot offer Maya the kind of stable, socially acceptable relationship that Hidesuke can give her, Michiru decides that the one thing she *can* do for her is to stop being baggage. Michiru puts in extra hours at work and takes a class in order to take a test to become a supervisor. This leads to a small crisis with Yuuta, but don’t worry – he’s fine. And as a result, we meant Mochizuke-sensei, Yuuta’s teacher at daycare. He’s also a really nice guy.
Meanwhile, Hidesuke propositions Maya – he’s very up front about her current situation. He understands that Yuuta is her son, as much as Michiru’s, and he’s not asking her to leave them all at once. If anything, he’s glad to give them a place in his family as well. Maya responds by dressing up for their next date in the frumpiest, most tied up, frigid-looking outfit she can scrape together. But when he laughs at the response, and says that he gets that she isn’t free to just leave Michiru and Yuuta, Maya defrosts and agrees to a real date with him.
This alternative family of a woman and her son, her former female lover and the former lover of her son’s late father now has a new member. The end of the book brings a gentle wind of change to this family. If storms await, they are still in the future. Right now, the sun is warm and the breeze is cool, the flowers bloom and butterflies alight. Right now, all is well.
Art – 7
Story – 9
Characters – 9
Yuri – Nothing in the story proper, but it is part of the history and Michiru’s jealousy is a part of the story – let’s call it a 4
Service – A resounding 0
Overall – 8