In Ame-iro Kouchakan Kandan, Volume 2 (あめ色紅茶館歓談) Sarasa and Seriho have been working together for a while now, and have settled into a routine. They kind of know that they really like one another and they are kinda sure the other feels the same way, but neither has actually broached the topic with the other.
When Seriho’s old friend Sumire arrives, this changes. Sumire likes to tease Seriho, and does not like women who are meant to be together to be kept apart by their own obtuseness, so she sets them up on a date. They have a wonderful date. Sarasa has shown up a little early (2 hours or so) and has scoped out the best places to eat and shop. But it’s Seriho that finally does what has never been done – she buys herself a ring and a matching ring for Sarasa and says, “I mean it ‘that way.'” (Sumire-san – good job!)
Having been asked – well as much as one can expect from this delicately-spoken series – Sarasa now has to decide if she will accept that ring. She asks Seriho to sit and be her customer as she prepares tea and scones, and, in as much as she’ll ever come right out and say anything, accepts. They embrace, only to find out that all their customers and friends are watching from the window, and cheering them both on.
Things that are this cute start to hurt.
The chapters of Otome-iro Stay Tuned are collected here, so we can be reminded where we first heard of the St. Lotecia novels.
This volume ends a with Sarasa and Seriho some time in their future, talking about the impermanence of things, and the permanence of their relationship. And, we are told on the final page, that we have a new series in that future to watch for – Ame-iro-Kouchakan Kandan ~ Golden and Silver Tips, which is a damnably clever name; if you’re a tea drinker, you know why.
Art – 8
Story – There still is no “story” per se, but as an evolution of a relationship, it’s great – 8
Characters – 9
Yuri – 9
Service – 2
Fujieda Fan – 9
Overall – 9
I’m sitting here, finishing up a cup of Darjeeling (Twinings, which used to be good, but has now become harsh and cheap and requires both milk and sugar to make it drinkable, bleah,) and thinking how there can never be enough of this series. If we chained Miyabi-sensei to his chair, he could never, ever write enough to satisfy me. This series had a light flavor, cheery body, and a satisfying mellow, ever-so-slightly bitter finish. A good afternoon read, with a good tea, (maybe a Keemun?) that calms and refreshes my spirit. Too bad we finished off the scones the wife made. Oh well, next time I want to revisit the Amber Teahouse, maybe she’ll make me more and I can brew some tea for us. ^_^