Some years ago, Maya and Michiru were lovers until Michiru left. After she bore a son, his father passed away, leaving Michiru and Yuuta at the whim of his not-particularly welcoming parents. Michiru returned to her former lover, asking Maya if she could stay for a little while, and Maya welcomed her as a dear friend. Together with the former male lover of Yuuta’s father, Nikko, the four of them form a very happy family unit.
Ohana Holoholo, Volume 4 (オハナホロホロ) begins with Maya having a break down in front of her fiance’, Hidesuke. Her admission that she still loves Michiru is made in Michiru’s hearing. Frustrated at the unfinished business between the two women, Hidesuke sticks them both in his car and drives them to a hotel, telling them to work it out. It’s obvious that he and Maya can’t get married, and he’s angry, but still a decent guy.
Michiru and Maya spend the night together. They share a bath and sleep holding hands. They next day they decide to go on one last date to the ocean where they share one last kiss. Michiru returns home alone, in tears at the realization that she does love Maya.
Maya takes a separate train, and starts to prepare for living alone. She can’t stay with Michiru, who needs her independence and she obviously cannot go to Hidesuke, which would be a lie.
Michiru still has issues at work, but is beginning to notice she has allies as well as enemies.
Nikko talks honestly about his relationship with Yuuta’s father with a friend and how he treasures Yuuta for himself as well as his father.
Mochizuki-sensei is, I’m afraid, going to be in for a hard Volume 5.
In the meantime, Yuuta continues to be a little getleman. He gets to protect Hiyori from some mean classmates and stand up for her when they blame her for something they did. For the first time ever, Yuuta has friends over to play when Michiru invites Tamaki and Hiyori to stay.
Maya receives an invitation to a high school club reunion, where Hidesuke is rather cold to her. We get to see the club president reminisce about how she met Maya and recruited her to the club. (High school Maya was adorable. Squee!) The club president is sharp enough to see what lies between Hidesuke and Maya and intrudes *just* enough.
As the volume draws to a close, Hidesuke talks about what he wants out of life, then asks Maya “What do you want?”
No matter what, despite all odds, replies Maya, as she sees in her mind the image of Michiru, Yuuta and Nikko at the kitchen table they all share.
Art – 8
Story – 9
Characters – 9
Yuri – 5
Service – 4
Overall – 9
Is that a light at then end of the tunnel I see?