I will now be taking a look at the third book of Hiromi Takashima’s Kase-san and… series, Kase-san and Shortcake.
Not too long ago, I started thinking about what my favourite manga series are – and I definitely feel that Kase-san and… is a very credible option for taking top spot. The third book in the series only cements that even more – so let’s take a look at Kase-san and Shortcake, and what makes it so damn good.A Future Without You..?
It’s the last summer of high school, so Kase-san and Yamada decide to make the most of it and head for the pool! Unfortunately, the end of high school isn’t only about celebration. Yamada cheers Kase-san on as she trains for the upcoming track meet, but her mind is filled with thoughts of the future – and what it means for her relationship with Kase-san.
The first chapter in this book is ‘Kase-san and the Sun’, in which Yamada, Kase and Mikawa go to a pool. Much merriment is had, and Yamada naturally is enamoured by the sight of Kase in her one-piece swimsuit. When Yamada goes to get some drinks, a guy tries to hit on her – Kase puts a swift halt to that. Yamada also happens to be clueless about the situation. Yamada and Kase briefly discuss their future plans.
Next up is ‘Kase-san and Shortcake’. Yamada invites Kase to her place. Yamada gets nervous about her girlfriend coming over, but it’s the same old Kase as ever. The two share the cake that Kase brought with her.
That leads on to Kase asking Yamada if she is okay with doing ‘it’ – Yamada misses the point, so Kase ends up taking the lead.
Kase says she wants to do more than just kissing in ‘Kase-san and Lemongrass’. A sudden phone call interrupts them, and they just end up laughing about the whole situation. When Yamada tells Kase she smells like lemongrass, Kase gets her deodorant out and puts some on Yamada. The pair then just embrace together, bathed in the scent of lemongrass.
Yamada does some research into universities in ‘Kase-san and the Track Meet’, all whilst considering what the future holds for her and Kase. She also does a little research into two girls more than kissing – which turns out to be quite a shock for her.
The day of the track meet arrives, and Yamada rushes over to meet with Kase – but only after getting upset about the prospect of them going to different universities. When she meets up with her, Mikawa points out the girl that Kase was going out with before.
Yamada ends up avoiding Kase in ‘Kase-san and the Sunset’, at least until she ends up needing a trip to the nurse’s office. Yamada insists she’ll go with Mikawa instead, but Kase ends up taking her to the school’s roof.
On the roof, Kase reveals her feelings on the whole university matter to Yamada. Yamada offers her all of her support, and the two reaffirm their bond.
When the time comes for Kase to depart to Tokyo, Yamada chases after her.
This series – the Kase-san and… series – is ridiculously good. I absolutely adore the relationship between Kase and Yamada. It’s clear that they love each other to pieces, but that doesn’t stop them from being so adorably awkward every so often.
It’s just so endearing. Yamada can be pretty naive about her relationship, as demonstrated when she had no idea that two girls could do more than just kiss.
Then you have Kase herself, who seems barely unable to hold herself back. Her eyes wonder a little when she sees Yamada in her swimsuit, and she’s the one who tries to go beyond just kissing. However, she never goes too far with it and you can tell that she absolutely loves Yamada.
Another thing I quite like about the Kase-san and… series is the silly facial expressions we get throughout – sure, maybe they exaggerate character’s reactions to things, but they amuse me a great deal.
Going back to the relationship between Kase and Yamada, it is just so pure. If you were to ask me to name my favourite yuri couples of all time, Kase and Yamada would almost certainly top that particular list. They are just so good together, and it is just pure joy to see them grow closer to each other.
There may still be more to come from the Kase-san and… series, but I feel pretty confident in saying that it is easily one of the best yuri manga available – heck, maybe even just one of the best manga full stop.
If you are a yuri fan, you owe it to yourself to get into this series.