The attendants of Konohanatei return with the eighth volume of Sakuya Amano’s Konohana Kitan. It is not just the inn that this volume focuses on, though. The shrine maidens have their duties to fulfil, and there is another look at Kiri’s past.
This volume contains five chapters.
As the weather begins to warm up, Ren helps Yuzu pick out her very first kimono. For Yuzu, who has never owned any clothing that nice and has only received hand-me-downs from other villagers, this is an exciting and momentous occasion! But her old clothes still contain a lot of precious memories… Does she really have to give those up?
In the meantime, while the Great Spirits are away for a meeting in Izumo, the new shrine maidens are left in charge to protect the shrine in their absence. Ren’s little sister Momo is among them, cheerfully oblivious as always. Her absentminded attitude is always getting her into trouble, but she still has the best of intentions… her peers just need to get to know her a bit better to understand her unique point of view.
This volume of Konohana Kitan is made up of three chapters focusing on the Konohanatei girls, one on the shrine maidens and finally one set in the past.
Fashion is a key theme of two of the Konohanatei chapters, with the first one focusing on swimsuits. Satsuki has quite the amusing reaction when she sees Yuzu wearing a bikini.
Besides swimsuits, Yuzu and Ren also tackle the topic of kimonos. Ren takes Yuzu to buy her first new kimono, which doesn’t come cheap. However, it seems that the two do increase their bond over that. Satsuki and Natsume don’t seem too keen on that, though.
The other Konohanatei chapter focuses on a new guest. She’s a girl who is about ready to give up her humanity, though she is quickly shown that even non-humans have a hard time of it early on in their lives. That whole chapter might just be as much about as learning to love oneself as anything else.
The shrine chapter focuses on the cover stars; specifically Momo and Botan. Momo is a bit of a pain in the arse, but various circumstances result in Botan getting to learn a little more about Momo and her attitude towards life. Have to admit, Momo’s story is an endearing one.
This volume finishes up with another chapter that takes us into Kiri’s past, and how she and Sakura came to be so close. Kiri certainly went through some stuff in her past, and it was not easy. Probably made it worse for herself by trying to keep everything bottled up, but the right people reached out to her when she needed it. It is just unfortunate that those people might not be around forever…
The eighth volume of Konohana Kitan is another wonderful addition to the collection. For the most part, the stories contained within are fun, light-hearted affairs. Of course, Kiri’s past is the exception to that, but that is intriguing in other ways – mostly because it is giving us a greater insight into Kiri’s character.
Sakuya Amano continues to deliver a compelling manga experience.