The third volume of Hitoma Iruma’s Bloom into You: Regarding Saeki Sayaka light novel series is also the final one, set after the events of Nakatani Nio’s Bloom into You manga. It focuses on Sayaka as a university student, where she meets a girl named Haru Edamoto.
THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM
Saeki Sayaka is no stranger to unrequited love. What she’s not used to is having someone confess their feelings for her – until Edamoto Haru, an underclassman, does exactly that in Sayaka’s second year of college. Haru is forward and unhesitating in her affections, the opposite of cautious, reserved Sayaka – but if she can find the courage to reach back, this time, she might find what she’s been waiting for all along.
So here we have the final part of Bloom into You: Regarding Saeki Sayaka – a light novel series that is effectively prequel, interquel and sequel to the Bloom into You manga. This third volume covers the sequel part, focusing on Sayaka’s student life – and her encounter with one Haru Edamoto.
I like Haru a lot; there’s something about energetic girls that just speaks to me. Her energy is well-conveyed through the text. Considering this story is told from Sayaka’s perspective, I suppose that makes sense. Of course she’d pick up on Haru’s quirks.
Although it’s not exactly love at first sight for Sayaka. Her experiences with love in the past haven’t always exactly gone that well for her, so naturally she’s somewhat reluctant to take that first step forward. Much of this volume is Sayaka coming to terms with what has happened in her past, and gathering that courage – especially after hearing Haru’s confession.
As a result of that, we get to see sides of Sayaka that one might not expect of her – particularly based on how she was in the Bloom into You manga. Her first experience drinking alcohol and the consequences afterwards certainly make for some memorable events. If anything, we might even see the true Sayaka here, now that she’s not chasing after an unreachable star.
I definitely had a lot to enjoy from all of the Regarding Saeki Sayaka light novels, but there is one nitpick I have – the chapter lengths. When I think light novel, I think of something I can pick up and read a couple of chapters fairly quickly. In Regarding Saeki Sayaka, the chapters are long. My approach to light novels is generally to read a couple of chapters at a time, but that was never going to be viable with this series. There are decent stopping points in each chapter, but nothing quite matches the satisfaction of completing a chapter and reflecting upon it after you’ve put the light novel down.
Definitely a minor complaint in the grand scheme of things, but still something I think is worth noting.
I don’t really have any other complaints about Regarding Saeki Sayaka, though. The story is enjoyable to read, getting Sayaka’s perspective of things is great, and Haru Edamoto is definitely a fun addition to the Bloom into You canon.
Something else I particularly liked was an event in this volume being a callback to something that happened in the first. It involves a swimming pool, and that’s about all the detail I’d be willing to divulge. Definitely a great way to have things come around full circle, though.
This volume is a superb way to wrap up Sayaka’s story, and the series itself is something that I would consider as required reading for all Bloom into You fans. Hitoma Iruma does a fantastic job of capturing a similar tone as the original manga and conveying it purely through text (well, plus a few illustrations – by Nakatani Nio herself, no less).
Just utterly superb stuff here.