Hana Nonomura is a 16-year-old high school student. She meets the man who is supposed to be her sister's husband. Why? Her 23-year-old sister, Yukari, refuses to go to an arranged marriage meeting with 26-year-old Takane Saibara, the heir to a vast business fortune. Hana and Yukari's father works for the company owned by Takane's family. Fearing that he might lose his job because of Yukari's refusal, he convinces Hana to be Yukari's stand-in and save face for their family.
As Takane & Hana, Vol. 5 (Chapters 22 to 27) opens, Hana and her friends wrap up their part in her high school's cultural festival, and Hana gets a chance to see more of Takane's personality. Then, Hana meets, Hiromi Takaba, Takane's lookalike cousin who is in the fourth grade. Hiromi wants to be just like Takane, and that includes having an unpleasant personality.
Then, it is Christmas time, a time for families being together, but this year, each member of Hana's family has made plans that doesn't involve the family. So Hana will spend Christmas with friends, and spend her first Christmas with Takane, who is certainly lacking in holiday cheer. Plus, Takane's former high school classmate, Rino Inokuma, arrives unannounced and hiding a huge secret.
[This volume has a bonus story, “Takane & Hana & Jr.”]
THE LOWDOWN: The Takane & Hana manga remains a high school shojo romance scenario in a familiar vein. Sometimes, however, it offers some surprises.
Takane & Hana Graphic Novel Volume 5 is filled with a number of surprises and one shocking reveal. I find that this fifth volume is the best to date simply because creator Yuki Shiwasu introduces new characters and also new elements that start to tear at the series' status quo. For the first time, I am anxious to read the next volume because Takane & Hana is starting to show how it will be different from other shojo manga.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of teen shojo manga will want to read the Shojo Beat title, Takane & Hana.