After a fun-filled trip to the Autumn Festival in Volume 3 of You Call That Service? it’s time the cast found themselves in a more pressing situation. Enter Volume 4, in which our protagonist finds himself going on… a date?!
This entry in the series is all about Sasara, whom readers will remember as one of Emperor Ouka Sarano’s guards. Sasara is also head-over-heels in love with Ouka, but since the festival, her feelings have begun to change somewhat as she’s started to fall for Ryouta. Noticing this, her parents decide it’s time for her to enter into marriage talks with another noble, but Sasara is against the person her parents choose and turns to Ryouta and the others to help her break off the discussions.
To stop the marriage talks, Sasara must prove to her parents that she’s dating someone else and intending to marry. With no other male friends to speak of, nor any she can trust, Sasara is stuck until Ryouta suggests he pretend to be her boyfriend and that they go on a date! Sasara readily agrees but, given her blossoming feelings for our protagonist, this sets off a chain of events that could change everyone’s lives forever…
Ouka warns Sasara that if she truly wishes to marry Ryouta, then she will be dismissed from her guard duties so that her attention isn’t divided between her and Ryouta. Since Sasara does genuinely adore Ouka, this gives her plenty to muse over. On the other hand, Ryouta’s dedication to helping Sasara upsets his vampire master Shiren as she begins to wonder if he’ll leave her side.
We’ve known since the beginning of the series that Shiren has romantic feelings for Ryouta, but this is the first time we’ve seen her having to face those feelings head-on. Up until this point, she’s been blissfully enjoying living with Ryouta, but now there’s the possibility that he might begin dating Sasara, our little vampire is depressed. If she wants him to stay by her side, she’ll need to start thinking of making a move of her own.
One of the things I enjoyed about Volume 3 was the fact that Ryouta was split up from Shiren and able to express himself without his master around. This volume builds on that since Ryouta isn’t always on his own, but only he can go on a date with Sasara which leaves everyone else to sit back and await the decision the two reach about their future. I also appreciate how much character development we get for Sasara who up until now has existed to be obsessive about Ouka and nothing else.
We still have three more books to go before the end of the series so, although it’s clearly preparing for the end, I also appreciate that each character is getting their chance to stand in the spotlight. The books are proving more fun to read since the author went to the trouble of fleshing the cast out, not least because there are a lot of people to keep track of and remember! Of course, the downside of these character-focused books is that if you’re not fond of Sasara, then you probably won’t enjoy this volume as much but, given it’s another fairly slim entry, that shouldn’t prove too much of a barrier.
You Call That Service? Volume 4 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press and continues to be translated by Jasmine Bernhardt. The translation reads well with no problems to note. Volume 5 of the series is currently scheduled for release in January.
Overall, You Call That Service? Volume 4 is another fun entry in the series. With the conclusion of the series starting to come into sight, our little vampire heroine is being forced to look at her feelings for our protagonist, which is by no means a bad thing.