Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet Volume 6 Review

The last time I reviewed Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet, our heroine Fumi enjoyed an evening at the local summer festival with her crush Akatsuki and finally found the courage to confess her bubbling feelings for him. However, with it not looking like she was going to get a favourable answer, Fumi quickly apologises and flees the scene to stay with friend Tobiume for a few days! What will become of the two now? Let’s find out with Volume 6!

Fumi has so far spent three days at Tobiume’s house, helping her friend do the last of their summer homework and trying to put her heartbreak behind her. Meanwhile, having had some time to himself to work through his feelings, Akatsuki is getting lonely without Fumi and sets out to fetch her and give a response to her confession.

What comes as a huge surprise to Fumi (but less so to us readers) is Akatsuki asking our heroine to be his girlfriend. After the silence she received when she confessed last volume, Fumi thought for sure that she was being turned down but now her dreams have become reality! Now the two are officially dating, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be plain sailing from here.

With over a decade between them in age (Akatsuki reveals he’s 28) and neither of them having any particular romantic experience, they have no idea where to go from here. So their days pass quietly, much the same as before, which both Tobiume and Akatsuki’s editor Kaneishi find exasperating, leading them to step in and offer advice to their hopeless friends.

Thanks to their friends, our duo eventually go on a date but they’ve put so much effort into worrying about where the other person most wants to go that the date ends up feeling forced. Still, as long as the two communicate, this is only a small bump in the road and their next date will hopefully go better.

Perhaps the bigger problem for Fumi is facing Katsura, a bookstore employee we met back in Volume 3 and who proved a rival for Akatsuki’s affections. Naturally, she quickly catches wind that Fumi and Akatsuki are an item, which causes our heroine to fret that Katsura will do something to sabotage their budding relationship. And if that wasn’t enough, it seems Fumi may have caught the eye of the handsome and so-called ‘Prince’ at school…

With another eight volumes to go until we reach the conclusion of Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet, I was mildly worried that mangaka Mika Yamamori wouldn’t move the romance along anytime soon. So I’m relieved to find that wasn’t the case, but also that no misunderstandings are going unchecked between the two so far. Thanks to the support of their friends, it feels like Fumi and Akatsuki are well aware of what they need to do to respect one another and make this work. It’s not perfect and they may stumble along the way, but there’s a sense that they’ll at least work together when it counts.

But I’m also glad that Yamamori is addressing other problems, such as Katsura and (perhaps more subtly) the age gap. Throughout the series so far Fumi’s father has been away earning money to pay off their debts, but if he catches word of the relationship, how will he feel? Then there’s the “Prince” who I’m sure we’ll learn more about next volume. Much like Aioi was at the very beginning of the series, could he be a more age-appropriate rival for Fumi’s attention? This would not be the first time Yamamori has tried that route as Daytime Shooting Star also has a high-school rival for more of its run.

Speaking of Aioi, I hope we get to see more of him and Tobiume in the volumes to come. Aioi hasn’t quite worked up the courage to confess, but they’re cute together nonetheless. More than that, it’s nice to see that Aioi has become a firm member of Fumi’s friendship group. He may not have had as much development as other characters in the series, but Yamamori has done well to give him the spotlight occasionally, all the same. And that’s one of the things I appreciate about Yamamori’s work in general; it never feels like anyone is left behind and forgotten.

Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet Volume 6 comes to the West thanks to Yen Press where it continues to be translated by Taylor Engel with lettering by Lys Blakeslee. As you’d expect given the previous releases, there are no issues here and plenty of translation notes at the back of the release.

Volume 7 is set for an English release in June with #8 following in September. So, we’re still on a fairly fast release schedule, all things considered (which I appreciate since Yamamori’s other series In the Clear Moonlit Dusk caught up to Japan).

Overall, Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet Volume 6 successfully moves the story along as Fumi and Akatsuki officially become a couple. There are plenty of potential bumps in the road upcoming, but for now, at least we’re entering into a new chapter of their lives and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing where everything goes from here.

Our review copy from Yen Press was supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK. 

9 / 10


When she's not watching anime, reading manga or reviewing, Demelza can generally be found exploring some kind of fantasy world and chasing her dreams of being a hero.

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