Crossroad Volume 3

Crossroad Volume 3 (amazon)

This was a good reminder of why it is sometimes best to follow the “2 volume rule” when evaluating a manga series. I liked the first volume of Crossroad well enough, but I thought that the second volume was much funnier, and the third volume sets up some interesting complications in the romantic lives of its characters. Kaijitsu embarks on a romance with her charmingly misanthropic substitute calligraphy teacher Akai, knowing she’s only using the situation to escape from her feelings for her adopted stepbrother Natsu. And Akai knows that aijitsu is really in love with Natsu, but he takes her out on a date anyway, and promptly quits smoking when she tells him that she doesn’t like it.
Kaijitsu is jealous of all the attention Natsu is getting from the other girls in school, and Natsu is jealous when he finds out that Kaijitsu has gone out on a date. In the midst of all the drama, Kaijitsu’s friend Tokihito aka “The Feudal Lord,” is rethinking his feelings for both Kaijitsu and her closest female friend Mano. Where Crossroad excels is the way it captures all the nuances of friendship between the characters. Mano is reminded about what a survivor Kaijitsu is when Kaijitsu runs away from home and promptly ingratiates herself with Mano’s mother. Kaijitsu tries a flying leap to prevent Natsu from running away from her. Kaijitsu’s talks with Akai are unconventional – perhaps because she thinks he’s only going to be a temporary presence in her life, she feels free to be open and honest with him about her feelings. Natsu negotiates Kaijitsu’s outpouring of affections, and they decide to try to stay siblings for the time being. This volume of Crossroad had a bunch of back-up pages featuring Taro and Satsuki, the other members of Kaihitsu’s unconventional family.