Scent of Apple Blossoms 3

Toko Kawai – SuBLime – 2012 – 3 volumes

Well! Speaking of BL creators I can’t get enough of! This was the last volume of The Scent of Apple Blossoms, and it doesn’t look like she has anything new, even in Japan. Here’s hoping she’s still working, and that we see the third volume of In The Walnut sometime soon.

Anyway, this was more of the same thing from the first two volumes. Kawai is quite good, but I can see how she might want to bring this series to an end. The relationship between Haruna and Nakagawa is still sweet, and I still enjoy the down-to-Earth and comfortable setting, but it’s not really going anywhere. At the end of the book, the two toy with coming out to Nakagawa’s family, but nothing much comes of it. It ends, and it’s a comfortable and good place to stop. It was good all the way through, but like I said, the content is a bit too mundane to sustain another volume.

The main storyline in this one was about another salesman sweeping sake brewers out from under Haruna. He feels badly since his alcohol intolerance prevents him from getting close to the brewers like the other salesman. He falls into a funk, and it’s Nakagawa that helps pull him out of it. It’s a sweet story, and it is nice to see the usually upbeat Haruna in a place where he needs all the help he can get. Similarly, I did love seeing that Nakagawa really cared, as it seems as if, while extremely devoted, he is merely along for the ride.

Kawai is best at these types of slice-of-life series, which tend to capture two characters and their lives, rather than just an exaggerated view of their relationship. She’s also a great writer, so the characters and relationships tend to be very sensitive and seem very genuine. It’s always a pleasure to read one of her books, and while this isn’t quite my favorite (Bonds is still crazy good, and I am ridiculously biased towards In The Walnut), it probably is her best. It’s also her most recent, and easy to obtain, so it’s worth a look at the very least.



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