Title: Waiting For Spring (Haru Matsu Bokura / 春待つ僕ら )
Author: Anashin (Story & Art)
Genres: Shoujo, Comedy, Romance, Drama, School Life, Slice of Life
Published: 2014 – 2019 (magazine & tankōbon in Japan)
Volumes: 13* [Completed]
Japanese Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Kodansha USA
Available to Purchase in English?: Yes (Indigo / Amazon / Barnes & Noble)
Note: Indigo has 14 volumes listed on their website, with the last volume including bonus content and side stories. I have kept the volume total as 13 as there are 13 Japanese tankōbon. Volume 13 is set to release August 2020 in North America, and Volume 14 is set to release January 2021.
Synopsis: Mizuki is a shy girl who’s about to enter high school, and vows to open herself up to new friendships. Of course, the four stars of the boys’ basketball team weren’t exactly the friends she had in mind! Yet, when they drop by the café where she works, the five quickly hit it off. Soon she’s been accidentally thrust into the spotlight, targeted by jealous girls. And will she expand her mission to include… love? (MAL via Kodansha Comics)
Well here’s a first – I’m reviewing something sports related! ^^;; Trust me I’m as surprised as you are. (Horror, sports and music titles are usually the ones I avoid due to lack of interest. Every once in awhile though there’s an exception!)
So, welcome to Waiting For Spring. Mitsuki is a young student who has resolved to make some personal changes in her life now that she’s entered high school. She wants to be more outgoing and make some friends, two things she struggles with. Through meeting the 4 stars of the boys’ basketball Mitsuki slowly learns to open up and speak out more, and she does eventually start to make some female friends.
But if this was just a straightforward basketball romance title, there wouldn’t be that much to write about now would there? That’s why there’s the addition of one of Mitsuki’s childhood friends, a girl named Aya. Although they didn’t appear to have a very long friendship before they were seperated, Mitsuki makes it clear that she still cherishes her time with “Aya-chan” even all these years later. So when Aya does reappear, it’s a huge shock for Mitsuki to learn that Aya was actually a boy all along! She had noooo idea. Thus Waiting For Spring evolves to include a love triangle.
Being so young, Mitsuki is still very naive when it comes to boys and romantic feelings (ah, the joys of puberty), and actually Towa is portrayed as being unclear about love and his feelings too, which was a nice touch. Both Towa and Mitsuki struggle with explaining their feelings and being open with the person they like, although Mitsuki definitely grapples with these issues for longer than Towa does. If I have an issue with Waiting For Spring it’s that Mitsuki is almost too naive. Her inability to grasp that a boy might actually like her for her, or being completely and totally overwhelmed when someone does express romantic feelings for her, adds needless drama and continues the love triangle between herself, Towa and Aya. Sometimes I found myself getting annoyed with her and would want to yell at her to just tell Aya to leave her alone, but then I reminded myself hey, young kid dealing with new feelings blah blah, and I would try not to be so harsh on her in my head. xD
The inclusion of the other 3 stars of the boys’ basketball team makes Waiting For Spring a little different from other rom-com manga. Mitsuki and Towa definitely get small periods of time together, as do Mitsuki and Aya on occasion, but where there’s Towa his basketball friends are almost always not far behind. This change in dynamic is both refreshing and a little frustrating, but the latter is only because I want Towa and Mitsuki to have more time alone together. ;D Towa and his friends balance each other out well.
There’s not much scenic variety in Waiting For Spring. Most of the manga takes place at Mitsuki’s home, her school, the cafe where she works, or a basketball court. On occasion when there is a tournament or practice game the manga will move to a public court. This lack of location variety is not inherently bad, just for me it makes the manga feel a little repetitive. It would’ve been nice if maybe there had been a school trip or some other new location added to the mix for a change of pace.
Overall Waiting For Spring is a bubbly, fun title about falling in love and figuring oneself out. What do you think about boys? How important are your hobbies? What kind of roles do your friends play in your life? Who means the most to you and why?
Do I Recommend This Title to Others?: Yes! It’s nothing groundbreaking but it’s a cute romantic-comedy-drama about first love with some basketball mixed in.
Final Score: 8/10