By Yutaka Tachibana. Released in Japan by Hakusensha, serialized in the magazine Melody. Released in North America by Tokyopop.
In this volume we continue to have fun watching Yuri's perky desperateness, Motoko beating people up, and Hirao having a wonderful knack for saying exactly the wrong thing. We also meet Hanada, who is also on the Student Council with Hirao. She has a huge crush on him, and can also see that he's crushing on Yuri. This leads more to angst than anger, as Hanada has issues as she looks older than she is, so most people mistake her for a woman in their twenties. Assuming that Yuri ends up with Yabe, it would not be surprising if Hiroi ended up with Hanada as a beta couple prize.
Of course, this assumes that Yuri will end up with Yabe, which is not really an assumption one can make at this point. Yabe continues to conceal himself behind a facade of loser playboy. His true self occasionally shines through, but unfortunately, his true self is far more broken. Yuri, meanwhile, is still trying to learn everything she can so that she can be the bestest girlfriend evar! Or at least get Yabe to see her as a girlfriend. She can be annoying, but I will grant that she can also take care of herself. When the schools starts moving from pranks and humiliation to 'accidentally' punching her in the face, Yuri shows that she can bust jaws as well as anyone else.
It's probably a good thing too, as we learn that Motoko, for all her violent tendencies, is utterly unable to hit women. And this leads back to Yabe and Motoko's past - again. We got a glimpse of it in the first volume, but it was implied Motoko made all that up. Now we see that far more of it was true than false. And oh, what an epic past it is. I'd mentioned people read this manga for Motoko, and Motoko's past is one of the best parts. Here we meet Kanako, her sister who had health problems and died. Only now we find that Yabe was madly in love with her, and that she stabbed him as she was madly in love... with Motoko.
We also meet Motoko's rich and bitter grandfather, who does not get along with her at all. He seems to know what happened in the past as well, so at least we finally have confirmation about Yabe's stabbing from someone who *isn't* Motoko. She also lives in a mansion, something I should have realized looking at her last name. The 5-syllable last names in anime and manga tend to be rich. :) Kagurazaka-san is no exception.
And then we have Hirao, who is here throughout this entire volume, but does nothing, paralyzed with being unable to confess to Yuri and watching her throw herself at Yabe over and over again. (I will grant Tachibana this, she knows how to show the good and bad sides of being forward. Yuri looks positive and risk-taking, and also attention-seeking and desperate. Usually at the same time.). He's actually rather annoying in this regard, and you really have to smack your head at the ending, which leaves Yuri thinking that he's actually in love with Motoko. Motoko smacks her head as well.
This is pure potboiler, with lots of violence, broken lead characters, and not really much actual romance at all yet (something lampshaded by the author in her end comments). We still don't have the whole story, but at least we know the basics. Kanako and Motoko were sisters. Kanako was sickly. Yabe loved Kanako. Kanako loved Motoko. Kanako slept with, then stabbed Yabe. And then when Motoko slapped her, she ran off and collapsed, dying in the street.
Got it? Good, because that's not the whole story either. Stay tuned for Volume 3!