It makes an interesting counterpart to Chizu-chan's arc in Aoi Hana: She molested the young Fumi and got her to fall in love with her, then crushed her completely in the cruelest possible way. Fortunately, these are two one-dimensional characters. It's essentially PWP.
I agree with the consensus this is the worst Ogino Jun work, though.
I'd like to add that unlike here, in Secret Recipe Wakatsuki was in love with the president from the very beginning of the manga and well aware of it too. She just decided to play around and not actually confess at first because she assumed it wouldn't be reciprocated.
Fujishiro doesn't know that she has a crush on Kurokawa yet, but she clearly does.
I completely agree, but Wakatsuki had a whole roster of cluelessness about herself and - everything - to fill in. And I think the initial kiss test in Secret Recipe was mostly for real. At first she was all I feel sorry for this girl I wanna give her a hug (thought she was a poor little firstie) then she was like what is this tender feeling? Then she was all wait do I like girls? and I think therefore the "test" part was completely sincere, what she withheld was the name of the target girl. and the fact that feeling sorry for President was what really made her consider joining, not boyfriend-hunting as she claimed.
For the record I think there is a lot of deliberate homage to Morinaga Milk in this series by Ajichi:
Fujishiro is Wakatsuk (brought low, but also brought somewhat out of brainlessness, by love)i + Akko of GF (makeover obsession) + Miu of Secret of the Princess (fixed ideas of how girls must be and doesn't know her feelings)
Kuro is somewhat of a mix of Mari of GF and President of SR. I don't see the tomboy of SOTP in her, though.
Also I feel like the overall tone of a Morinaga series was invoked, somewhat.
"THe princess must not have her smile tarnished!" is odd, agreed, but overall, Kuro seems like she's got her head on straight. Enough to play the straight woman. :)
Fujishiro willing to throw everything out the window and even reinvent herself to get along with Kurokawa. I actually love how this is going.
That part is reminicent of Secret Recipe - please recall Wakatsuki went from "ho hum being popular is great just go on one date and stupid guys buy you anything you want and they fight each other, how amusing" most popular girl in school - to crying over the club president, not wanting to wash her hair because "she" - the nerd with a handful of friends and no confidence - braided it, and then washing her previously pampered hair with sink cleanser in the janitor's closet. Although Wakatsuki was too clueless to make a good job of reinventing herself, that was what she thought she was doing.
Edit: I know Fujishiro's friend group was going to have a problem, but I didn't predict Kurokawa's own friend group ditching her because of Fujishiro though ;_;
That harkens back to Secret of the Princess - she started dating the popular girl and all her friends deserted her. The switch is that in SOTP the carefree tomboy was the most popular girl and the fashion and cuteness obsessed, brainwashed girl was the normal one.
I frankly loved the fact that Yuzumori-san is a very well-depicted precocious genius. She understood what a pedophile is, and instead of simply moralizing, she thought wow, if she really is like that she won't really like or even see ME, just "the prettiest kid in the grade school." So we won't have a relationship once I'm not tiny, cute and very underage. And her next move was to immediately ask Mimika about all of the above. And Mimika didn't just answer, she pondered and soul-searched and worried, and decided no, it was just Yuzumori-san after all. And then we got to see how she reacted to her when she was a teenager - still in love with her but also missing that cute (meaning child) element. She even said she had to fall in love with her all over again. So Mimika did have that element, but it wasn't as important as her love for Yuzumori-san. And this in a mostly comedy! By the time they get together Yuzumori-san will be much more mature and educated than Mimika, I think. She's nearly there as a teen.
I always wonder in these impoverished young single person suddenly has to go broke and live in abject, precarious poverty to accommodate monsters and supernatural beings - how, exactly, did they all get by BEFORE they enslaved the human through their exreme kindness? I realize it's to show character - but some of that character seems to be over-the-top impractical.
Making fun of Nico's luck, more like. As often happens in the anime and diaries and game, and sometimes in the manga, Nico is basically in the right and being reasonable here. The combination of Nozomi being a character that goes too far (for comedy) and no one can really help Nico to win anything, ever, makes for a somewhat jarring mood and theme for comedy, really. Then again, in this doujin, she did choose to visit Nozomi, so ... I just think Nico would be way, way better off visiting, say, Rin and Hanayo. Or hanging out with Rin and Honoka. If the goal is Nico having fun, I mean. Eve Eli, Umi or Kotori would be better picks. Maki only on a good day. Nozomi has even fewer good days than Maki.
I would not call this a bad or trollig ending. Mimika has to wait, and if that waiting means they never become lovers, that's how it goes. At least, unlike the kouhai in Stretch, neither Mimika nor Yuzumori are unsure of the other one's feelings. It's simply the age difference and Yuzumori-san being underage, and they both know it. They managed to become friends, and that's not bad. Stretch started with the two being friends and both of them knowing the younger one was in love with the older one, and nothing ever developed until the older one moved away, putting the younger one out of her misery without ever accepting or rejecting her love. And really playing with her feelings along the way.
I think Honoka x Umi would be stronger if Honoka didn't have like 9 ships (counting Tsubasa) to manage. That dilutes the HonoUmi following. Same thing keeps NicoMaki #1 for Maki - it's not like it just has to fight off HonoMaki or MakiRin or UmiMaki, but all three plus. Nico has a handful of ships - mainly Nozomi, but also Kotori and Hanayo. Nozomi really only has Nico. Eli has Umi, mainly. So that's one thing that keeps NozoEli #1 for both of them. Also, I think Honoka, Chika and Tsubasa are womanizers, frankly. Harem-builders.