The good news for Nanase is she’s definitely getting closer to Hana, as she continues to find him as an actual good guy and not the delinquent he’s been portrayed to be. The bad news is as close as she’s getting, it’s still not gonna be easy to get his entire attention. Makes sense, as he’s still reeling from being rejected by his childhood friend/crush/teacher Komari, and as he attempts to move on it’s still not easy for him to do so.
So if you thought Nanase and Hana would start getting together by now…you still got some waiting to do.
That said, because the progress of these two isn’t really going anywhere, that somewhat blunts the progression of the story. It’s generally of case of Nanase still harboring feelings for him, but that’s literally about it. About the most amusement that happened in When We’re in Love volume 3 is her friends Koko and Nocchi worrying about Nanase continuing to involve herself with Hana. At one point Nocchi (Nanase was not around) acts like a parent as she vents to Koko, “Last night when I imagined Nanase dating that violent thug and him hurting her…I was so shaken, I only managed six hours of sleep.”
That’s funny because her average is eight hours…and if we’re getting technical about sleep six hours can work!
Anyways, it’s the general will they or won’t they dance that’s always prevalent in shoujo romances, but despite the common trope, there’s usually something that provides a bit of relief or a new source to focus our attention while the two main leads sort out their feelings. But for volume 3 it doesn’t really come together. The art I still like, and the faces Nanase makes still puts a smile on my face, but the sense of anything really moving didn’t come through here, and there wasn’t much else to pick it up.
The festival experience was probably intended to be that moment where the narrative is fleshed out. Nanase ends up hanging out with Hana’s friends at said festival, which results in the “manage to get the underage character drunk by accident” trope. Hate to say it, but her getting in this state and then involving random bystanders in her drunken state didn’t really work for me. Was accidentally drinking the best way for her to get Hana to take action and eventually express herself? Personally, a festival meeting without this but with normal drama as Nanase continues to learn more about the people Hana knows outside of school would’ve done the trick.
So as it stands, there’s still much to be intrigued about regarding our main characters and how they attempt to navigate their situations, but this volume didn’t really build upon what’s happened so far. So we’ll have to see what changes next time, and if getting an email address is something that will make things work better…