Manga Review: Cactus’s Secret Volume Two

Article first published as Manga Review: Cactus’s Secret Volume Two by Nana Haruta on Blogcritics.

Cactus’s Secret Volume Two is a manga by Nana Haruta, and it was published by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2010. The series is rated “T” for teens; after reading this manga volume, I would agree with this rating.

Cactus’s Secret Volume 2
Written by: Nana Haruta
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 1, 2010

Volume Two opens with Miku Yamada receiving a very public declaration of love from Itsuki Natsukawa, a boy in her class who is also the son of the school chairman. Yamada is still very much in love with Kyohei Fujioka, so this becomes a major situation for her to deal with. While Fujioka may not necessarily share Yamada’s feelings at the beginning of the volume, he still ends up becoming a romantic rival for Natsukawa when it comes to Yamada’s affection.

Near the end of the volume, it appears that Yamada and Fujioka are becoming closer and that there could be the potential for something to happen between them. Unfortunately for Yamada, another obstacle in addition to Natsukawa gets in the way.

While I hadn’t personally gone out of my way to find the second volume of Cactus’s Secret, I came across it while browsing the shelf at the library so I decided to check it out and read it. In some respects, I’m glad I did read it. While this series still relies heavily on the shojo tropes, I found the story to be more interesting in this volume. I haven’t figured out if that’s simply due to the fact that the characters and story are most established in this volume, or if the new elements that were added to the series actually helped to improve the story.

I have to give credit to Haruta for ending Volume Two the way that she did. For a shojo series about high school students, this is probably the closest to a cliffhanger that you’ll find. I came to enjoy the series just enough that I’m actually curious to see how the story progresses in Volume Three.

After having a bit of a slow start, it appears that the story in Cactus’s Secret has finally gotten going over the course of Volume Two. From what I read, there appears to be a potentially good story coming up in Volume Three; hopefully, that potential will be realized.

While Cactus’s Secret may not necessarily be a standout manga in the shojo genre, it does seem to be trying to rise above being a “typical” shojo story. I still believe that Cactus’s Secret will have the strongest appeal with teenage female readers who already enjoy other shojo manga titles.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Cactus’s Secret Volume Two that I checked out through the King County Library System.

Additional post about Cactus’s Secret:

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