Blue Box Volume Three has a strong focus on the main characters’ sports qualifiers.

Blue Box Volume Three
Written by: Kouji Miura
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: March 7, 2023

Before the focus is placed on Taiki and Chinatsu’s upcoming sports qualifiers, the first two chapters focus on Taiki’s friend, Hina. She’s rattled after seeing Taiki and Chinatsu spending time out together, and it’s affecting her gymnastics performance. It seems she doesn’t want to admit to herself that she has feelings for Taiki, and is trying to keep her distance from him because of Chinatsu. But after Chinatsu hurts her ankle, it’s Taiki who’s at her side, and she starts sharing some of what’s bothering her. While she won’t directly mention that he’s a part of her issue, she tries to talk about the love triangle that now seems to exist in a roundabout way. Taiki doesn’t pick up on it, of course, since he has no idea that Hina has those kinds of feelings for him. But thanks to his misunderstanding, Taiki gives her words of encouragement to keep going and do her best at her upcoming qualifier.

Meanwhile, Chinatsu has noticed Taiki and Hina together, and she thinks they’d make a great couple. While she feels awkward about living in the same house as Taiki because of this, she intends to stay in order to keep pursuing her dream. But seeing Chinatsu thinking these thoughts about Taiki and Hinata adds a whole new dimension to the love triangle. It’ll be interesting to see how Miura handles this aspect going forward.

After this, we see Chinatsu starting into her qualifiers. After the first qualifier, Chinatsu overhears a rival team dissing her behind her back, and Chinatsu’s teammates worry about how this will affect her. It turns out that Chinatsu has decided that she’s going to prove her naysayers wrong, and decides to use their words to find her determination to succeed.

Meanwhile, Taiki is working himself hard and practicing with Kengo. Right before the qualifiers, Taiki actually beats Kengo in a practice tournament. It turns out that through the practice tournaments with Kengo, Taiki is improving his speed and is starting to improve. While this victory against Kengo gives Taiki a boost of confidence, it also increases his belief that he can actually do well at the qualifiers and go on to nationals.

We find out how Chinatsu and Taiki did at their respective qualifiers by the end of Volume Three, and I have to give credit for how Miura realistically portrays what happens to the two characters. No miracle happens that allows both of them to achieve their dream of going on to nationals in their respective sports. One succeeds at the qualifiers, while the other doesn’t, and we see near the end of the volume that this is starting to create a source of tension between the two lead characters. This is going to add another layer of drama that should help to keep the series moving forward.

By the end of Blue Box Volume Three, the foundation has been laid for a love triangle, as well as for our two lead characters to now be in different positions when it comes to sports. How do they handle this, especially since they’re living under the same roof? If Taiki were to figure out the love triangle, that would have quite an affect on two of his friendships, in addition to the distance that seems to be starting to grow between him and Chinatsu due to their respective sports. There are a lot of directions that the series can go in from here, and it’ll be interesting to see how Miura will evolve both the characters and their story.

This volume of Blue Box was a quick and easy read, and it helps that the character dynamics that form during it help to keep the reader interested in what’s happening. If you’ve read and enjoyed the first two volumes of the series, then I think you’ll appreciate how the characters and the story progress in Volume Three.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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