My Stepmom’s Daughter Is My Ex: “Just a Bit More Like This”

By Kyosuke Kamishiro and TakayaKi. Released in Japan as “Mamahaha no Tsurego ga Motokano datta” by Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko. Released in North America by J-Novel Club. Translated by Gierrlon Dunn.

I’ve talked a lot about the fact that this is in many ways a very typical Japanese high school romcom. There’s an obvious winning couple. But there’s also a second, losing love interest who is far more interesting than the main one, mostly because she has no filter whatsoever. Isana would be a nightmare to deal with in real life, as Mizuto and Yume have both observed, but as fiction she’s wonderful. And there’s also the fact that these are all teenagers, about 17 years old, and they are seriously horny. And this series has never been shy about its fanservice, having a very, very high “count the number of times the main characters think about breast size” ratio. This only increases with this book, as we get a new supporting cast when Yume joins the student council. There’s a cute-first year who’s short but stacked. There’s a spunky second-year who’s also… seemingly… top-heavy. Yume’s not small. Isana is very large. You get the ideqa. This book is for guys.

Yume is now on the student council, and is dealing with several things at once. The most normal is that the sports festival is coming up, and the council have to help out there. Also, one of the council members regards Yume taking first place as offensive, and declares herself a rival who will take first place in the next exams… even if that means studying a bit TOO hard. But most importantly, there’s Yume’s desire to try to break down Mizuto’s emotional walls. There’s humorous ways to try (which I’ll discuss below) and heartwarming ways, such as their joint birthday party, where we also learn that their parents actually met much earlier than either of them knew. That said… all of this may be for naught when Isana’s bra breaks during the sports festival and creates misunderstandings galore.

The funniest part of the book, if only as it has the most characters acting completely ludicrously, is where Yume gets advice on seducing Mizuto by taking a bath with him. This idea comes from Akatsuki, who does just this sort of this with Kawanami, but Yume does not really realize that Akatsuki is a TERRIBLE person to get seduction advice from. The scene almost turns heartwarming, but is also seriously funny, especially when Mizuto’s towel drops and… well, Yume’s not disappointed, at least. Other than that, Isana has pretty much resolved herself to being as blatantly forward as possible until Mizuto stops her, and most of the sexual humor in the book is hers. (Most of the painful comedy is hers as well – falling on your breasts while not wearing a bra and getting dragged along HURTS.) As for the main romantic relationship… baby steps. The presents were nice, but Mizuto is still not quite ready yet. This may take till graduation.

So yeah, another decent volume in this series. It won’t light a fire under you, but it’s cute and fun and has likeable leads.

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