Good morning, everyone! I interrupt your regularly scheduled Petit Comic (one more issue to go until we're up to date) to bring you the highly anticipated most recent issue of Hana to Yume.
First of all, I have to apologize to everyone for making a mistake in my summarization of the first chapter of Life So Happy. The chapter was labeled 前編 in Japanese, which I incorrectly interpreted to mean 'prequel' because the front cover was plastered with the tagline '新連載' ('new serialization!'). In fact, although the words 'new serialization' usually indicate a new SERIES it can also mean new chapters of an existing series (as is the case with Yugi Ou recently), which is how they were using it in this instance. Therefore, in this case 前編 does not mean 'prequel' but actually 'the first half.' As in, the first half of a 2-chapter mini-series :(
This issue of Hana to Yume contains the 2nd half of this two-part mini-series, which is completed for the time being. On the last page of the chapter it says "Finished" and then underneath something like "Please look forward to the continuation of Life So Happy at some point in the future." So we can only conclude that Kouchi Kaede intends to continue the series, but there are no concrete plans for it at this time. Let's all hope and pray that that changes!
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Life So Happy 2nd Half Summary
Kouichi is just returning home from work as the chapter starts. He sees Akane in the entrance way and starts apologizing for missing her open class day because of work, but she blows right past him and keeps going. Grandma is close on Akane's heals, but she stops when she sees Kouichi and when he asks her what's going on with Akane, she explains what happened and says that she doesn't quite know why Akane's upset, but she thinks she must have said something to upset Akane, so she has to find her and apologize immediately. Then grandma takes off, too.
As he enters the house, Kouichi next meets Aoi, who he also asks about Akane. Aoi has an idea why Akane's upset because in the previous chapter she asked him how the kids in his class reacted to seeing grandma, but Aoi is either wise beyond his years, or else just a little brat, because he cheekily tells Kouichi "Why don't you ask her yourself? You're supposed to be her father, aren't you?" Kouichi is a bit taken aback by this answer but he hesitantly goes after Akane and grandma. It's obvious that he still doesn't feel he has any right to be a father to Akane after how he left her and Aoi when they were babies, but he does love them.
Just when Akane starts feeling horrible about how she treated her grandmother, Kouichi catches up with her. He starts to scold her gently about running out and making everyone worry, when he realizes that since grandma left before him to chase after Akane, she should have found her first, but she's no where to be seen. Akane feels even worse when it occurs to her that grandma could be lost or have pulled a muscle or something while looking for her, and Kouichi adds to Akane's angst by telling her that grandma said she thinks Akane hates her. Akane insists she doesn't hate grandma and Kouichi says something very important (translated) "Then you have to discuss it with her properly. If you suddenly run away without any explanation, how do you think the other person will feel?" It's painfully obvious that Kouichi is talking about himself leaving them when they were babies just as much as he is about Akane and grandma's fight today.
Thankfully, grandma arrives just then, out of breath but otherwise fine and immediately apologizes for not being able to understand how Akane feels, and says she won't go to the school if Akane doesn't want her to. Touched by grandma's kindness and selflessness (she never scolds Akane for running out or pushes her to explain why she doesn't want grandma to go to school) Akane starts crying and apologizes. She tries to explain that she didn't like hearing grandma compared to the young and pretty mothers by the other students who she felt were making fun of grandma. After hearing them say nasty things, she feels that she can't (or doesn't want to) explain her family situation to the rest of the class, so she ended up not wanting grandma to come to school again because the same thing might happen again. Finally Akane apologizes for saying it so unkindly when grandma hadn't done anything wrong, and grandma hugs Akane and tells her that it's okay and that she's just happy Akane explained everything to her properly now.
Then grandma comments that it's only to be expected that Akane will be irrational and emotion occasionally since she's 'about that age.' Akane has no idea what she's talking about, but grandma tells her that adults have times like this when they have 'difficult emotions' that they have to deal with, but for kids Akane and Aoi's age it's all new to them, so grandma kindly advises Akane to take things one step at a time and take her time to examine her feelings and think things through before reacting.
After the touching make-up scene, Akane, grandma and Kouichi return home hand-in-hand to eat dinner. Aoi violently wipes up snot off Akane's face when she gets home, trying to hide the fact that he was eagerly waiting for her to get home, because he was worried about her.
In the last scene, it shows the whole family at school looking at Akane's picture while Akane narrates that the world is full of things she doesn't know and that frightens her, but as long as they're together, it will surely turn out alright.
"Please look forward to the continuation of "Life So Happy" at some point in the future."