Koremitsu and Hikaru are on summer vacation. While that does mean a break from school, it doesn’t mean a break from girl troubles. Koremitsu has to take Honoka to the pool, get a new swimsuit for Shiiko, and keep a watchful eye on Aoi. What’s even more troublesome for him is that the next promised girl is a person that Hikaru has never met before.
Welcome to Volume 5 of When Hikaru was on the Earth.
This volume is a bit different from the previous ones, due to the fact that we don’t actually know the identity of the heroine. We only know her as the name “Saffron.” So how are we supposed to know this character? In this volume, Nomura uses differing perspectives to move the story along. In one section, we get to see events from the eyes of Koremitsu but in the section afterwards, we see “Saffron’s” perspective. Instead of revealing a character through behaviors, we get to know our heroine through inner monologues and her backstory. This process is quite straight-forward and a bit of a let-down compared to the previous volumes, making this one of the weaker volumes. Aside from the main heroine, there’s bits of foreshadowing scattered throughout the story but none makes a big impact in this volume.
Additionally, most of the events in the story are made up of interactions with the previous heroines from the last four volumes. How much a person would like this light novel volume is entirely dependent upon how much they liked the previous heroines. The light novel suffers from the typical light novel tropes such as going to the pool, fights between women, and swimsuits.
The artwork in this volume is average for Takeoka’s usual work. It’s not as beautiful as Oborodukiyo but it isn’t bad either. One thing to point out in Suetsumuhana is how we don’t get to see the heroine’s face at all, only going by what Nomura portrays her to be. In fact, there’s no illustrations of the cover girl at all except for the cover designs
If you want to see your favorite characters do typical harem hijinks, you’ll like this light novel. But aside from that, it doesn’t get any deeper than what’s on the surface. Suetsumuhana reuses themes of image from Oborodukiyo and Yugao but it doesn’t add anything new to the table.
Author: Mizuki Nomura
Illustrator: Miho Takeoka
Fan Translator: Teh_ping