Rascal Does Not Dream of a Lost Singer
Does adolescent syndrome still exist once you enter college? Maybe a yes or a no, but as we enter the college arc of the Rascal series by Hajime Kamoshida, it's up to the main character Sakuta to prove it, he's taking statistical science btw and Futaba says it can be useful.
This time, it evolved to another idol character in the story, Uzuki, the leader of the idol group Sweet Bullet which Nadoka, the Siscon Idol was also a member. She is known for being a sore thumb in a crowd, and not able to read the room. She also helped Kaede to move forward with what high school to choose during Kaede's venturing out arc.
In regards to the romance between Mai and Sakuta, it's growing mature lately and new characters like another cute girl were introduced and so also that certain idol who already read the room made Nadoka open her eyes.
The tone of the story shifts to a serious and mature one. I don't know if being in college affected that but that's what I feel about it. There wasn't any mystery during the opening but we have glimpses of things that relate to the future. The author likes throwing life lessons and comparing realizations in between.
One of the characters I like here is Sakuta's new friend, Miori. Her scene with Sakuta and Mai replaced the humor that Nadoka or Tomoe can give. Miori can banter at the same level as Sakuta unlike the other two.
During the resolution of the conflict, I like the scene where Uzuki goes with them on the stage. I almost cried in that part, it was kinda cringy yet dramatic. Compared to the earlier volumes, Uzuki's arc ends with a “Now, I see”. College was huge and she was heavily influenced by the surrounding people from it. Sakuta pulled her along so she was able to walk forward and find herself that she isn't a lost singer.
The pacing remains the same. It wasn't dragging or a slow burn. As someone who read the fan-translated Sakurasou. The author likes gradual buildup and shatters emotions slowly.
If you like the theme “boy saves different girls and starts a harem” in a slice of life, not isekai and a classic high school rom-com. This is something to be read whether you watched the anime or not.