REVIEW: ‘Shortcake Cake,’ Volume 10

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Shortcake Cake Volume 10

Shortcake Cake is a slice of life shojo manga from mangaka Suu Morishita. In this series, published in English by VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat imprint, Ten is an unflappable girl and surrounded by a cast of lovable male roommates at a boardinghouse. The series thus far has showcased both bonds of friendship and romance. Having dated Riku in secret at first, her friend Chiaki helps her through the secrecy by supporting her. Last volume, Chiaki offered another avenue of support and helped Ten learn more about Riku’s past without Riku’s permission. Together, the two unearth the secret between Riku and his brother Rei. There, we learned that Riku didn’t know his biological parents and the deep rift this cause when his adoptive parents passed away. Shortcake Cake Volume 10 picks up where the last left off and we see how Riku’s past impacts his future.

In Shortcake Cake Volume 10, we pick up the story in Riku’s room. With the last volume ending with Ten and Riku about to go all the way, their intimacy is interrupted when Riku realizes that Ten sought out his past without his permission. This moment is frustrating as a reader because over the last 9 volumes we’ve been able to see how close the two have gotten and how their love has deepened. That said, this volume details the importance of boundaries, caring for others, and understanding that communication is more important than secrecy.

When Riku leaves Ten, it becomes clear that she can’t penetrate the darkness that lies within him. To help, Chiaki invites Riku to his home in hopes that Riku will share more of himself and open up. And it works. For the last two volumes, we’ve been able to learn more about Riku and see the trauma of his past. The scars from watching his mother leave him have stuck with Riku and it’s clear that while Ten has been pushed to help Riku mend the scars, he isn’t ready to be open. That is until he gets the chance to see what a healthy family relationship is.

By getting the chance to experience Chiaki’s home life and understand what it is supposed to resemble, Riku realizes that its time open up. He decides to let the light into his heart, instead of pushing out his brother and refusing to meet his birth mother. While these chapters are transformative, there is also something about the way Chiaki talks to Riku which is interesting. As an avid BL and Shonen Ai reader, much of how Chiaki speaks to Riku, and how he comforts Riku is reminiscent of romance language. There is a tension that is palpable, and while this could only be a display of friendship, the way it resembles the tropes of BL romances that spring from friendship has piqued my interest. It also means another love triangle may be at play for Shortcake Cake.

But perhaps the most interesting part of Shortcake Cake Volume 10, is that Ten’s push into Riku’s past without his permission has very real consequences. While it’s true that both of them are still in love, Riku asks Ten to wait for him, the same way he did her. There is an understanding of his own emotional bandwidth that only comes with confronting trauma. While Ten didn’t help him reach this decision, her push past his boundary was enough to make him realize it was time to confront his past before he could even walk into the future.

Overall, Shortcake Cake Volume 10 is an emotional read and one that pushes the story past a romance and into the complexities of familial bonds and the trauma that can come from them. The strength of this series is in it’s adorable romance yes, but also the friendships and bonds that Morishita develops outside of our shojo heroine as well.

Shortcake Cake Volume 10 is available wherever books are sold.


Shortcake Cake Volume 10
4.5

TL;DR

Overall, Shortcake Cake Volume 10 is an emotional read and one that pushes the story past a romance and into the complexities of familial bonds and the trauma that can come from them. The strength of this series is in it’s adorable romance yes, but also the friendships and bonds that Morishita develops outside of our shojo heroine as well.