You may think this manga sounds odd, hot guys who are goofs, but it hooked me. Play It Cool, Guys Volume 2 has cute guys who are clumsy and maintain their chill. Their internal dialogue rings with familiarity. Play It Cool, Guys Vol. 2 is by Kokone Nata, with translation by Amanda Haley and lettering by Lys Blakeslee. Play It Cool, Guys Volume 2 brings the cute, clumsy, oddball group under one roof to finally meet. This second volume has a total of six chapters, and it’s a quick read. 

The beginning is Shun Futami at school talking about how secure his wireless earbuds are. To prove they won’t fall out, he shakes his head vigorously. Of course, one falls out the window so, calm as you please; he says they’re so great the earbuds won’t break falling from that high up. When Shun realizes he can’t participate in the school team’s handball tournament if he fails his exams, he visits his sister at Mawarimichi Cafe to study. This is when they all encounter each other, though they don’t know each other well so far.

Slice of Life Hilarity

Though each one of them is clumsy and forgetful, they express it in different ways. They are also at various stages of their lives; high school, college, and after, so we not only get their personalities but specific settings for each. Play It Cool, Guys Volume 2 is comical thanks to the story and the drawings. Shun Futami runs to rescue Takayuki Mima’s niece Ririka from falling off the slide, but Ririka catches herself. On the other hand, Shun skids and catches air then hits his head under the slide, and Ririka’s expression is priceless. 

The characters are familiar. Souma Shiki packing the wrong food into his and his brother’s lunch boxes inspires laughter because it can happen. Ever have someone wave at you; you start to wave back only to realize they’re signaling someone behind you? I’ve been there and done the relaxed fake out head rub as though I’m reflecting on life. That came to mind when Hayate Ichikura kneels and reaches out for an adorable dog for the dog and owner to bypass him, and he pretends to tie his shoelace. Those moments are the spice of life. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. 

Color Illustrations Are My Favorite

Play It Cool, Guys Volume 2 cover with blond-haired Shun and red-haired Souma
Courtesy of Yen Press

I love the colorful illustrations. Everything feels vibrant and heightened. It feels even closer to animation, and characters are distinct thanks to their behavior and physical characteristics. The color-coded chapters are the icing on top. Each cool guy has style despite their forgetfulness, clumsiness, or showing up with mismatched socks—looking at you, Souma Shiki. The illustrations allow you to visualize the story playing out in your mind while reading the manga. You can picture it. 

Part of me is hoping for some BL between the cool guys, but there’s no definitive answer for now. The end teases a new good-looking, cool guy with no sense of direction. I can’t wait to see what mishaps occur when he arrives. Besides, they need a black-haired addition.

Read, Chill & Laugh

Play It Cool, Guys Volume 2 is a goofy, familiar read packed with adorable guys living life. I’m curious to see how many goofs they can develop for each character in future volumes. Perhaps readers, like me, can take some pointers on how to remain collected in the face of embarrassing moments. Play It Cool, Guys Volume 2 is a perfect read for a relaxing day and some light laughs.   

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