The fifth volume of the popular romantic comedy series "Toradora" is mostly about the "summer house episode," in which five high school students Taiga, Ryuji, Minori, Kitamura and Ami stay at Ami's "cozy little summer home" during the summer vacation. In the previous volume, Taiga and Ryuji are seen concocting a plan to scare Minori (a spirited girl on whom Ryuji has a crush) so that Ryuji and Minori can get closer.
Things take an unexpected turn when Kitamura and Ami come to know Taiga and Ryuji's secret plans to scare Minori (without knowing their true intent, though). Ami happens to know a seaside cave that could be perfect for their plan. Wacky misunderstandings ensue, pranks are pulled, and surprises happen.
The fifth volume keeps its rather slow pace throughout, focusing less on gags and jokes than on the relations between characters, especially between Ryuji and Minori, and to a lesser degree, Ryuji and Ami. Minori, who I think is the most enigmatic and complicated person in the series, shows a little bit of her true self before Ryuji. Listen to Minori Kushieda's "ghost story" imbued with her own feelings. Ryuji is yet to know its true meaning.
The book concludes with a short episode about Taiga hanging out with other high school girls (including Ami), taking a purikura photo. This is quite uncharacteristic of her, but after what happened to her in the last two volumes, this slight change seems natural. Taiga on the last two pages is so cute - well, she has been cute, but this time in a totally different way.
Volume 5 marks the end of summer. Those who have already seen the anime version (including me) know that the intricate relations between these likable high school students are about to change in the following volumes. In what way, you have to wait and see. Considering the very slow pace of the original (one volume a year, with the original Japanese version of Volume 5 published in March, 2012), you have to be very patient.