Sunday, January 9, 2022

Final volume of Love Me, Love Me Not (volume 12) more or less satisfies

Cover of Love Me, Love Me Not volume 12 by Io Sakisaka
Wow, been a long time since I've done a post. Lots has happened in my life, and a lot has happened in the world. But, I'm glad to be posting again. Can't say how often it will be, as my budget has reduced me to purchasing about 4 or 5 volumes a month instead of 10+, but hopefully I'll still do a few posts a month.

Anyway, on to a review of the final volume of Io Sakisaka's "Love Me, Love Me Not" (volume 12, Shojo Beat).

For those who haven't read the series, here's a quick synopsis: Yuna is shy, Akari has a somewhat troubled past with boys. Yuna is friends with Kazuomi.  Akari and Rio have become step siblings. Akari and Rio had crushes on each other, but when they became step-siblings they put that aside. 

Quick series spoilers, skip if you don't want them:
- By volume 12, Rio and Yuna have become a super cute couple, and Kazuomi and Akari look like they have finally figured out their feelings for each other. But the problem remains, Akari and Rio's father is going to have to leave the country for work. What will the kids do?


In volume 12, we get the resolution to the story of the four high-school seniors. I don't want to spoil too much, but here's what works and what I wasn't totally sold on:

- Amazing kiss between Yuna and Rio
- We see just how much Yuna has grown over the course of the series
- It's a basically satisfactory ending
- the art is amazing, as always, but maybe even a bit better than her norm. Sakisaka-sensei is just an incredible artist.

Wishing for a bit more:
- The wrap-up to the series felt a bit rushed; Iwould have liked more time with Akari and Kazuomi to see their relationship develop before the final hurdle of the plot.
- While Yuna had really nice growth in the series, they only hint at Akari's changes, but her past wasn't really fleshed out enough to see the contrast. The boys were pretty much nice, but stock figures. Compared to the depth of characterization in the leads in her last series, Ao Haru Ride, this series just didn't have the character depth.
- The ending climax issue (a father being transferred overseas, will the kids have to separate????) is a bit tropey. Tropes are okay, they are tropes for a reason after all, and the resolution was a bit novel, but it all was done so fast as to not have the power I think it could have.

So there you have it, a romantic drama with four likable characters, one of whom actually gets some decent growth, beautiful art, and a basically nice story. It doesn't come close to the power and depth of Ao Haru Ride (but what could?!), but it's more than a solid shoujo series, definitely a cut above the average and worth a read.

I certainly recommend this series to anyone who likes shoujo romance. It may not be your all-time favorite, but it really is better than most. The art alone is worth it! And that final kiss with Yuna and Rio...soooooo goooooood!!!!! 

Volume 12: (scale of 1-10): 7 (resolved too quick)
Series (scale of 1-10): 7.5 (much better than the average shoujo series)


Please legitimately purchase or borrow manga and anime. Never read scanlations or watch fansubs. Those rob the creators of the income they need to survive and reduce the chance of manga and anime being legitimately released in English.

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