Lesley Aeschliman

Manga Review: So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 2

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So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 2 focuses on Megumu and Mitsuru Kobayashi, a set of twins who are cross-dressing as each other for a week and attending the other’s school. While doing this, they each meet someone they fall in love with, but can’t say anything since they’re currently the opposite gender.

So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 2

So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 2

Written by: Go Ikeyamada
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: August 4, 2015

Volume 2 sees Megumu having a harder time concealing her feelings than her brother. But just as Megumu is determined to reveal her feelings once the week is over, she discovers that Aoi can’t stand being around women. But during the conversation, Aoi discloses that he saved a girl who had tripped on somestairs, but has no idea what she looked like due to how dark it was. Megumu knows it’s her that he’s talking about, but she can’t say anything.

Not surprisingly, Megumu is disappointed to learn about Aoi’s feelings toward women. But she decides she wants to continue trying to be friends with him during the week that she’s posing as her brother in order to be around him. But as they spend time together, it creates complications for Aoi. He doesn’t know that Megumu is really a girl, so he’s confused about why he feels like he’s in love while he’s around a boy. From the beginning, Megumu has had problems when it comes to acting like a boy, and that hasn’t changed in Volume 2, so Aoi has subconsciously picked up on this.

Meanwhile, Mitsuru gets to know Shino Takenaka better and continues to fall for her. Shino asks Mitsuru to help her with something, and a secret is revealed that involves both Aoi and Shino: they are siblings. To me, the build up to this revelation was rather obvious, so I wasn’t surprised when this was revealed. But this revelation now this adds another layer to the story: the cross-dressing twins have fallen for a pair of siblings.

But there’s a complication for Mitsuru, and that’s Azusa Tokugawa. She’s the most popular girl at Megumu’s school and had been taking advantage of Shino prior to him cross-dressing as his sister. At one point in Volume 1, Mitsuru disguised himself as a boy in glasses, and Azusa seems to have fallen for him in that disguise. But Mitsuru doesn’t know about this.

Right at the end of So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 2, something unexpected happens: through sheer accident, it’s revealed that Megumu and Mitsuru have been cross-dressing and this is discovered by a couple of characters who the twins wouldn’t have wanted to find out the truth. I hadn’t anticipated that their secret would be discovered this soon, so this genuinely caught me by surprise. In the author’s notes, Ikemayada says the first two volumes of the series as a prologue, and that the real story will start taking place in Volume 3.

With their secret coming out right at the end of this volume, there’s a lot of ways the story could progress. And to be honest, I can’t even begin to guess what direction Ikemayada will decide to go in. Finding out how the story will go now that the secret is out is the main reason why I want to read So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 3.

When it comes to the art, there was a scene early on that grabbed my attention. When Megumu learns about Aoi’s feelings toward women, we see that she is drawn in her female version whenever we go into her thoughts. To me, this makes a lot of sense and helps the reader to distinguish between what’s going on in reality and what she’s thinking.

So Cute It Hurts!! isn’t a bad series, but it can feel a little predictable at times. To its credit, the series presents an interesting idea and some of the characters are rather endearing. Readers who enjoyed the first volume will likely also appreciate So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 2.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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