Lesley Aeschliman

Manga Review: So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 5

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So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 5 focuses on twins named Megumu and Mitsuru Kobayashi. They had cross-dressed as each other for a week to attend the other’s school, and both found themselves falling in love with a student at their sibling’s school.

So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 5

So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 5

Written by: Go Ikeyamada
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: February 2, 2016

Volume 5 sees Megumu coming back home after her first date with Aoi. While Aoi still wants to keep his distance, he was at least willing to go somewhere with her. And according to Megumu, he even said “I love you” with sign language. Mitsuru, on the other hand, is despondent because he saw Shino kissing an older guy that she knows. I think it was clever of Ikeyamada to have the twins going through the opposite emotions when it comes to their potential relationships.

Mitsuru sees Shino and learns about the guy she was with. After reading what she’s written about him, Mitsuru tracks the guy down and finds out that he cares about Shino. Mitsuru finds himself in a tight spot: does he not say anything in the hopes of finding happiness with Shino, or does he bring the two of them together and make Shino happy? While I liked that Ikeyamada addressed this angle, I felt it wasn’t played out as well as it could have for the drama. In some respects, I felt that Mitsuru resolved his indecision a little too quickly.

Azusa Tokugawa, the popular girl who was tormenting Shino earlier in the series, plays an important role in So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 5. Ikeyamada makes it blatantly clear throughout this volume that her intention is to eventually turn Mitsuru and Azusa into a couple, so at such a point that this happens, it’s going to feel rather anti-climactic. While Azusa seems to have stopped bullying Shino, I’m still not entirely convinced that she’s redeemed herself for her earlier behavior. Perhaps we’ll see some kind of redemption in a future volume of the series.

Near the end of the volume, it’s suddenly the start of the next school year. We see that Megumu’s hair has grown noticeably longer, and that she and Aoi are slowly starting to be able to be in closer proximity to each other. It may be slow progress for their relationship, but it’s still progress nonetheless. And the reader gets to see Aoi acting protective of Megumu and even becoming jealous when he sees her talking with another boy. These are definitely behaviors that he would not have exhibited previously. But it’s hinted that there’s something in Aoi’s past that he doesn’t want Megumu to know about, and it appears someone associated with it will soon be making their appearance in the series. Could this signal a potential obstacle for this currently happy couple?

When it comes to the art in So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 5, I thought Ikeyamada did a good job making the two main characters look a little older when the story shifts into the next school year. Outside of that, though, the art is what I’ve come to expect from this series.

So Cute It Hurts!! is enjoyable for what it is, but I have to admit that I have read better shojo manga series. It’s not bad, but it’s not great, either. The characters are endearing, even if some of the plot points are predictable at times. Fans of this series, however, will likely enjoy the plot developments in So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 5.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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