- Mangaka : Io Sakisaka
- Publisher : Shueisha, Viz Media
- Genre : Shojo, Romance
- Published : June 2015- May 2019
Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare (Love Me, Love Me Not) Introduction
Young Yuna Ichihara is learning, as legendary singer-songwriter Billy Joel put it in 1976, “Life is a series of hellos and goodbye’s, I'm afraid it's time for goodbye again” when her best friend Sacchan moves away as she begins high school. She also learns there not just goodbyes but unexpected hellos. A girl she’s never met before, named Akari, asks the shy Yuna for money, stating that she needed train fare and that she “had a friend leaving today and really wanted to see them off.” The strange girl offers to exchange contact information and hand over a bracelet as collateral. Yuna empathetic to her plight offers her the cash and agrees to meet the next day to be paid back. The fate full meeting of the two girls turns into friendship, a destined friendship, only reinforced by Akari ending up in the same class as Yuna and finding out they live in the same apartment building.
Friendships between teenage girls can get complicated and even more so when boys are involved. Yuna’s childhood friend also lives in the apartment and quickly turns Akari's head. A “prince” as Yuna describes him also moved into the building and quickly becomes the focus of a pure-hearted girlish fantasy of Yuna’s. Akari, who starts off with a boyfriend, takes notice of Yuna’s childhood friend. The naive Yuna and the more cynical Akari's young friendship is forced to endure the trials of youth- school, friendship, and especially love.
doo doo doo doo do doo do, do do doo doo doo doo dooo doo ooh.. I don’t want to wait…*falsetto screeching*
What kind of plot do you get when you have two guys, two girls, one a dashing boy, one friend-zoned, one a conservative girl and the other a bit of a free spirit? You can even add in visits to a bedroom window by the opposite sex (though they don’t come inside or sleep over). Yes, as we’ve alluded to, the plot feels a lot like a certain teen drama that was a big hit in the mid 90’s. We loved Dawson’s Creek and tuned in every night for the who’s dating who drama and who’s got a crush on who longing. Heck, the will they or won’t they, lasted almost the entire 128 episodes. We absolutely get a similar feel to the best show on the 90’s WB with the new manga Love Me, Love Me Not. You’ll want to keep reading past the spoiler warning if you like your manga relationships filled with drama and tons of teen angst.
1. It Is What Shojo Does Best
We believe that one of the best things shojo does is bring us teen angst. You often get a naive girl who is feeling the first tugs of love at her heartstrings. The heroine then anguishes over the decision on whether to confess or keep her feelings to herself. The doki-doki flutter of their hearts when they bump into their crush on their way to class. We love all these cute moments that just endear them to us.
2. You Like a Soapy Twist
We mentioned earlier that Yuna ran into a “prince” in her building. We quickly find out that very "prince" is her new best friend Akari’s brother, dun, dun, dun… We then find out in classic manga fashion that he’s actually Akari’s stepbrother, dunn, dunn, dunnnn! We then find out that Akari and her stepbrother…dun, dun, dun… we won’t give that one away… but it’s amazing.
1. Shut Up and Kiss Already
You must remember this is a shojo manga, not josei. The target is young girls many in their late elementary and middle school years, though all ages and genders read shojo, that is the official target demographic. The movement from hello to simply “I like you” can take a long time… at least for one of the girls in the story.
2. The Childhood Friend [BIG SPOILER] Route is a Dead-End
Kazuomi is Yuna’s childhood friend. He and she have a very comfortable relationship. We see in a world where holding hands is a big deal, that him just stopping by her bedroom window to return a manga isn’t a big deal to either of them. We see a poor bast*ard so friend-zoned he doesn’t even realize it. Akari even works at hooking him and Yuna up but she flat out says she doesn’t see him that way. If you want a story where the childhood friends eventually confess after 10 volumes this isn’t it.
We aren’t saying this is a rip off of the concept of Dawson’s Creek but it does evoke some nostalgic memories for otaku of a certain age as we see a bit of Joey, Dawson, Pacey, and Jen in Yuna, Kazuomi, Rio, and Akari. Yet, even edgy Dawson’s Creek wouldn't have taken on the idea of “not blood related, then he should be dated” trope so common in manga and anime.
We only gave you two reasons to dislike this manga because it really is sweet. The first volume may suggest more salacious elements but the possibility of them actually happening are probably slim. We’ve only been able to read the first translated volume via VIZ Media. We are however waiting for the other volumes to find their way to VIZ in the near future. We think you’ll want to read it before the anime movie based on it comes out as well as the live-action version so you can be the one in the know and recommending it to your friends. The story may read like a teen soap but that is why the story is great. You let yourself get caught up in the drama and low-grade scandal. You know the worst that will happen is your ships won’t sail. You just need to download, or open the pages, as you wrap yourself in a blanket on a cool morning and sit in the warmth of the morning light and say a little prayer for right and read this piece with an uncritical eye.