- Mangaka : Uoyama
- Publisher : Viz Media
- Genre : Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life, Shounen
- Published : April 2023
Disabilities or illnesses in manga and anime aren’t an uncommon topic, with series like Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice) and Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April) being almost household names.
Unfortunately, many series often fall into an able-bodied trap, painting disabilities as life-crippling and tragic, with a tendency to portray their characters as suffering—and usually, their disabilities exist only to reflect back on the able-bodied main character, who somehow grows thanks to encountering someone “worse off” than they are.
It’s with great pleasure, then, that we can say Yankee-kun to Hakujou Girl (Love’s In Sight!) is a brilliant cocktail of sweetness, education, and romantic joy that doesn’t view disabilities as inherent disadvantages, but instead allows characters to exist within their own “normal.”
Join us today on Honey’s Anime as we review Love’s In Sight!, Volume 1!
Our (soon-to-be) lovesick couple are Morio Kurokawa—an eighteen-year-old delinquent known as the ‘black panther’—and Yukiko Akaza—a sixteen-year-old high-schooler who’s legally blind. With Yukiko unable to perceive anything more than light and colors, the pair meet by accident, but end up going on a first date nonetheless.
Love’s In Sight! is a yonkoma (4-koma, or four-cell) manga, a format that has seen success in popular series like Komi-san wa Komyushou Desu. (Komi Can’t Communicate). As you might expect, that means it’s fairly light-hearted, but that doesn’t mean it’s entirely comedic.
There are plenty of jokes (made in good taste) about Yukiko’s blindness, including a hilarious and loving exchange with her best friend, who’s also blind (“You’re so pretty”/”You don’t know that”/”Neither do you”), and plenty of comedy regarding Morio’s life as a delinquent with his band of misfits.
On the other hand, Yukiko struggles deeply with her own perception of what love could mean, and is sure that nobody would want to date a visually-impaired girl. Her own definition of “normal” is far removed from the “normal” that society expects; and yet, Morio is the perfect person to be with her, since his own upbringing and yakuza-like associations deter people at first glance.
In this way, Love’s In Sight! plays a lot with the notion of “sight” and “appearances,” while ultimately creating a beautiful and endearing romance. You can’t help but cheer for Morio and Yukiko, and want them to bring out the best in each other, especially as Morio begins finding a purpose in life—to make the world better for people with disabilities and impairments!
1. Education Through Experience
Love’s In Sight! is a surprisingly informative manga, particularly regarding the nuances of being visually impaired in daily life. From familiar concepts like tactile strips and audio-descriptive movies to things you might never have considered—such as how a visually-impaired person identifies emotion through someone’s tone and breathing pattern, or how “messy” food like popcorn is a no-go, lest you risk embarrassing yourself in public.
This educational element isn’t a blunt tool, but a by-product of telling an authentic story. Seeing how store layouts or self-service machines are unfriendly to those with disabilities is a surprise to both Morio and the reader, and left us feeling far more observant of how our world is built for the perceived majority.
2. Fluffy Love
As we mentioned earlier, Love’s In Sight! isn’t a drama, and our main character isn’t undergoing some personal shift at the expense of someone else’s tragic story.
Yukiko is fierce and knows how to stand her ground, but she’s also a beautiful girl looking for romance. Morio is seeking to improve himself because of Yukiko, but he’s also learning to find a place in the world where he can do some good—and maybe atone for his high school days!
Love’s In Sight! has crafted two adorable characters with a perfect blend of comedy and romance, and an undertone of disability awareness. This is first and foremost a cute shounen rom-com—even if you don’t care about the visual-impairment aspect, Love’s In Sight! is simply a must-read for anyone who loves a good romance.
And for anyone tired of manga victimizing people with disabilities, we think Love’s In Sight! has done a perfect job of showing that, although life might be challenging, it’s still someone else’s “normal”—and they deserve love, friendship, and fun the same as any able-bodied person.
Are you going to read Love’s In Sight!? Let us know in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading!