Love Me, Love Me Not Volume 4, from VIZ Media‘s imprint Shojo Beat, by mangaka Io Sakisaka has been a heartfelt dive into friendship and love. This high school romance manga is messy, and that’s by design. Yuna is a teenage girl with an idealistic view of love and a crush on her best friend’s step-brother Rio. While Yuna has been looking for a prince charming, her best friend Akari is just trying to figure out her own feelings for Yuna’s childhood friend Inou. While the two girls navigate their crushes, there is one hiccup. Rio is in love with Akari and at the end of the last volume, he decided to finally make his move no matter how impulsive it was.
Now, in Love Me, Love Me Not Volume 4 the entire plot revolves around dealing with the fallout of Rio and Akari’s kiss. While love and friendship have been complicated for the better part of the series thus far, Rio’s kiss makes the blurred lines between the two nearly non-existend and pushes each character to establish boundaries and investigate what they want. A result of being unable to rein in his feelings after he discovers Akari has fallen for Inou, the kiss ripples through each of our main characters’ lives and romances. Akari, who is working to keep the family together, and Yuna, who loves Rio, are both shocked by the action.
While Yuna has been evolving over the entirety of the series, Love Me, Love Me Not Volume 4 is where we get to see her grow the most. But this isn’t because she wants to grow, it’s because she has to. The kiss breeds awkwardness and arguments between Akari and Rio that pushes Yuna into the middle of them. At the start of the volume, which contains chapters 13 through 16, Yuna continues to place the well-being and support of others above herself.
Pulled between Akari and Rio, Yuna is once again put in a position where she has to choose between her own feelings and supporting her friends. This push and pull between her love of Rio and her friendship with Akari is complicated by her own crush. Over the course of the volume, Yuna is a friend to both step-siblings. She continues to be the only person with whom Rio can talk. She’s the only one who knows the depth of his love for Akari. And she’s responsible for making sure he doesn’t lash out, even when his step-sister refuses to speak to him. But hearing his feelings and offering counsel puts her in a position where she can’t help but be jealous. While she attempts to push down her feelings for Rio, her conversations with him and with Akari slowly chip away at her resolve to put friendship first.
While the entire situation is terrible for Yuna, Love Me, Love Me Not Volume 4 pushes her to finally choose to fight for herself. That said, she doesn’t forsake her friendship with the pair, instead learning how to balance her needs with theirs. She makes a resolution to herself, not to see herself as someone who doesn’t deserve Rio, but instead promises to be the girl for him. This is a moment that shows Yuna’s maturity, and this is commented on by the characters around her. By the end of the volume, it’s clear that the tides are changing and not only is the story moving away from it’s messy love pentagon, but Sakisana is investing a lot of time into developing Yuna as the main lead.
Ultimately, Love Me, Love Me Not Volume 4 continues a phenomenal story about love and friendship. This volume shows characters finding themselves and righting their courses while also not ignoring any of the complications that come with their frienships and crushes. Love, in this series, is as much about protecting people as it is satisfying yourself and that’s what makes this a must-read for romance fans.
Love Me, Love Me Not Volume 4 is available from booksellers September 1, 2020.
Love Me, Love Me Not Volume 4
Love Me, Love Me Not Volume 4 continues a phenomenal story about love and friendship. This volume shows characters finding themselves and righting their courses while also not ignoring any of the complications that come with their frienships and crushes. Love, in this series, is as much about protecting people as it is satisfying yourself and that’s what makes this a must-read for romance fans.