Love Me Love Me Not is from popular shojo mangaka Io Sakisaka. The series has focused on two friends, their crushes, and the road paved with assumptions and misunderstanding along the way. Love Me Love Me Not Volume 6 is adapted by Nancy Thistlethwaite, translated by JN Productions, and features touch-up art and lettering by Sara Linsley and localized in English by VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat imprint. Last volume, Akari confessed to Kazu, and Rio finally accepted his crush on Yuna.
Now, in Love Me Love Me Not Volume 6, all of our characters in this messy love triangle are having to finally decide if they should hold on to their feelings, let them go for real, or lie about them to make the other person feel better. This volume is largely centered and Akari and Rio. Despite Akari’s growth in the last five volumes, which involved learning to accept her emotions and allow herself to feel them, she finds her heart silenced again. Having confessed to Kazu, and of course, Kazu thinking that Rio is still in love with her because he witnessed their kiss, Akari’s first reaction is to tell her crush that she can just turn it all off. Which to her credit, she has shown that she can do, or at least trick herself into believing that she can. But in young love fashion, this causes Kazu to question the reality – how can Akari like him if she is so willing to give up?
While I tend not to like backtracking with characters’ growth, the way that Sakisaka writes this element for Akari is by making sure that her words are a reflection of her need to preserve her friendship with Kazu and not about her actually attempting to become numb to her feelings for him. This Akari is very different. Are her words the same? Yes. But her reason behind them and the way she struggles to maintain it are worlds apart from the brash girl who thought she could choose exactly when to fall in love.
An equally important element of Love Me Love Me Not Volume 6 is that Rio has fully realized that he likes Yuna now. But of course, he may be too late, as he suspects his friend Agatsuma likes her too. While the love triangle has shifted, this one seems to be easier to navigate out of. While this volume is light on Yuna, it is heavy on the fact that Rio has finally decided to speak his feelings and pursue Yuna in a very real way by telling Agatsuma that he likes her.
The number of people tangled together in love triangles in Love Me Love Me Not is high. To be honest, this series is messy, but so is young love. It’s easy to dismiss the actions of the characters as something that they’re stuck in, but they’re kids. One of my biggest problems with reviews of high school-focused shojo romances is that I often forget the messiness that comes with adolescence, the fear of not knowing if your emotions are reciprocated, and the struggle of finding out if your feelings are real enough to ruin a friendship. Our leads aren’t mature enough to open up about their hearts, and at the same time, they’re not mature enough to know that things can and will be okay if they open up.
The entirety of this series is about stumbling through young love and learning about yourself and others along the way. In Love Me Love Me Not Volume 6, readers finally get some semblance of emotional progression with both Rio and Kazu voicing their feelings for Yuna and Akari respectively. Even though it isn’t to the girls, it does show that the story’s pace is beginning to speed up, and we’ll head towards a bit of emotional closure and progression. Making this volume a great addition to the series.
Love Me Love Me Not Volume 6 is available wherever books are sold on January 5, 2020.
Love Me Love Me Not Volume 6
The entirety of this series is about stumbling through young love and learning about yourself and others along the way. In Love Me Love Me Not Volume 6, readers finally get some semblance of emotional progression with both Rio and Kazu voicing their feelings for Yuna and Akari respectively. Even though it isn’t to the girls, it does show that the story’s pace is beginning to speed up and we’ll head towards a bit of emotional closure and progression. Making this volume a great addition to the series.