Yuri Manga: Yagate Kimi ni Naru, Volume 2 (やがて君になる)

June 13th, 2016

YKnN2When I stepped into the new flagship Animate store in Ikebukuro in Tokyo last month, I did not expect to find much Yuri. Positioned near “Otome Road,” this particular store tends to cater more to the fujoshi than the otaku. However, the very first thing I passed on the shelves was a special display for the second volume of Nakatani Nio’s Yuri series. When I bought it, it came with a sweet little postcard and a special book cover. If only the romance inside was a clear and simple as the cover made it seem. ^_^;

I summed Volume 1 of  Yagate Kimi ni Naru as a “sweet little Yuri romance that I both enjoyed a lot and also have several real problems with.”

And now that I’ve read Yagate Kimi ni Naru, Volume 2, I feel exactly the same way…with perhaps even more reservations than previously.

In Volume 1, Yuu found herself in the precarious and uncomfortable position of being the object of a crush by a person she admires, but just does not have romantic feelings for. In order to support Touko, she agrees to become a member of the student council.

But now Touko has begun to press harder. Having decided that she loves Yuu, she crosses the line into coercing kisses from Yuu, who is naturally distressed by this. She still admires Touko and really wants to be with her, but just does not feel that way.

Compounding the issue are the other members of the Council. Touko’s childhood friend and Vice President, Sayaka,  is both protective and possessive of Touko. The other first-year appear to think of their personal drama as a form of entertainment.

When Touko and Yuu study at Yuu’s home, Touko gets very embarrassed from overstimulation and Yuu is forced, again, to wonder if there is something wrong with her.

But when it turns out that Touko has been competing with a deceased older sister, it is Yuu that steps up and demands she be herself, rather than someone else. Yuu and Touko (again) agree that the way it is between them right now is good enough and they’ll keep it this way.

Loving someone very hard is not enough in the real world. But in this awkward presumed-romance, we’re supposed to be rooting for Touko, assured that Yuu will see her lack of feelings as just doubting herself. That is all the same as it as in Volume 1, but in Volume 2, we’re supposed to be happy that Touko coerces a kiss from Yuu.  I’m not happy about it all. It makes me view Touko with suspicion.

On the other hand, Yuu is really digging into her lack of response to Touko in an interesting way. At this point she wishes she did feel something. Yuu still has not put a name to her lack of feelings – and her situation is positioned awkwardly. She does have some emotion around Touko – admiration and just a hint of something else, but Yuu doesn’t think it’s romantic love or desire and we have to take her word for that.

I’m still not sure if Yuu is supposed to be confused because she just hasn’t had an “a-ha!” moment or because she’s genuinely asexual. I don’t think the mangaka knows, either and I’m positive Yuu herself has no idea.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 9
Yuri – 6
Service – 1

Overall – 8, still with reservations

I’m going to keep hanging on to this series because I want both Yuu and Touko to grow past this thing they have laying between them, but I’m not sure I want them to be together at the end of this series, despite the cover art. It might be better for them both if they aren’t.

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9 Responses

  1. Krim says:

    Yes, i like they don’t end up together i like that Yuu it’s honest and don’t just fall in love just like that, that doesn’t happen in real life, you just can’t feel attraction for someone just cause they feel it.
    I hope this not end with cliché love story between them at the end cause they can just be friends and that could be better. Cause it seems like if she end up with Touko it’s cause she have pity.

  2. Lin says:

    I love how volume 2 recontextualizes the relationship between Yuu and Touko. Up until this point, the central dilemma was that Yuu couldn’t bring herself to fall in love with Touko. But now we find out the very reason Touko got attracted to Yuu was the fact that Yuu couldn’t return her feelings. Touko doesn’t want to be loved, because she believes that someone who loves her will ask for compromises she doesn’t want to make. She’s trying to be like her sister and doesn’t want anyone to ask her to stop that. That’s why she thinks Yuu, who apparently can’t fall for her, makes the prefect partner.

    But here’s the thing. The moment Touko revealed all this, Yuu got scared. She realized that if she ever falls in love with Touko, she will loose her. She also realized that if they can’t be together, she doesn’t want anyone else to fall in love with her.

    So now the central dilemma is that Yuu wants to change, wants to love Touko (and may already do), but Touko wants her to stay the same, to stay with her without falling for her. So Yuu has to hide her feelings and pretend that she will never change because she doesn’t want to loose Touko.

    Pretty nice inversion of roles.

    • I’m not sure I see that as any kind of positive. Recontextualizing it into another “she loves me a lot so I have to be here and do this for her,” is pretty much the same bad lesson framed out differently.

      I want Yuu to separate her own interests from Touko’s, because that is the lesson that young women need – your interests are important on their own.

      • Lin says:

        “she loves me a lot so I have to be here and do this for her,”

        I don’t think that’s what’s going on here. Yuu’s not doing this for Touko’s sake. She’s doing it for her own sake. She wants to be with Touko. She wants to love her even though Touko doesn’t want that. In fact I think she already does love her, otherwise she wouldn’t be so scared of losing her.

        • That’s fine that you don’t think that. I do. I can see a very very uncomfortable lesson, one that most girls absorb without realizing, that their partner must be made happy at the expense of their own desires. It is a dangerous lesson and one I dislike seeing in “romance” stories most of all.

  3. Red says:

    I like this manga and the art style. I do get confused as to what’s going on between Touka and Yuu, though. Sometimes I think Yuu has some level of narcissism, in that she likes attention but can’t replicate it back that much. She does seem cynical sometimes and has shown some outright jealousy towards Touka for being able to fall in love.

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