Home > Manga Reviews, Reviews > Say I Love You, Vols. 5 + 6

Say I Love You, Vols. 5 + 6

Welcome to a belated midweek manga review! This week I’ll be taking a look at Say I Love You, Vols. 5 + 6. It’s been a rather slow news week, but there’s still an item or two that’s caught my eye.

And now, onto this week’s review of Say I Love You, Vols. 5 + 6!

Say I Love You, Vol. 6Say I Love You, Vols. 5 + 6
by Kanae Hazuki
Kodansha Comics
Rating: Older Teen (16 +)

After a lengthy break it’s time to return to one of last years pleasant surprises, namely Kanae Hazuki’s Say I Love You! As the date of Mei Tachibana and Yamato Kurosawa’s one year anniversary draws near, they’re relationship hits a rough point thanks to the arrivals of Yamato’s old friend, Kai, and a rival for Yamato’s affections in the form of up and coming model, Megumi. Will their relationship weather this unexpected onslaught of adolescent desires and misunderstandings, or will Mei return to the life of solitude she had when the series started? All this and more in Say I Love You, Vols. 5 + 6!

One the things that initially attracted me to Say I Love You was the way it handled and dealt with more realistic relationship issues that teens might be facing. Things like body issues, sexual exploration and awakenings, bullying and more. Say I Love You, Vols. 5 + 6 continue this trend, but much like the earlier ones seem to be including some of the more conventional manga tropes as well. While Mei’s had romantic rivals before, none of them were like Megumi, who takes on a distinctly villainous tone throughout these two volumes. She schemes, manipulates and plots to win Yamato’s affection to the point where I half expected to see her steepling her fingers while monologuing. While Kanae Hazuki does use her machinations as a jumping off point to explore Mei’s continued insecurities, Megumi still feels too over the top when compared to the rest of the cast. Even when we’re given glimpses into her backstory, something clearly meant to elicit sympathy, she still comes off a bit too villainous. I half expected some scenes of her steeling her fingers while cackling madly. A page from Say I Love You, Vol. 6

Say I Love You’s artwork has always been a little hit or miss with me. While Kanae Hazuki does a fantastic job crafting characters, her artwork has always lent her cast a weirdly lanky and skeletal look, particularly when it comes to their hands. This might not be much of an issue, but there’s a focus on hand holding, caresses and touching throughout the volumes, and so we get plenty of shots of freakishly skeletal and spider-like hands. There are also some minor problems with her layouts. On more than one occasion I found my eye drifting to the wrong voice bubble due to some shaky placements. There are several pages where images from one panel overlap into another, but that panel they’re overlapping from isn’t the next panel is the sequence, leading to some minor confusion here and there.

Say I Love You, Vols. 5 + 6 continues Kanae Hazuki’s enjoyable tale of the love lives of teenagers, but they certainly feel like the weakest volumes in the series so far. Much of this is due to Megumi and her antics. Hopefully once her primary plot runs its course the series can get back on track.

Say I Love You, Vols. 5 + 6 is available now from Kodansha Comics. Review copies provided by the publisher.

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