The Spring 2021 Manga Guide
And Yet, You Are So Sweet

What's It About? 

Maaya Kisaragi, 16 years old, finally confessed to her crush...only to be flatly rejected and ridiculed on social media after. To make matters worse, the most popular guy in her grade, Chigira-kun, overheard her despondent muttering about the whole thing. But instead of making fun of her, he comforts her...and proposes an odd solution to her heartbreak!

And Yet, You Are So Sweet is drawn and scripted by Kujira Anan and Kodansha Comics released the digital version of its first volume for $7.99









Is It Worth Reading?

Rebecca Silverman

Rating:

If there's anything objectionable about And Yet, You Are So Sweet, it's probably that it's pretty bog-standard in terms of high school-set shoujo romances. Actually, it may even err a bit on the lighter side of those stories – heroine Maaya definitely wanders into stalker territory with her new love, Chigira, but she does that with his explicit blessing, and she certainly wasn't acting stalkerish with her previous crush. Meanwhile Chigira is more interested in being the object of Maaya's affections than anything else, and he even manages to do that with only one moment of potential ill-taste. So really, this book is practically wholesome.

That said, I do not believe for a second that Maaya's feelings for Chigira are one-sided. He makes it fairly clear that he's been aware of her for quite some time: on the train, on the library committee with him, or just around school. That doesn't mean that he's aware that he likes her or is interested in her, but it could also be that, despite his prince status at school, he's really uncomfortable with romance (or maybe because of his prince status), and this is just an easy way to get the ball rolling. He certainly knows she's having a tough time – the boy she had a crush on not only turned her down, he also posted about it on social media, saying some pretty rotten things about Maaya. It's not entirely out of the question that Chigira really does want to help her out.

If so, he's certainly committed to his savior role. That's both good – he distracts her when she sees her former crush on the train and helps her fend off a guy she's not quite able to on her own – and less so, such as when he informs her that she's more injured than she feels she is after getting whacked with a soccer ball. He does seem to feel that all of this is coming from a good place, which doesn't excuse him, but what does is that Maaya doesn't have a problem with anything he's doing; in fact, his Prince Charming routine is making their feelings real and mutual. While the whole thing isn't quite sweet, it is nice to see them moving towards a realization that they both like each other, and since that's arguably the end game here, there's not much to complain about.

And Yet, You Are So Sweet is what it is: a cute, standard little shoujo romance. It's a case of not needing to reinvent the wheel when you're instead just crafting a very solid basic wheel - Maaya and Chigira are your typical sweet shoujo protagonists, there are the usual suspects as far as potential rivals go, and even those uniquely ugly mascot characters that the protagonists think are cute for some reason. This may not be spectacular, but it also isn't anything but nice. That's not damning it with faint praise; it's just a wholehearted assessment of where the charm of this series is likely to lie.


Lynzee Loveridge

Rating:

And Yet, You Are So Sweet is a go-to example of a middle-of-the-road shojo love story. It's inoffensive, although its heroine is definitely suffering from self-esteem so low that it starts to veer into denial of reality. That's my major caveat for recommending the title that otherwise has a pretty cute couple. It's central premise is a stretch and the pacing moves pretty fast.

The manga would have us believe that the protagonist, Maaya, is ugly. There's nothing actually unattractive about her character design although you could maybe say she's inoffensive or plain. This is an attempt to endear her to readers, I get it – I'd just like to see characters that aren't traditionally good-looking in manga show up when that's the entire basis of their less-than-stellar self-esteem. Anyway, Maaya's approach to crushing on someone isn't great. She toes a line where if the person she's set her sights on did notice, they might (reasonably) find her creepy. She's not the first female character I've seen in manga or anime that approaches love by pursuing encyclopedic knowledge about the person, but in case it needs to be said: please don't go through your crush's things, rub your face on their desk, or anything else that would be considered a violation of their privacy. Please be normal and try to strike up a conversation with them or something.

Anyway, Maaya considers this routine the basics of engaging in a one-sided love affair and for reasons that don't make any sense on the surface, she agrees to pretend to have one with the school's most popular guy because he's never experienced that before, as in he's never liked someone who didn't like him back. It'd make more sense if she agreed to “teach him” how instead of just...agreeing to stalk him. Yeah, I couldn't understand this narrative set-up at all. It's also extremely obvious that Chigira likes Maaya and invented this proposition because he wants her attention. Maaya continues to be in denial of this despite the fact that Chigira is incredibly overt. There are moments of physical closeness that are usually saved in manga for when a couple is outright dating and Maaya is still like, “no, he's out of my league” even though there's no explanation to his actions other than the obvious.

All in all it's a cute story, it just suffers from wishy-washy emotional plotting and requires a huge suspension of disbelief.


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