Mei Tachibana starts out as a 16-year-old high school student who doesn’t have any friends. One day, she has a run-in that involves Yamato Kurosawa, the most popular boy in school. Even though Yamato has girls practically throwing themselves at him, he becomes interested in Mei. After Mei accidentally kicks Yamato for something he didn’t do, his interest only increases. After having some initial awkward conversations and finding herself having to be rescued by Yamato with an awkward kiss, Mei finds she’s starting to develop feelings for him. By the end of Volume One, these two characters are “going out.”
Say I Love You. Volume Two
Written by: Kanae Hazuki
English Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: June 10, 2014
At the beginning of Volume Two, Yamato and Mei take a trip to the beach with Nakanishi and Asami. During this section, we get some character development for Mei, where we learn about the relationship she had with her father and how he died. But even more important is a later scene, where Mei ends up asking Yamato whether or not he had had sex with Aiko. She gets the answer she doesn’t want to hear, but we get the reason as to why Yamato did what he did. This was a good Yamato character development moment, and it’s also an important moment for Mei and Yamato’s relationship.
This is followed with a story about Yamato’s playboy friend, Hayakawa. He sleeps with as many girls as he can without commitment, and seems to be jealous of how popular Yamato is. After Yamato introduces Mei to him, Hayakawa tries to make her one of his conquests. Also, we see that there’s a girl at school named Chiharu who is a childhood friend of Hayakawa and is in love with him. Through this, we get some character development for Hayakawa, and the story here ultimately evolves into one that focuses on Hayakawa and Chiharu.
The final story in the volume focuses on Aiko, and we get some character development for her as well. It really explains why she’s so obsessed with Yamato, as well as why she has the bitchy attitude that she does. By the end of the volume, Aiko appears to draw a line in the sand with Mei, and I get the feeling that future stories will focus on Aiko trying to find any way she can to try to break Mei and Yamato apart.
Sex ends up playing much more of a role in Volume Two than it had in Volume One. While sex may have been mentioned in the first volume, there are scenes in Volume Two that make it clear (without truly showing anything) that this going on between some of the characters. But the sex isn’t there for titillation purposes. It’s a very realistic portrayal of what characters in this age group go through. This is an element that will more than likely continue to appear throughout the remainder of the series. These scenes definitely warrant this series receiving the “OT” for ages 16+ rating.
In the previous volume, I had complained about how thin the characters looked in this series. With Aiko’s backstory, it makes sense that she looks as thin as she does due to some choices she had made. In this volume, it appears that Hazuki has noticeably added a little more “meat” to the male characters so they don’t look nearly as thin as they did in Volume One. I didn’t notice as drastic of a change with the other female characters outside of Aiko, though.
Overall, I thought that Volume Two of Say I Love You. is a strong continuation from the first volume. The characters are becoming more developed and more interesting, and I’ve really come to like and care about many of them. With the way the story developed in Volume Two, I’m really looking forward to reading Volume Three to see what will happen to Mei and Yamato and how any future events have an impact on their relationship.
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