My Love Mix-Up! Volume One sets up a love triangle that’s fueled through misunderstandings.
My Love Mix-Up! Volume One
Written by: Wataru Hinekure
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 5, 2021
Aoki is the protagonist of the series, and he’s a high school boy who has a crush on his classmate, Hashimoto. One day in class, he borrows her eraser, and sees that “IDA” is written on it with a heart next to it. Aoki believes that this means that Hashimoto has a crush on their classmate, Ida, who sits in front of Aoki. When Aoki drops the eraser and Ida picks it up, Ida sees what’s written on it, and he asks Aoki why his name written on it. Aoki doesn’t want to reveal Hashimoto’s feelings, so Aoki lies and says that the eraser is his.
What I liked about this part of the manga is that we also get to see the story from Ida’s perspective as well as Aoki’s. As Ida remembers various interactions with Aoki, he believes there was more to Aoki’s being nice than there was. And so this misunderstanding begins.
The humor in this series comes from Aoki and Ida’s interactions, and how what Aoki says to Ida is always easily misinterpreted to mean something that it doesn’t. But since Aoki is trying to be nice to protect Hashimoto and her feelings, he has to word things the way he does.
We’re also introduced to Aoki’s best friend, Aida. He seems like a nice enough guy but has no qualms about teasing Aoki about various things. Aida is important, though, because whenever Aoki tries to set up Hashimoto and Ida, Aida always does something that manages to interfere with Aoki’s plans. Even though Aoki has a crush on Hashimoto, he wants to make her happy… even if that means he helps her to get together with another guy. Hashimoto keeps confiding things to Aoki and can talk to him so easily, though, and it almost feels like these two should end up together. Meanwhile, poor Aoki finds himself wondering if perhaps he really has fallen for Ida.
The misunderstandings between Aoki and Ida hit a climax in this volume when they end up playing the lead roles in their class’ production of Cinderella. Aoki plays the part of Cinderella, while Ida is the prince. This is an… interesting performance of Cinderella, although it’s not quite as good as the production Tohru’s class put on in Fruits Basket.
With a volume full of misunderstandings, the ultimate misunderstanding is revealed right at the end of the volume. I have to admit that wasn’t a twist that I was expecting, but it does add an interesting layer to the story, and I wonder how Aoki is going to cope with this plot twist and how it’s going to affect his life going forward.
It should be noted that the art for My Love Mix-Up! is by Aruko, the same artist who drew the My Love Story!! manga. Aruko has a recognizable art style, and it shows here. To me, the design for Aoki kind of made me think it was an updated version of Makoto Sunakawa from My Love Story!! Outside of that, though, none of the other characters immediately made me think of anyone else from My Love Story!! But some of the mannerisms that the characters show here are things I recognize from My Love Story!!
After reading the first volume of My Love Mix-Up!, I thought the series showed a lot of promise. I found myself chuckling at Ida misunderstanding Aoki’s words and actions. Hashimoto is a sweetheart, and I’m rooting for her and Aoki to end up together by the time this series ends.
My Love Mix-Up! is a light-hearted shojo manga, and in some respects, it kind of gives me a similar vibe to My Love Story!!, even though this is written by someone else. While the art helps this series to have that vibe, I also pick up that vibe through the writing. I think fans of shojo manga will find something to enjoy in My Love Mix-Up!, especially readers who already enjoy series like Blue Spring Ride and My Love Story!!
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media