Title: So Cute It Hurts Vol. 10
Author: Go Ikeyamada
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shojo, Romance
Publication Date: December 6, 2016
Here we are at my most anticipated volume of So Cute It Hurts. We ended the last volume with Aoi’s eyepatch coming off during the rescue of Megumu. Now we see the fallout and it was as I predicted… Megumu ended up accepting all of Aoi, but what I didn’t expect was that her complete acceptance of him was the one thing he needed for Aoi to break his curse of touching women! I know that constitutes as spoilers, but I just don’t think it’s possible to talk about this volume without mentioning that. Don’t worry, there’s even bigger events at the end of this volume which I will not spoil, but it does throw everything into perspective and that’s where I have a personal qualm.
While I did enjoy the full circle explanation on everything and the completion of Azusa’s backstory, I really disliked the outcome due to my personal feelings for a couple of the characters. If you’ve read any of my past reviews, you would know that I have a certain pair that I’ve wanted to see shipped since the beginning of this series and Ikeyamada ended up crushing all of my hopes and dreams with this chapter. Even still, the ending will probably lead us into the conclusion of the Mitsuru x Azusa story as Megumu and Aoi are pretty much a done deal at this point. Their story has reached about as far as it can go and if this manga were just about them, next volume would be the epilogue.
One interesting thing to note is that Go Ikeyamada put her closing thoughts on the volume a chapter early which states that volume eleven will begin the final arc of the manga and we’ll be taken on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. There are 78 total chapters of So Cute It Hurts and this volume finished Chapter 50, leaving 28 more chapters left to adapt. That should be enough for three more volumes so it’ll be interesting to see just how the story wraps up! I can’t wait!
Let me just take a moment to get this out: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!?!?! why!?
Ok now on to the rest of the volume. Despite this series being relatively predictable and easy to follow, I was on the edge of my seat in anticipation for this volume. I wanted my suspicions confirmed and volume 10 satisfies. Megumu accepts Aoi, which we knew would happen. As always she comes up on top as the strongest character in the series because of her huge heart and purity. Like Beauty and the Beast, Megumu cures Aoi’s ‘curse’ and he can touch her at last without having an attack. Furthermore, we learn about Aoi’s childhood and get a dose of exactly what caused him to faint under a woman’s touch.
Asuza and Mitsuru finally find feelings for each other, which was another predictable element in the series. As much as I hate it, I was very well prepared for it. Although it makes me shout, WHYYYYYYYY!? many times over, it’s not as painful as I imagined it could be. It’s almost cute, but you’ll have to read the volume to see why.
Finally, our adorable wallflower, Shino comes back into the picture. She comes back in a way that I least expected. There is a serious plot twist here that reveals a great deal about Aoi, Shino, and Asuza. I had to pause for a moment from the big reveal because I just wasn’t expecting it. I really appreciated this twist in the road because it was something absolutely unpredictable. Ikeyamada just throws it out there without shouting, “catch!”
There was a LOT of character development here and if I end up being a bit vague it’s because I don’t want to give away everything in this manga. This has been a fantastic series so far and I encourage people to go pick it up. Spoiling it would negate the need to do that.
The biggest development here was with Aoi, followed closely by Azusa and Shino. As I eluded to earlier, Aoi overcame his fear of touching women when Meguru accepted all of him after learning what was underneath his eyepatch. No… it wasn’t a ghoul eye, although that would have been a hilarious twist. After this revelation, Aoi can finally touch women again which sends his relationship into a bit of turmoil, but that quickly gets rectified. We are introduced to a new character here, Kagetsuna Sanada, Aoi’s uncle and the man who has taken care of him since the events of his past. The scene with Kagetsuna, Aoi and Meguru was hilarious, but it’s also the scene that advances these characters to their limit. I feel that this love story is complete with this scene!
On the hand of Mitsuru, he got zero development until the very end when he learns about Azusa’s parents as well as Shino’s. This gives him the epiphany that we’ve been waiting for and the decision which sent my personal tastes on a rocket into space, never to be seen nor heard from again. Shino’s development came indirectly through Azusa’s backstory and that’s really a shame. Shino really became an afterthought throughout the series and her actions lead to the explanation that made you realize just how full circle the story has become and I thought it was well-done. I just wish that we got more of Shino throughout the series because she really felt like a plot device character.
Despite the mistreatment of best girl, Shino, I loved the character development here as it was at this strongest point in this series. The fact that we’re going to get some more drama shows that we’re not done yet and it really makes me want to see the next volume.
I definitely agree with Josh that the love story of Megumu and Aoi is complete. There was so much development here with both the characters themselves and their relationships that I can’t imagine how the author can keep the arc going. We see deep into Aoi’s past and learn about his childhood and his parents. We see what is beneath the eyepatch and Megumu still touches him. We meet a new character, his Uncle, who lives with him and seems happy that Aoi is finally growing past his problems.
Shino comes back into the picture, but unfortunately, Josh’s observation is true. She’s a quiet plot device that keeps ticking in the background without much impact on the story. If anything, she’s pushed aside even more when the big reveal happens later in the volume. Asuza gets all of the development here and then somehow we’re supposed to ‘understand’ why she bullies Shino. It’s just aggravating to no end because Asuza still remains an unlikeable charcter to me. I’m hoping the development here moves her forward as a likeable person because I have a hunch we’re going to be seeing a lot more Asuza and even less Shino. I think this volume was supposed to encourage us to sympathize with Asuza, especially when there is another twist that changes her social status in school. Quite frankly, I still don’t care about her.
Mitsuru’s development is saved for the end of the volume when he acknowledges his feelings for Asuza. This was anticipated because Ikeyamada was setting this up from a few volumes into the series. Mitsuru’s change seems to lean him more in the direction of his sister, who is truly concerned with making others happy. I bet the next relationship we’ll be following is between Asuza and Mitsuru. Let’s just hope it gets interesting.
Hands down, best volume in the series. Everything comes full circle, we tie up one relationship, we set up the other for its conclusion, and we get more lingering questions prepared for their answers. This volume symbolizes what makes this series so great and I’ve said it a few times now.. I can’t wait for volume eleven. I want to see the final arc and I want to see how everything comes to an end. Seriously, this is a very underrated series that deserves more attention!
This is definitely the best volume so far in the series. There were definitely times when I was frustrated with the relationships or characters, but I feel like it all paid off in Volume 10. As a reader, a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders and replaced with a gift from the author. We see the happy conclusion of one relationship and the beginning of another. At the same time, we’re filled with more questions that are going to be answered if we keep reading. While this volume definitely feels like the end, I know the encore is going to be amazing so I’m sticking around until the very end.
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media