Publisher: Viz Media
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
It’s date time! That is, essentially, the theme of Go Ikeyamada’s fourth volume of So Cute It Hurts!! When we last left off, both twins were preparing for their prospective dates. Volume 4 picks up exactly where we left off – Megumu lets her friends know about her date and she makes all of the silly mistakes you’d expect a smitten high school girl to make. She accidentally texts Aoi and she makes a fool of herself at a karaoke bar. Despite all of this, the date is still on and she ends up nerding out in some very funny scenes with her new boyfriend. On the other hand, Mitsuru doesn’t realize he was invited out on a date and wears some serious kendo gear – much to the shock of Azusa who wore her cutest clothes. As readers, we get to step back and watch both dates side by side with amusement.
While the details of each date flesh out the majority of the volume’s story, that’s all that really happens. We do get a teaser at the end of the volume which may finally explain one of the mystery plot points of the series, but that’s something we will have to wait until Volume 5 to see unfold.
Aoi and Megumu’s date was So Cute It Hurt! Sorry, but I felt I had to use it at some point during this series. The interaction between Aoi and Megumu was very well done and all the little nuances of them being nervous around each other was a bit much at times, but it also accentuated what a real first date could feel like to some people. In that regard, it did its job fairly well. I really love the pairing between these two as they seem just perfect for each other.
On the flipside, we had Mitsuru and Azusa’s “date.” This was the route I feared Ikeyamada would take with the Azusa character. In the last volume the character cookies were cut and now they’ve been baked, cooled off, and placed into the cookie jar. All that’s left is to dig in with your hands and choke them down until you’ve had your fill of it. It’s about as textbook as a generic tsundere character can get. You make her all mean and spiteful, but once she’s interacting with her secret crush, she just melts on the inside while keeping that harsh exterior. At least we got a bit of a teaser which tried to pry into why Azusa is the way she is, but nothing was revealed as of yet. The only saving grace for this character would be the reason behind it. I’m hoping it’s a good one.
I really enjoyed this volume. It’s everything I expected it to be. The first dates for both siblings aren’t too serious and they’re both quite comic in a cute “first date” kind of way. Megumu tries hard not to gross out her date but then ends up ordering sticky, stinky food and ends up stocking up on historical novelty trinkets. Her weird quirks bring them closer together and by the end of the date, they almost look like a real couple – if you overlook the whole two feet apart thing.
Azusa and Mitsuru’s date is not quite as cute – it’s really just comic relief to add another dynamic to the dating plot. After all, who would want to read through two dates of cuteness? That would be a little too much as far as I am concerned. Eventually the two dates cross paths and a hint at a plot twist is revealed.
Josh’s Final Word:
Overall, I really loved the Megumu/Aoi date and the Mitsuru/Azusa date had some comic relief to it so it wasn’t really all that bad. Poor Mitsuru in the end, though. Don’t wish to spoil anything, but the date doesn’t exactly end well for him, but not in a way you’re completely expecting. Can’t wait to read volume 5!
Liz’s Final Word:
Truthfully, I think this manga series would do much better without Azusa. She’s an annoying stock character that I cannot like simply because I have seen her so many times before in manga and anime. I’m hoping that Volume 5 changes my opinion of Azusa but so far I must admit that I am not feeling very optimistic. I do love Megumu and Aoi and I can’t wait to see how their relationship pans out.
This series remains a good one to follow and it’s not too late to grab it as a Christmas gift for yourself or someone else.
You can also check out other The Outerhaven reviews on your favorite social media networks:
**This item was provided for review.