Title: So Cute It Hurts Vol. 7
Author: Go Ikeyamada
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shojo, Romance, Comedy
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
In this volume of So Cute It Hurts!! the Kobayashi twins have been taking full advantage of their similarities by continuing to swap lives. Megumu switches places in time to discover that the angry guy she met in the park is Akechi’s newest student. It seems that Chiharu and Aoi have crossed paths in the past and he knows something that Aoi’s been hiding from Megumu and perhaps the whole school. Can she protect her boyfriend while being blackmailed into a date with his enemy?
In the last volume, it looked like Uesugi was going to be the road bump in Megumu’s and Aoi’s relationship. Given the pure nature of their relationship, I couldn’t see how this would happen but then we saw just how. Aoi wanted to protect Megumu in case anything was to happen so he steeled his heart and pushed Megumu away. Well, even though Aoi was a bit cold to Megumu, she wasn’t really buying it. Sure, she questioned why Aoi was doing it, but she didn’t waver in her love for him. In fact, I loved the scene where the two of them shared an intimate kiss… even if there was a pane of glass dividing them.
We were also treated to a major tease in this volume as Uesugi was tempting Megumu by saying he knew the secret behind Aoi’s eye patch. She wanted to know what the secret was, but in true pure love fashion, she opted to wait until Aoi was ready to tell her. This was all done on a “date” between Megumu and Uesugi. I put date in quotations because it was more like blackmail. Uesugi discovered Megumu’s crossdressing secret and threatened her with leaking the secret unless they went on a date. Megumu pulls off some amazing humor on the date which has to be read to be fully experienced. The date does end in a way that provokes Aoi and it leaves us on a cliffhanger. Next volume, I believe we are being set up for an Aoi vs Uesugi fight which should be interesting.
This volume was practically all Aoi and Meguru. They took center stage here. Mitsuru and Tokugawa’s story with the stalker gets a little bit of an update although it felt like an afterthought due to this volume heavily focusing on Uesugi and Aoi’s rivalry. We did get a moment between Mitsuru and Tokugawa that I wished never happened, but meh.
Speaking of people I want to see with Mitsuru.. where the hell was Shino? She was nowhere to be seen in this entire volume! I really hope she wasn’t written off completely as it’s been a while since we’ve seen her.
I’m really surprised Ikeyamada went there. By “there,” I mean the Sailor Moon anime route of ‘breaking up’ a relationship that we know isn’t really breaking up. I could have thought of a million other ways that Chiharu Uesugi could have interfered in the relationship between Aoi and Megumu. Ikeyamada’s route was not one of them and to be honest, I’m a little disappointed. We have seen this tactic before a million times, although Usagi and Mamoru have probably made it the most famous and perhaps it happened first in Sailor Moon. Aoi wants to protect Megumu so he breaks up with her just like why Mamoru broke up with Usagi to protect her. Usagi couldn’t stay away from Mamoru and disregarded the breakup and we see that here with Megumu. Megumu ignores being in dumpsterville and becomes even more obsessed with Aoi.
While this route is very cliche and a bit annoying, it does feel very high school. Megumu’s attitude is on point for a girl her age. Additionally, it pays off because Aoi still loves her and realizes he needs to find another way to protect her from whatever Uesugi has up his sleeve. As Josh mentioned, they have a very sweet moment that is separated by a pane of glass. It’s a motif we’ll continue to see although I wonder if it is in some way linked to the eye patch.
As I said in the story section, this volume was dedicated to building the Uesugi character. I still can’t really get into him as a character due to his passive aggressiveness. He does come off as a bit more cunning and devious in this volume, but he still feels rather flat and plain as a character. Blackmailing Megumu into a date was pretty low, but even he broke towards the end of it which shattered any “evil” image of him… that is until the cliffhanger, but when you see it, you realize he only played off of situation that Megumu did to herself which still takes some of the punch away from his “bad guy” persona.
Megumu and Aoi didn’t really develop all that much. Aoi is still very protective of Megumu and their relationship is still as pure as ever. Mitsuru and Tokugawa also didn’t any development at all outside of one little mishap between them and even that didn’t really change anything as Tokugawa only realized what she already suspected, so that relationship is still at a dead standstill.
As Josh mentioned, this volume was all about growing roots for Uesugi as the antagonist; however, I’m not really seeing it. In the previous volume he seemed a bit unbalanced and I think Ikeyamada wanted to build upon the bad-guy persona. Unfortunately, if that was the author’s intention, the blackmail date actually has the opposite effect. In fact, Uesugi really doesn’t seem like that bad of a guy – certain events that occur during his ‘date’ with Megumu reveal he isn’t such an evil dude. In fact, I found myself rooting for him after taking Megumu for a makeover. I actually thought, “well, he’s attractive, charming, and can touch girls!” I know I can never ship this couple, but the idea has definitely crossed my mind because the two do seem compatible and Uesugi has some redeeming moments. As I said, I’m willing to bet this wasn’t the author’s intention… or maybe it was? The only captain-obvious indication that we’re supposed to hate Uesugi is the cliff-hanger text message he sends to Aoi. That definitely seemed devious.
Megumu and Aoi didn’t develop much, as Josh previously mentioned, but since this volume is really about establishing Uesugi in the series I understand why the development of these characters would get sidelined. I don’t think we’ll see much more in terms of growth from Aoi until Uesugi plays his hand and reveals the big secret. Megumu’s future growth is probably dependent upon the truth that Aoi has been hiding from her so I doubt we’ll see any more growth with these characters until we reach the climax of their story.
We didn’t see much of Mitsuru or Azusa in this volume that differed from the previous. Mitsuru continues to pretend to be a girl while he stays near Azusa to protect her from a serious creeper. I suppose this was thrown into the volume to remind us that they in fact still exist.
This was definitely the Uesugi volume. Even though Ikeyamada focused mainly on one character, I think it was warranted. Aoi, Meguru, Mitsuru, and Tokugawa are pretty fleshed out for this point in the series so taking the time to get Uesugi “up to speed” is kind of warranted. I liked the fact that it seems that we are getting closer to Aoi’s secret and the meaning behind his eye patch, but I feel that in order for it to fully be revealed, Shino is going to have to re-enter the picture in some way, shape or form. They already hinted at her being involved with Aoi’s secret so it would make sense for her re-introduction and when she does return, I can see the Mitsuru/Tokugawa relationship hitting a pretty big snag. Overall, I still enjoyed it and I look forward to what Volume 8 is going to bring to the table!
This volume was fun and I finished reading it really quickly. I’m sorry to say that other than being fun, I feel like the volume didn’t offer much in terms of interesting plot. I expected this volume to be about Uesugi but I was hoping for something a bit different. I’m not quite sure how I’m supposed to feel about this character – I don’t hate him and I kind of like him even though he’s a bit of an Aoi clone. I suspect that the next volume is going to steer away from these three characters and turn back to Mitsuru, Azusa, and Shino to make up from their absence in volume 7. It would also be a good way to hold off on the big reveal for at least another volume.
Either way I’m looking forward to it.
You can also check out other The Outerhaven reviews on your favorite social media networks:
This item was provided for review by Viz Media