Title: Love and Heart Vol. 2
Author: Chitose Kaidou
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Romance, Thriller
Publication Date: July 13, 2021
In volume two of Love and Heart, Yoh and Haruma and up growing a little bit closer together; however, Haruma is still keeping pretty tight tabs on her… especially when it comes to people Yoh interacts with. It’s pretty obvious that Touya has an interest in Yoh so that means Haruma is bound to get involved… which he does by inviting Touya out to eat in order to get to know him a little better. Since Haruma has such a heavy gravity surrounding him, Touya thought something was going to happen and had his guard up the entire time; however, it just ended up being a normal conversation between the two of them.
As a bit of a side story, as Touya was leaving the restaurant, he gets stopped by a girl named Madoka who claims she is being stalked by her ex-boyfriend and asks Touya to pretend to be her boyfriend so that she can scare him off. Yeah… like we haven’t seen this form of mental instability before in manga! Touya ends up agreeing to do it and, as you would expect, things start getting a little bit weird between the two of them.
Speaking of weird, we are introduced to a new character named Kunie who is part of the college’s student union. He has a vested interest in Yoh and sends one of his underlings to go and recruit her. Yoh is reluctant to do so but eventually agrees. Once she gets there, she’s told that if she has the opportunity to run away as fast as she can; however, it’s already too late.
Kunie has her trapped and we discover just the kind of person he really is. In the end, Haruma ends up discovering Yoh after she’s taken on a bit of a ditch ride by Kunie as payback for her going off on him. While they share a taxi on the way back, Haruma declares that he’s going to handle this business with Kunie himself!
I still can’t trust Haruma. We did get some backstory on him in this volume, showing some scenes right before he moved back to Japan from Seattle. There is definitely something odd about him but I can’t tell if there really is something going on or if this is just the aura that he gives off and he really is just a good guy that’s trying to protect Yoh.
The big focus on this volume is on Kunie. Apparently, he and Yoh had an incident in the past where they were in the high school library and Kunie was on a bit of an ego trip, thinking that since he and his family have lots of money, it gives him free rein to do whatever he wishes… including disturbing other people in the library. Yoh let him have it and that was the end of that… until now when Kunie discovered that the one girl that told him off is in the same college as him. He had her invited to the student union just so he could berate her and work her like a dog as payback for what she did in the past.
He likes to use fear to control people under him and is just an all-around evil, manipulative, S.O.B. Even though Haruma is still kind of a mixed bag of a character, I’m actually rooting for him next volume as he aims to put Kunie in his place!
Touya doesn’t seem like a bad guy; however, he is a bit too trusting as that became pretty evident with the whole Madoka situation. He’s really gotten himself into a mess and now that Yoh can’t get ahold of him, things are starting to go down the creepy route for sure. Between Madoka and Kunie, I can’t decide which one is more manipulative; however, it definitely seems that manipulation is the theme of this volume. Add in Haruma’s typical persuasive ways with the way he speaks and conducts himself, and that theme is definitely at the forefront of this volume by way of its characters!
While I admitted that the first volume was a hot mess, the second volume seems to pull together a proper story and fixed the pacing issues that the first volume had. There is still a lot we don’t know about Haruma and what his deal is but now that the series is shifting focus onto Touya and Kunie and their respective stories while Haruma takes a bit of a back seat, it’s becoming a bit more cohesive and enjoyable.
This is why you shouldn’t give up after a first volume. While some series may end up putting you off from the get-go, sometimes they just need a chance to unfold and that’s what is happening here in Love and Heart. While the first volume just seemed like a mess, this one makes you feel for Yoh as well as Touya. Plus, it makes you wonder more and more about Haruma and what the real deal is with him. Is he really protecting Yoh? Is he doing it because he has his own nefarious machinations? Is he really someone from Yoh’s past? Does he even know her mother as he claims? Is his whole backstory nothing more than a fabrication and he’s just some serial killer whack job that’s waiting for his perfect opportunity to slice and dice Yoh in her sleep then leave her for Otto the garbage man to pick up?
Well… maybe not that last one but that’s what the series wants you to think, I’m sure.
I’m interested in seeing what Haruma is going to do with Kunie in the next volume; however, I can probably predict what will happen. Instead of what we’re all thinking… that Haruma is going to beat the crap out of him and/or do something irrational, It’s probably just going to be a normal conversation where he just exhibits his creeper vibe aura that causes Kunie to leave Yoh alone.
We’ll see, though!
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press