Title: How Do We Relationship? Vol. 4 Author: Tamifull Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Digital Pages: 216 Genre: Yuri, Romance, Comedy Publication Date: October 12, 2021
It’s been a hot minute since we’ve caught up with Saeko and Miwa but here in Volume 4, the drama gets turned up quite a bit. With the school festival coming up, they are working out what to play during their concert in addition to figuring out the schedule for the refreshment stand. Meanwhile, Miwa is having conflicting feelings over what happened at her reunion with Shiho. Funny enough, they go to exchange contact information and Miwa makes a comment about how this always happens between old friends and then they never stay in contact. Shiho says that won’t happen, and yet, this is the last we see of her during this entire volume… however, this might just be a seed that’s getting planted
The reason being is that Saeko seems to think that by distancing herself from Miwa, it’ll help them sort things out as she definitely is a bit jealous of Miwa meeting up with Shiho. Neither one of them can admit it, though. Saeko seems confident that things will work out but then it dawns on her that Miwa hasn’t ever said ‘I love you’ to her yet. When Miwa realizes this, she begins to say it more and more; however, Saeko is convinced that she’s only saying it because she’s expected to. This leads to a pretty dramatic moment between the two of them.
Miwa ends up dealing with the fallout from the drama by herself when, all of a sudden, Saeko heads into work one night and can tell that her co-worker, Yuria, is acting a bit off. Saeko takes a guess that she went and got herself a boyfriend but she stuns Saeko when she says that she went and got herself a girlfriend instead.
The big development here is focused on Saeko and Miwa. I don’t know if I should call this development because it’s the same problems that these two have had in the past. Neither one of them can trust each other to open up and talk about their feelings. This is what I like to call a double one-sided relationship because both Miwa and Saeko seem to be completely one-sided in their roles.
In Saeko’s case, she does the brunt of the heavy lifting when it comes to their relationship, yet, she doesn’t want anything in return. This ends up bothering Miwa because she feels the relationship is all take and no give, making it one-sided from Saeko’s point of view; however, on Miwa’s side, she keeps all of her feelings to herself, rarely expresses them, and only does what she thinks she needs to do in order to make the relationship work. Because she has an “I only need to do this” attitude, it’s one-sided on her part in the fact that she, herself, is submissive in letting Saeko handle everything.
It’s really odd and it makes you question why the two of them even remain together… but then you get a glimpse into Saeko’s point of view and you begin to understand why. You get a sense that Saeko, herself, is only in this relationship for personal gain. In short, she just wanted to be loved… she has a personal desire to feel as if she’s loved by another person. She, herself, was the one who pressured Miwa into the relationship and never really listened to her. Saeko pushed and pushed just hoping that she would get that feeling of love in return. It makes you wonder if she even cared at all about Miwa’s feelings?
In a way, she did care… about whether or not Miwa loved her but it wasn’t in the way where she was truly invested. She was simply looking for those three magical words and when she got them, she knew that it was just another textbook play by Miwa to keep the relationship going. That, in and of itself, means that Saeko wasn’t looking for true love… she was looking for validation. That alone creates a brand-new depth to her character and it makes you want to explore her backstory even more!
I said it in the last volume and the same holds true here… I am more interested in Saeko’s backstory and with the way she was portrayed in this volume, that interest is stronger than ever. Saeko already gave clues about what possibly might have happened in her past (I mean, it’s kind of obvious, isn’t it?) but we still don’t have that official confirmation about anything. We know she hates men, she doesn’t like to have anything done to her sexually, she doesn’t even like having someone touch her hair… even if that someone is Miwa. All of the signs point to the “well, duh” section in the obvious store but maybe Tamifull is building it all up to make us think that when, in reality, it’s something different?
Only time will tell but with Yuria saying she has a girlfriend after Miwa and Saeko just went through a dramatic experience, it serves up as a classic misdirection where I’m more than sure that Yuria and Miwa are not actually together. In fact, if anything, Miwa would end up going back to Shiho if things should get pushed so far in that direction (which I don’t think that they will.)
As I said… that seed was planted early on in the volume which set up the red flag for the dramatic moment. Now, we’ll see if things happen to go in that direction or if Miwa and Saeko can work things out. There are a few ways this could go but we’ll have to wait until Volume 5 to see where that direction takes us.