Title: How Do We Relationship? Vol. 6
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Yuri, Romance, Comedy
Publication Date: July 26, 2022
Volume six of How Do We Relationship? sees Saeko and Miwa end up in a rather odd relationship. Instead of them dating, they kind of become friends with benefits. Throughout it all, Miwa is still extremely depressed and feels as if she wants to die. Despite all of this, Saeko wants things to end for good and for the two of them to go back to just being friends.
It’s here where their lives start to take a couple of different paths. After going out on a trip with Yuria, Saeko begins to feel a connection between the two. When Kameda ends up standing them in the middle of the mountains and night and goes for help, Yuria and Saeko go through a rather odd bonding. Things end up working out but Miwa is still there and is becoming a bit too clingy. This is when Saeko puts her foot down and we go into a bit of a time skip.
Saeko has found herself a new girlfriend and Miko takes up a part-time job at a café because the boss there is a real hunk of a man. Yes… this means that Miwa is thinking about switching back to men but all of that changes when the band club accepts a bunch of first-years and we are introduced to a new character named Tamaki. She seems to be the loner type but for some reason, Miwa becomes attached to her. The volume ends when she finds Tamaki crying for an unknown reason and invites her to her apartment.
Miwa and Saeko go through a big transformation here. Miwa went from wanting to die to just being how she was at the beginning of the series. I don’t think there is anything remarkable about her character at this point but that’s the best part about it. She’s in a transitional period and, therefore, a bit neutral when it comes to things. You can tell that she’s trying to figure things out for herself… especially since Saeko is doing her best to remain a friend without the benefits. It seems as if the tough love approach is doing wonders for Miwa as she’s taking this opportunity to really explore her feelings and what she wants out of a love life.
Saeko, on the other hand, still remains really closed off to what her deal was. During a steamy scene, Miwa took full command of things much to Saeko’s chagrin but she eventually became submissive. One of the things Saeko hated was showing her weaknesses to people because she felt that she wouldn’t be accepted for them; however, that changes in the mountains with Yuria and suddenly she gets a taste of what it’s like to reveal those weaknesses and see that it was fine all along. While this doesn’t really play out too much in the rest of the volume, it could be seen as a “small big step” in the sense that it’s laying the groundwork for something bigger later on.
There wasn’t much to Yuria except for her confession. Outside of that, things just seem rather normal. There was one moment in the manga though where Yuria did something to Saeko and Saeko didn’t reject it as she did with Miwa. That was rather interesting!
Now, we have Tamaki! She’s a short, cute-looking girl who seems very unsociable and timid. During the first year’s welcoming party, she is approached by Miwa and Saeko; however, she reveals that she’s not interested in joining the club. Instead, she wants to just skirt by and earn some free credits while she studies for the entrance exams for a different school she wants to go to. Miwa takes this opportunity to tutor her and help her pick the easiest classes all because Tamaki reminds her of someone. However, there might be more brewing here as even though Tamaki has friends of her own, she keeps acting as if she would much rather hang out with Miwa! So far, she’s a pretty cool addition to the cast that brings a missing dynamic. We didn’t really have that quiet, reserved girl just yet and her personality matches her design really well. You kind of just want to hug her!
While we still haven’t gotten much on Saeko’s backstory, there were some subtleties at play here that could eventually lead us down that path. Saeko and Miwa splitting and going separate ways is just a classic diversion plot point in a series like this. Drive your main characters apart, make them realize that they loved each other all along, and then bring them back together for the “go home happy” finale. It’s almost textbook but it’s still a formula that works really well.
Or maybe Tamifull has something else up their sleeve? Maybe it’s all a swerve and the journey is about finding your true love… with someone else? Pretty sure it’s not but that would be a nice little way to swerve people (and make the Saeko x Miwa fans come after you with burning pitchforks.) The only thing I ask is don’t use the coma strats! (I’m looking at you Domestic na Kanojo!)
With the addition of Tamaki, we have a new element here to latch on to. I just can’t see the Yuria x Saeko thing lasting… especially after something Saeko said which made my predictions about a swerve FAR less likely. With the ending of the series crystal clear, it’s now become about the journey to get there. We are in that stage where the journey is taking a few side turns before it ends back up on the main road so let’s just crack the windows down, forget it’s summer and roll them back up, turn the AC on full blast, and just enjoy the ride!
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This item was provided for review by VIZ Media.