Title: Love and Heart Vol. 5
Author: Chitose Kaidou
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Romance, Thriller
Publication Date: August 2, 2022
After five volumes, the truth finally comes out. We get more information on Haruma’s past and what his true goals are!
The volume starts off with Haruma and Yoh at a hot spring. Haruma brought Yoh there so she would rehabilitate her leg and so he could spend some time with her. Yoh remembers that Haruma said that there was a lake nearby so she goes to check it out. There, she runs into some teenagers who are accompanied by everyone’s favorite egomaniac control freak Kunie. Kunie ends up trying to play a prank on Yoh by scaring her with a Halloween decoration but this actually causes her to trigger all of her memories. She now remembers everything!
Realizing that she now knows the truth, Haruma decides to break a certain promise he made. In fact, after what Yoh says to him, Haruma realizes that things had played out more than perfectly for him and his true goals are revealed and are well on their way to being accomplished.
While the two of them are away, Sawako and Touya have their suspicions and decide to look into things a bit. They discover some damning evidence and learn the truth about Haruma. Madoka shows up and offers her assistance but she’s the type who can be trusted about as far as you could throw her. Of course, Madoka tampers with some things so when Touya and Sawako confront Yoh with their evidence, they have none. What Madoka wants out of this is a little bit of a mystery but there are some statements that she makes which reveal her goals as well.
The volume ends with Haruma in firm control of everything and with that, we have reached the halfway point in this series!
The biggest development here is obviously Haruma. With his past revealed and his ambitions known, Haruma has become the person we suspected him to be all along. However, despite the foreshadowing of his character being about as shallow as a kiddie pool, is it really all that bad? Sure, he has his desires but he’s not actually looking to truly harm anyone. It’s more of a passive obsession than anything. I mean, I’m not trying to justify things because it is a bit on the unhealthy side but it’s not like he’s out to kill or maim anyone. Then again, there are five volumes left to go so, who knows? Desperation can drive people into corners and cause them to make rash decisions. There’s still time here!
Madoka also received some nice development here. While she usually goes for the pure-hearted type, she’s finding herself liking Haruma more and more. Of course, Haruma isn’t going to have it and this sets up something painfully obvious that even Ray Charles can see it. Madoka is going to eventually get the picture and turn on Haruma. If that doesn’t happen, then I will be shocked. Madoka screwed up by confessing her feelings to him because now that just makes her another target for Haruma to “deal” with.
Other than that, no one else really received much in the way of significant development. Sawako and Touya played detectives but their characters didn’t really advance. Wakana was just there to offer what she knew while referring to herself in third-person as per usual, and Kunie is still a dick.
Hitting the halfway mark is a good place to blow the lid off of Haruma’s past and that’s exactly what was delivered. We finally have the answers to all of the questions and that means we will see the next three to four volumes dealing with stopping Haruma and/or breaking his obsession over Yoh so that they can just be a normal couple. If anything, I’m sure Haruma and Yoh will still end up together as he will realize what he’s doing leaving Touya and Sawako to become a thing even though Sawako is confused as to who to ship with who right now.
With that being said, this ended up being one of the most meaningful volumes in the series and did not disappoint. We now get to sit back and watch a lot of mind games get played. I’m sure Haruma is going to go too far which will cause him to be exposed… possibly with Madoka helping that exposure comes to light… and we’ll see the bubble burst and he breaks down or something which will reaffirm Yoh’s love for him.
In other words… welcome to Stockholm Syndrome: The Manga
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