Title:Love and Heart Vol. 8 Author: Chitose Kaidou Publisher: Yen Press Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 192 Genre: Romance, Thriller Publication Date: July 18, 2023
Yoh is being held prisoner in her own home by Haruma in this latest volume of Love and Heart. She’s not eating and losing weight which is making Haruma concerned. He wants to make her some cheese risotto but they’re all out of cheese. After a bit of mental conflict, he decides to leave her alone and go to the store. At that point, Yoh’s mother calls and she indirectly tells her about the problem. Her mother just tells her to be herself so when Haruma returns, she embraces him in a hug, steals back her cell phone, and jumps out of the window, figuring she won’t break any bones if she lands in the bushes; however, Touya and Sawako are there to catch her!
Touya puts Yoh on the back of his motorcycle and speeds off. They end up hiding her at Wakana’s house while they devise a plan. Yoh says that the only thing she can do is go to America by herself and talk to her mother. They state the obvious that all she has to do is call her but Yoh says her mother is stubborn and could just hang up the phone. She decides to get the next flight out but her passport is back home with Haruma. On top of that, he’s put out a missing person’s report and all forms of public transportation are now off the table as an option of escape!
As they put a new plan into action, a certain unlikely someone shows up to help! It’s now a race to outsmart Haruma and get Yoh to America!
This volume of Love and Heart spent some time filling in some of the side characters… mainly Touya and Sawako when it comes to their friendship with Yoh. It all centered around them making it to the testing center. The repeated theme throughout is that we’ll be there to catch you if you fall… which is symbolic since Yoh literally just fell out of a window and they were there to catch her.
Wakana got a little bit of development by showing just how neutral of a party she can be. While she agreed to hide Yoh, in order to keep her life peaceful, she flat-out stated that she would hand her over to Haruma if he came around knocking. However, despite that, when push came to shove, her loyalty swayed in favor of Yoh which shows that she has another ally.
Also, something really didn’t add up here. Yoh’s mother called her and, yes, while she was pushy at first, she did listen to Yoh and offered her advice. This completely contradicts what Yoh said about going to America because her mother would just hang up the phone. If she was the type to do that, then why did she hear Yoh out earlier? Also, why didn’t Yoh just clearly explain everything when she had the chance? I have no idea what kind of character they are trying to paint Yoh’s mother out to be but this is some pretty sloppy writing.
This entire volume of Love and Heart just felt odd. Yoh making a daring escape is fine but the whole flashback dragged on WAY too long. I think it was 3-4 chapters worth just to deliver the message that true friends will always be there to catch you no matter what. Also, they showed Touya and Yoh in this “a few days ago” flashback and they were acting normally as if Touya just didn’t kiss her from out of nowhere without permission or did that happen between then and now? It’s a bit foggy as far as the timeline of events is concerned but it just came off a bit oddly.
Also, the whole thing with Yoh’s mother and Yoh just not telling her everything. Especially since her mother was already suspicious of Haruma’s obsession with Yoh. If she was aware of it, why didn’t she do anything to stop Haruma from going back to Japan? When she found out Haruma was in Japan, why didn’t she do anything then? How is she someone who will hang up on Yoh after listening to Yoh mindlessly dance around the subject and then offer her advice? How is she so dense not to pick up on what Yoh was saying literally right after acknowledging that Haruma had an obsession? It’s like common sense was thrown out the window in favor of advancing the plot… either that or this is just really sloppy writing by Chitose Kaido. It just didn’t make much sense and ended up breaking some of the immersion for me.
Not the best volume of Love and Heart but we got our excuse for Yoh to go to America; however, I have a feeling she won’t get there. She will either get caught or Touya/Sawako will fail in getting her passport. Either way, Haruma will get Yoh back and stop her from leaving the country. At least, that’s my prediction just based on how persistent Haruma is. That, and plus, Yoh kind of has Stockholm Syndrome so… there’s that, too.
We’ll see in the second-to-last volume next time.
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