Title: Love and Heart Vol. 9
Author: Chitose Kaidou
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Romance, Thriller
Publication Date: November 21, 2023
Yoh makes it to the airport unscathed and takes off for America. To throw Haruma off, Touya switches phones with her and heads to Japan’s other major airport. Knowing that Haruma would follow her GPS signal, they were able to divert his attention. When Haruma arrives, Touya greets him and tells them their true plan. One would think that Haruma would completely lose it but he explains all of the missing pieces of their backstory to Touya so that he could understand what a mistake he made by letting her go back to her mother in America.
Meanwhile, in America, the meeting with her mother, Ryou, didn’t go as planned. Ryou refuses to tell Yoh anything. After four days, her living expenses are dwindling. It looks like she has to go back to America empty-handed until she ends up cleaning her mother’s home and knocks a safe off the shelf. The safe breaks and inside Yoh finds something that jolts her mind. The rest of her memories return and she now understands everything. She confronts her mother and lets her know that she now knows the truth about what happened. They end up making up and Yoh heads back to Japan.
There, Yoh makes a decision; however, before she can do anything about what she has decided, Haruma shows up! It’s time for the final confrontation before we head into our last volume!
Both Yoh and Haruma receive the final pieces of their development. Obviously, we knew from Haruma’s backstory that his mother committed suicide and that because as such Haruma had to move to America to be with his aunt. What we never knew were the reasons why she committed suicide, who made the arrangements for him to go to America, and what happened to Yoh… until now.
Until now, we know that Yoh had lost her memories over the incident and that Haruma was afraid that something would happen to her should she remember everything that happened. This is why he became overprotective of her to a fault. Once everything was laid out on the table, we get to understand Haruma and why he did the things that he did… even if it painted him in a negative light, all he wanted to do was protect Yoh from that horrifying past.
This caused me to have mixed feelings about Haruma as a character. With everything out in the open it makes his efforts seem both justified and not justified at the same time. Like, we can clearly see that his heart was in the right place but much like a tragic villain, they went about showing their love and affection in the wrong way. It’s almost akin to a story of someone wanting to destroy everything, kill everyone, and end the world because some greater evil wanted it for themselves. It’s kind of that level of logic where if I destroy everything a greater evil wants, it’ll save the world and protect it. Flawed logic but still pure intentions.
With everything laid out, reflecting on the route the story took, how they presented it, Yoh’s amnesia, etc… it’s a bit predictable for the reason to be what it was; however, there were some aspects to it that I didn’t see coming, too. Some of the smaller details were compounded in such a way that it made a rather predictable reason seem interesting at the same time. In other words, I didn’t mind the reason being what it was because it was executed fairly well.
This also led to what I said about being conflicted over Haruma. He was painted in such a negative light that knowing everything is supposed to be some sort of redemption for him… like we were supposed to forget all of the scheming and back-handed things he did just to achieve his goal. There were so many different ways to go about protecting Yoh, and yet, he chose to be an obsessive creep. Given the nature of their history, it’s understandable but not excusable.
To me, this doesn’t warrant a final ship between Yoh and Haruma. If they do end up getting together in the final volume, that would be one of the most twisted ways of bringing a couple together. Sadly, I think that’s what we’re going to get because there was a bit of a scene earlier in the volume that will ship Touya off with someone else even though Touya would be the best choice for Yoh. Yes, it is completely unconventional to ship a side character with a main character but I was hoping this series would surprise me (and who knows? It may still do just that.)
Overall, this was a very solid volume that wraps up mostly everything. The only thing left to handle is the “reunion” of Yoh and Haruma after her return from America. What happens here will wrap up this story so let’s hope it does the previous nine volumes justice!
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press