Title: My Special One Vol. 5
Author: Momoko Koda
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: Shojo, Romance
Publication Date: February 6, 2024
In Vol. 5 of My Special One, Akutagawa continues to haunt Sahoko as he becomes determined to find out why someone like Kouta has a keen interest in her. He begins to tail her everywhere and even harasses her to some extent. Kouta finally figures out what’s going on but keeps quiet… for now. During one of his substitute teacher days, he invites everyone to play basketball and Akutagawa makes a wager with him over who has the rights to Sahoko. After the match, Kouta delivers a powerful message to him.
After things end there, Kouta wants to meet Sahoko’s family. He asks for official permission for them to date and then asks if Sahoko can travel with him on Like Legend’s tour as part of his staff. While Sahoko will be working as a meal prep for him, it’s his way of making sure that they can spend time together while he is away. Since it is summer break, everything works out. Sahoko ends up getting reacquainted with Emika while there and we even get the ever-so-popular “beach episode,” too.
The volume ends with the tour wrapping up and the two of them sharing a tender moment together.
Akutagawa received quite a bit of development here. Of course, he’s about as arrogant as ever but the more he hangs around Sahoko and finds out about her relationship with Kouta, the more he changes… sort of. He’s still stuck up and arrogant; however, he seems more like a friend in some situations… such as when Sahoko fell ill… he took her home and took care of her. He even went so far as to contact Kouta for her so he could be by her side. Even Kouta realized the changes in him and asked him to watch over her at school as a friend after his substitute teaching assignment ended. I guess the best way to describe him is that he turned into a cool jerk.
Kouta did receive some development of his own, too. By officially asking for Sahoko’s parents’ approval of their relationship, it reaffirms his commitment to her and adds a more genuine aspect to their love. When this series started, I assumed that there was going to be a moment where things would go south between them as his dark past would drive a wedge; however, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Even with his past revealed, his feelings are only getting stronger and this whole seeking approval thing further cements that. Maybe there isn’t a twist coming? But Kouta is just too pure for his own good!
While I have touched upon Sahoko’s development in becoming more confident, it was nice to have her mother recognize it!
Hmm… there wasn’t much of a cliffhanger this time around… just a nice tender moment that you thought would end up going in a certain direction but it didn’t. I guess ending things on a tease and then saying “Aha, got you!” was good enough but it was missing that hook that makes you want to read the next volume. I know not everything has to end that way as there are plenty of other series that don’t use cliffhangers but this one just felt a bit flat. More like an “oh, okay. We’re done.” Type of vibe.
Not necessarily a bad thing but I’m so used to seeing that hook at the end of a volume that when it doesn’t happen, it’s nearly as jarring as the cliffhanger itself.
Still, this volume was all sorts of cute. I do think they wrapped up the Akutagawa thing a bit too early, though. I’m a bit torn whether to state that it didn’t push the envelope enough, though. I’m not sure how long this series plans to run; however, in a typical slice-of-life romance series, the number of total volumes typically lands around 10-15, give or take a couple. If it’s on the short side, then this would be the halfway mark which means that they should have pushed the envelope and made Akutagawa a major source of drama. The fact that we didn’t get that means that he wasn’t meant to be significant in any sort of way.
Another thing is that once his arc was done (or at least shelved for now), what followed seemed to both progress the story and feel like filler at the same time. It was nice catching up with Emika and, of course, getting the obligatory fanservice; however, what did it really accomplish that it couldn’t accomplish normally? That’s what I have to wonder but oftentimes we get that small transition period between story arcs and that’s what this seems to be.
Besides, we all know that there are some seeds planted here that COULD give a hint to the ending of the series. It involves the big M word and it also involves the possibility of Kouta making a very daring and bold choice. I could be reading too much into it but why else would Sahoko worry about something if it wasn’t meant to happen? Why even mention it at all? Of course, with manga, I’ve learned to question every word written but sometimes you look too deeply into things. This time, though, Maybe I looked deep enough. Time will tell!
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This item was provided for review by VIZ Media.