REVIEW: ‘Something’s Wrong With Us,’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Somethings Wrong With Us

Manga romances are usually fairly straightforward, especially of the shojo and variety. That’s why Something’s Wrong With Us Volume 1 is a breath of fresh air. Published by Kodansha Comics and from mangaka Natsumi Ando, this series breaks from just a linear romance and is instead a spine-chilling and steamy romance between a Japanese sweets maker and the man who framed her mother for murder. With twists and Food Wars! level dessert illustrations, Something’s Wrong With Us is everything I’m looking for in a romance manga right now.

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Nao became a traditional Japanese sweets maker, and at 21, she’s about to take the industry by storm. With unparalleled artistry and a bright attitude, she gets an offer to work at a world-class confectionery company, that it is until her mother’s past comes to ruin her future. When asked to make the sweets for a wedding, she goes up against a young handsome owner of a hotel, the one her mother used to work at. When she comes face to face with him, she recognizes him immediately and it’s none other than Tsubaki, her childhood friend, and her first crush.

Sounds perfect right? Well, Tsubaki is also the same boy who stood over his father’s bloodied body 15 years ago and framed Nao’s mother for the murder. As the only witness of that fateful night, Nao is eager to chase down the truth and confirm her suspicions. By hiding her identity, Nao takes advantage of  Tsubaki’s obliviousness to her true identity and she seizes her chance to get close to him, but she finds herself being pulled into him and on the verge of falling in love.

Somethings Wrong With Us

While it may seem that I’ve given every twist and turn of Something’s Wrong With Us in the summary, I’m excited to tell you that I haven’t. Ando artfully develops Nao as a character, taking time to build out her childhood personality and mapping out the impact of living with her mother’s presumed actions has changed her from the kind Sakura, to the determined Nao. But in her determination to honor her mother, she is also living with the mental health impact of seeing a dead body and having her mother be taken away. Nao’s PTSD is not explored deeply as of now, but we see her triggers and the impact on her life, especially at work and how she has to become creative overcome it.

As an opening volume, Something’s Wrong With Us sets up the story beautifully. While it still uses some traditional story beats that we’re used to, like marriage being rushed into like its note big deal after first sight, it also gives you enough a dynamic story. In this volume, Ando has set up a story that I need to keep reading. Not only is Something’s Wrong With Us Volume 1 the start of interesting romance but it’s also a thrilling murder mystery.

Something’s Wrong With Us Volume 1 is available now wherever manga is sold.


Something's Wrong With Us Volume 1
4.5

TL;DR

As an opening volume, Something’s Wrong With Us sets up the story beautifully. While it still uses some traditional story beats that we’re used to, like marriage being rushed into like its note big deal after first sight, it also gives you enough a dynamic story. In this volume, Ando has set up a story that I need to keep reading. Not only is Something’s Wrong With Us Volume 1 the start of interesting romance but it’s also a thrilling murder mystery.