ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘How Do We Relationship?’ Volume 2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

How do we relationship volume 2

After a standout debutHow Do We Relationship? Volume 2 shows Miwa and Saeko dealing with the trials of being a couple, namely communication. The manga by Tamifull is a contemporary romance between two lesbians in college. What originally begins as dating for convenience, since there are no other options, might be turning into something more. The yuri series is published in English by VIZ Media. It is translated and adapted by Abby Lehrke, features touch-up art and lettering by Joanna Estep, and is edited by Pancha Diaz.

How Do We Relationship? Volume 2 opens with Miwa having overcome her anxieties about sex. She and Saeko seem closer than ever and have some very intimate and tender scenes. It is always nice to read a frank and open manga about lesbian sexuality without being exploitative. There are steamy scenes, but they feel natural. The characters’ relationship helps create these moments, instead of the reverse. Miwa also has a very relatable internal monologue about that evening and how she got over her initial anxiety.

The rest of How Do We Relationship? Volume 2 focuses more on communication, or lack thereof, and the individual insecurities of each of the women. The success of this is mixed in how it is handled. The subject matter can be uncomfortable, and it is appreciated that the manga isn’t afraid to address it. However, some moments might not sit well with readers.

A large portion of this volume deals with the concept of jealousy in relationships. Saeko has seen what toxic jealousy can do to relationships, and one of their bandmates seems to be an offender of such (although suffers for it), so she refuses to be that kind of partner. That is admirable and important. There is also a layer where it is treated as just a basic human emotion. Saeko prevents herself from communicating with Miwa about anything that makes her uncomfortable out of a fear of being controlling. This is done relatively well, except when Saeko lashes out at Miwa at one point but regrets it later.

What makes this volume uncomfortable is how the other characters treat Saeko and the concept of jealousy. Characters who are supposed to be her friends consistently attempt to make her jealous, and at points, take advantage of Miwa to do so. A bandmate still cannot get over his feelings for Miwa, although she consistently expresses to him that she is a lesbian. Again, the problem isn’t the feeling itself; it is the fact that he doesn’t appear actually to be trying to overcome it.

While there are many great supporting characters in this manga, many don’t actually read as good friends. But their behavior is treated comically by the manga instead of being condemned. Readers should also be wary of abusive behavior from the new character Kan. He clearly has some trauma he is dealing with that has yet to be explained, but that doesn’t excuse his behavior. As of right now, he is verbally violent towards Miwa. There was a great storyline about Miwa’s friend Usshi. She is happy and content with being on her own but is shamed by others for it. It will be interesting to see if these “friends” ever get called out for their behavior.

How Do We Relationship? Volume 2 shows strong color contrast between black and white when dealing with serious matters. It is a good offset to the more goofy moments in Tamifull’s artwork. Another thing I appreciate is that the characters feel realistically proportioned. A lot of How Do We Relationship? is down-to-Earth, and the artwork reflects that.

Overall, How Do We Relationship? Volume 2 is another good installment in the series, albeit not as strong as the first. A lot of uncomfortable topics in interpersonal relationships are explored, with varying degrees of success. The series succeeds as a heartfelt portrayal of two lesbians but falters with its supporting cast and their problematic behaviors.

How Do We Relationship? Volume 2 goes on sale on December 8th, 2020, wherever books are sold.


How Do We Relationship? Volume 2
3.5

TL;DR

Overall, How Do We Relationship? Volume 2 is another good installment in the series, albeit not as strong as the first. A lot of uncomfortable topics in interpersonal relationships are explored, with varying degrees of success. The series succeeds as a heartfelt portrayal of two lesbians but falters with its supporting cast and their problematic behaviors.