ADVANCED REVIEW: Love Me Love Me Not Volume 8

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Love Me Love Me Not Volume 8

Love Me Love Me Not is a series created, written, and illustrated by shoujo icon Io Sakisaka (the mangaka behind Ao Haru Ride). While the bulk of the series has been filled with miscommunication and assumptions, Love Me Love Me Not Volume 8 shows what can happen when the characters begin to not only talk to each other but listen.

Love Me Love Me Not Volume 8 is published and localized in English by VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat imprint. This Shojo Beat Edition is adapted by Nancy Thistlethwaite, translated by JN Productions, and features touch-up art and lettering by Sara Linsley. In this volume, the love quadrangle has pretty much resolved, but the love friendship continues to hit some complications for Yuna, Akari, Rio, and Kazu.

Thankfully, Yuna and Rio have started dating and being very open about their feelings. and Akari and Kazuomi are growing closer while still having the awkwardness of knowing each other’s feelings but not being in a place to act on them. Well, that is until Akari’s ex-boyfriend wants her back — you know, the same ex who called her empty and pointed out every flaw she ever had last volume? That one. Pushed by a need to try to protect Akari, Kazu tries to find the right time to speak his true feelings out loud and ultimately keep Akari from going back to the guy who very clearly sees her as less than.

In this volume, Sakisaka does a great job of balancing the character’s inner wants and outward expressions through the great use of dialogue and emotive facial illustrations. Like all the volumes before it, Love Me Love Me Not Volume 8 has a lot of feelings, but it lacks the confusion. And that’s a good thing. One of the best things about high school romances is that you get to watch the characters grow as they learn about themselves as the series continues.

In fact, Yuna is more capable and confident while still allowing the audience to see vulnerabilities. In addition, Akari is learning to take what her ex said to heart, but in a healing way. She tries to make sure that she is thinking for herself and what she wants, instead of being a vessel for other people’s emotions and needs. Now, Rio and Kazu do have small moments of growth, but this series overall belongs to the teen girls who have come a long way from their idyllic and cynical stances. Each of them has learned to see that love sometimes exists in a gray area. It’s not always perfect, sometimes you have to work for it, and on the other end, you can’t just wish away emotions that you don’t want to deal with anymore.

That’s what’s special about Love Me Love Me Not Volume 8 and the series as a whole. It’s about the growth you can see in large ways and the growth that exists in the small moments too. Overall, this volume is a great one, and while it may not be the best of the series, it shows our characters on set paths, instead of just fumbling in the darkness.

Love Me Love Me Not Volume 8 is available wherever books are sold May 4, 2021.

Love Me Love Me Not Volume 8
4.5

TL;DR

What’s special about Love Me Love Me Not Volume 8, and the series as a whole, is that it’s about the growth you can see in large ways and the growth that exists in the small moments too. Overall, this volume is a great one, and while it may not be the best of the series, it shows our characters on set paths, instead of just fumbling in the darkness.