REVIEW: ‘I Cannot Reach You,’ Volume 3

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I Cannot Reach You Volume 3 - But Why Tho

I Cannot Reach You Volume 3 is created, written, and illustrated by mangaka Mika. The volume is published and localized in English by Yen Press, translated by Jan Mitsuko Cash, and features lettering from Alexis Eckerman. Over the last two volumes, Yamato and Kakeru have been struggling with their emotions. While Yamato has always known he was in love with Kakeru, he’s scared of losing his best friend if he confesses. On the other hand, Kakeru has begun falling in love with Yamato, but stopping himself out of fear and just wanting Yamato to have a “normal” life. And that’s what I Cannot Reach You confronts.

The conflict in I Cannot Reach You isn’t just the choice to move from friendship to romance, it’s confronting the heteronormative standards that both boys have been conditioned to think are the only way to live. The last two volumes have dealt with a lot of fear, yearning, and the loneliness that comes from allowing it all to get to you. But in I Cannot Reach You Volume 3 Yamato makes a move. After spotting what seemed to be a romantic encounter between Kakeru and Akane in Volume 2, Yamato’s jealousy overflowed, and the two hug. I mean, a long hug, I mean the hug that makes your heart beat out of your chest – and for Kakeru, it causes him to dive deeper into confusion. What could have been a confession was stopped short by Kakeru’s sister but with the school field trip coming, the two have a decision to make. Ignore everything, or actually have a conversation.

I Cannot Reach You Volume 3 is a wonderful love story because it highlights the insecurities of first love and explores who you’re attracted to. Volume 3 expertly handles the awkwardness, the second-guessing, and the worry that comes from miscommunication. Instead of confessing or even addressing the hug at the mall, both Yamato and Kakeru remain quiet about it. While Yamato has become a master at masking his feelings after years of practice, Kakeru is cracking under the pressure and growing increasingly afraid that his romantic feelings aren’t reciprocated.

The series is wholesome, but it’s anything but boring. Mika expertly crafts a story that is filled with tension and worry but all from a place of love. And thankfully, in I Cannot Reach You Volume 3, everything comes to a head in the final chapter as Yamato and Kakeru finally talk, or at least stop hiding in front of each other. Ending on another cliffhanger, Mika continues to write a story that leaves you desperate for the next volume while still offering pay-off for the wait.

When I’m recommending BL mangaI Cannot Reach You is one of the titles I immediately add to a list. It’s heartfelt and beautiful and lonely and wholesome. It’s about what happens when you let things go unsaid and how two characters learn to love themselves before they open up to the person they love. I Cannot Reach You Volume 3 is the best in the series so far and I can’t wait to see what’s in store next.

I Cannot Reach You Volume 3 is available now wherever books are sold. 


I Cannot Reach You Volume 3
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TL;DR

When I’m recommending BL manga, I Cannot Reach You is one of the titles I immediately add to a list. It’s heartfelt and beautiful and lonely and wholesome. It’s about what happens when you let things go unsaid and how two characters learn to love themselves before they open up to the person they love. I Cannot Reach You Volume 3 is the best in the series so far and I can’t wait to see what’s in store next.