ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘My Love Mix-Up,’ Volume 3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

My Love Mix-Up has easily risen in the ranks of my favorite wholesome and all-ages BL titles. What began as a miscommunication between Aoki and his crush Hashimoto and who he thought was her crush Ida has now blossomed into a supportive love story between the two boys. Last volume, miscommunications were cleared up and Ida learned the truth, that the confession Aoki gave him was to keep Hashimoto from being found out. But with the air cleared, Aoki couldn’t help but feel let down, because now, more than ever, he knows that he’s fallen for Ida. With My Love Mix-Up Volume 3, everything comes to a head on the class trip and the romance blossoms.

My Love Mix-Up Volume 3 is written by mangaka Wataru HInekuri and illustrated by mangaka Aruka. The series is published and localized in English by VIZ Media through their Shojo Beat imprint, though it was initially published in 2019. The Shojo Beat Edition of My Love Mix-Up Volume 3 features an adaptation and translation from Jan Cash, touch-up art & lettering by Inori Fukuda Trant, design by Yukiko Whitley, and is edited by Nancy Thistlewaite.

In this volume, Aoki’s class trip is underway and it’s not the joy he envisioned. Instead of bonding with his classmates, they’re all divided into groups at a ski resort based on their talent level…which puts Aoki and Hashimoto in Group D. Struggling to find some sense of happiness amid terrible meals and a bad ski instructor, Hashimoto and Aoki keep each other company and attempt to help each other in love. When Aida (Hashimoto’s crush) and Ida end up in group A, the two make a break for it to keep their friends company. Going with the mood, Aoki takes Ida away, leaving Hashimoto and Aida alone, hoping that they begin to bond. But the mood isn’t set just for them, but for Ida and Aoki too. With one final miscommunication to clear up, Aoki explains that he is actually in love with Ida, even if it all began as a cover-up.

With everything cleared up, My Love Mix-Up gets to move forward full steam ahead with an overt romance between Aoki and Ida. But like the romance in Ima Koi, this is one about communication and finding out how you feel for the other person. That openness is what has made My Love Mix-Up such a cute story. It’s purely teens exploring their emotions, being open about them, and viewing a relationship as something you grow into instead of something you know right from the jump.

The earnest way that Ida opens his heart to Aoki, despite being unsure what “liking someone” even means is an emotional exploration that gives the character depth. Ida is a “good guy” but he’s also unsure. Not unsure that he wants to learn more about Aoki and Aoki’s romantic feelings, but unsure of who he is. Opening up to Aoki is just as much about exploring what love even means to begin with as it is about growing to love the guy who has a crush on him.

For his part, Aoki is learning how to speak up and share how he feels even if he feels awkward or unsure. He’s hard on himself and on the position he’s put Ida in by confessing. But the story here is about validating the idea of a romance between the two of them and ultimately exploring it. It’s new for both boys, and ultimately discovering love together is what makes the story healthy and wholesome.

I want more stories that have the resolution that we see in My Love Mix-Up Volume 3. I want more cute shonen-ai that explores finding out what romance, dating, and love even meanwhile also breaking stigmas on queer relationships. My Love Mix-Up is a series that is vital in its romance and its caring exploration of identity. But beyond that, it’s just so dang wholesome and good.

My Love Mix-Up Volume 3 is available wherever books are sold April 5, 2022.


My Love Mix-Up Volume 3
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TL;DR

I want more stories like My Love Mix-Up Volume 3. I want more cute shonen-ai that explores finding out what romance, dating, and love even meanwhile also breaking stigmas on queer relationships. My Love Mix-Up is a series that is vital in its romance and its caring exploration of identity. But beyond that, it’s just so dang wholesome and good.