So Cute It Hurts!! Volumes 3-4

So Cute It Hurts! Volume 3

The twins’ gender-switching is over, and everyone is trying to deal with whether their relationships will continue now that the truth is known.

This series is so fluffy it’s a great escapist read. But it does leave me with odd questions. Like… Megumu’s crush Aoi is one of those only-in-manga tough guys who’s “allergic” to women. As in, he actually faints if he gets too close to one. Where did this idea come from and who finds it at all plausible?

(Gotta love author Go Ikeyamada’s blatant use of the device, though. An early caption in volume 3 reads “Aoi Sanada (age 17) absolutely can’t stand being around women. So even Mego’s super-tiny boobs are lethal weapons to him!” as Aoi drools and passes out.)

Megumu and Aoi’s plotline develops as a star-crossed romance. They like each other but what future do they have when they can’t be physically together?

So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 3

Megumu’s twin brother Mitsuru, on the other hand, has a wacky hijinks story. Queen bee Azusa has found out his secret, that he was dressing as a girl, and she decides to bully him with it. Only that’s clearly cover for her liking him but not wanting to admit it. The author has chosen to portray her as clueless about feelings, though, making her less than a whole-hearted villain. When Azusa thinks about telling everyone his secret, which would mean never having to see him again, it’s followed up with “w-why’s my heart stinging?” It’s hard to believe that she’s both that mean and that naive.

There’s lots of overheated emotion in this series, which is what makes it so entertaining to anyone over the age of 12. The characters’ internal monologues are full of “why do I feel this way?” “will he still like me if I tell the truth?” “all that matters is seeing her smile” and similar, culminating in “I’ll keep my feelings hidden to keep that person happy.” But that trick never works.

The drama increases as Megumu determines to tell the truth to the one she loves. The centerpiece sequence in volume 3 uses sign language in a clever way. Mitsuru’s crush is deaf, so he learned it to talk to her. Apparently, Megumu also picked some up, and in volume 2 (which I didn’t read), it was seemingly revealed that the two crushes are also brother and sister, so Aoi knows it as well. Megumu and Aoi have been rushing around town trying to find each other now that they know they don’t want to be apart (regardless of his “condition”), and in the middle of traffic, they can’t be heard, so Megumu signs her feelings to him. That nicely brings the two twins’ storylines together briefly, although it promptly gets silly afterwards. Ikeyamada does a nice job of demonstrating the different ways the two can communicate, though, from masks to text messaging.

So Cute It Hurts!! Volume 4

Volume 3 was mostly Megumu’s candy-sweet romance, and volume 4 incorporates more Mitsuru. Azusa has demanded that he spend Sunday with her. She thinks it’s a date, and he thinks it’s a duel. Executed with video games.

Meanwhile, Megumu gets fashion suggestions from her friends, and Aoi wants dating advice from Mitsuru. That’s another source of humor, as how the brother sees the girl is very different from how the boyfriend sees her. Both couples go on their first date, a source of much nervousness.

I thought it was really cute (as the title promises), when Aoi and Megumu sit down for a meal together, that she worries over what to do about eating a messy food she really likes. Those small moments are what make this lightweight series a pleasant diversion. (The publisher provided review copies.)

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