Today I’m taking a look at something a little different in the manga department. With perhaps one of the best titles out of the new manga releases this year comes How Do We Relationship? from VIZ Media. This yuri series promises ups and downs as the two protagonists figure out what love means to them, but does it prove an interesting read? Let’s find out!
The story follows college student Miwa who has always dreamed of finding true love but found it difficult in her small town. Having moved to Tokyo for college, she’s hopeful her dream will now come true, but little does she know her soon-to-be partner will show up completely unexpectedly.
In her early days at college, Miwa meets Saeko, a scatter-brained young woman who compliments Miwa on having “mad cleavage”. It’s the worst first meeting you could imagine, but somehow the two become close friends.
One night after some heavy drinking with their friends, Miwa reveals to Saeko that she’s gay. After revealing that she’s also attracted to girls, Saeko proposes that she and Miwa should date one another. After all, what’re the chances they’ll meet other openly gay women?
Miwa goes along with the idea but since this is her first relationship, she soon begins wondering if this is what love and relationships are supposed to be like. Meanwhile Saeko, who has dated before, is eager to get more intimate with Miwa but will her pushiness drive a wedge between them?
While I like the premise of How Do We Relationship? I ended up growing disappointed with it, the further I got into the volume. While there are plenty of interesting elements to explore here (especially Saeko’s history who seems to have been bullied for being gay), the manga doesn’t touch on them much in this instalment.
Instead, the focus for a lot of Volume 1 is on Saeko wanting to get Miwa into bed. While I don’t inherently dislike the fact that Saeko is so interested in sex, I did find her too pushy toward Miwa. The point of this is to show how different people approach relationships and how what they want out of them can differ, but that doesn’t make it any less uncomfortable for the reader.
The main positive here is that in the very first chapter Saeko and Miwa are in bed together before the series flashes back to how they met. Having achieved the goal, hopefully Saeko’s attitude will be less annoying in Volume 2.
Saeko’s personality is outgoing and bubbly, which works well in contrast to Miwa’s much more quiet and shy persona. Their different attitudes toward life lead them to clash on occasion but for the most part, they’re a fairly compatible couple. They both seem to have interesting stories from their younger years regarding coming to terms with their sexualitiy and the manga does its best to keep you on the hook by dropping subtle hints to their stories throughout.
The mangaka behind the series is Tamifull, who has a few doujinshi to their name (and one other published series) but this is their first work to make it into English. On the whole, their artwork is clean and attractive. The character designs are nice to look at and not stereotypically cute or unrealistic.
Tamifull packs a lot into the panels of this manga. Rather than making use of large scenes, they focus instead on filling each page with smaller panels and putting as much into the backgrounds as possible. Surprisingly it never feels overly crowded and there is plenty to watch out for on a repeated read of the book.
This release comes to the West thanks to Viz Media and has been translated by Abby Lerkhe. The translation reads well with no issues to speak of. How Do We Relationship? is on-going in Japan at 4 volumes and Viz has Volume 2 scheduled for release in January 2021.
Overall, How Do We Relationship? has an intriguing premise and a likeable cast. However, Saeko’s overbearing personality may get on some readers’ nerves. Due to this, the series certainly won’t be for everyone, but if you are looking for a down-to-earth yuri romance, then this is certainly worth a look.