Assorted Entanglements Volume 2 Focuses On Toxic Love

Assorted Entanglements Volume 2 cover art of Shizuku straddling Saori.

Assorted Entanglements Volume 2 is a challenging read. It’s hard to feel an attachment to the different couples. The volume catches you off guard as the story moves from one pairing to the next. The abusive relationship the series leads with is still on display. While there are adorable moments, Assorted Entanglements Volume 2 is too confusing to invest in new ones.

Created by Mikanuji, the series has Iori’s younger sister Saori Tanaka and Minami’s friend, Shizuku Nakano, on the cover. Translated by Eleanor Ruth Summers and lettered by Elena Pizarro and Anthony Quintezza, I anticipated that this potential pairing would be front and center. But for this volume of the Yen Press manga, I was mistaken. The volume begins with two unknown women, Shinohara and Heke, who are strangers to the reader, playing online games together.

Assorted Entanglements Volume 2 Is Muddled See-Sawing Between Stories

This volume moves randomly between couples. It throws you off guard. Shinohara and Heke fall into the series with no explanation. So, rather than immersing yourself in their story, you wonder who they know from the established characters. Meanwhile, Saori and Suzuki, who showed promise in the previous volume, fail to hold interest in Assorted Entanglements Volume 2. There’s just too much going on and not enough setup.

Besides being confusing, this volume feels misleading. Shinohara and Heke’s relationship, along with Iori and Minami’s are the focus. Saori and Suzuki’s connection to couple, Iori and Minami, plus the cover of the book, make it seem like they’re the main story. But they exist on the fringes. I was curious to see how Saori and Shizuku’s relationship would develop. Unfortunately, the teetering between relationships gave me whiplash. Before I could fully engage with one couple, it was on to the next. So reading it felt flat. As such, what stood were the negative behaviors of each pair.

Love Doesn’t Need to Be Toxic or Abusive

Assorted Entanglements Volume 2 cover art of Shizuku straddling Saori.
Assorted Entanglements Volume 2 cover art. Yen Press

Each relationship has questionable, unhealthy, or outright abusive traits by at least one of the girls. In Iori and Minami’s situation, Iori preys on an underage girl and physically abuses her. Assorted Entanglements Volume 2 shows Minami sporting fresh bandages on her face. When her friends tell her she shouldn’t accept that treatment, Minami blames herself. It’s frustrating the second volume devotes too much time on their abusive relationship continues in the series. The second volume devotes far too much time to this pair.

Shizuku and Saori’s relationship also has violent moments. Saori breaks into Shizuku’s apartment through her window. Saori is in love with her sister. Shizuku’s obsessed with Minami. It’s unhealthy before they even date. Sure, they are in high school. But all of these relationships are violent and disturbing. As for Shinohara and Heke, Heke stalked Shinohara. She learned how to play games online to get close to Shinohara. Heke even went as far as finding out where she works. It’s giving Joe from You vibes.

I want to like Assorted Entanglements, but the confusing stories flipping back and forth made that challenging. The series is losing me by continuing the relationship from the first volume on top of the other issues. While the title says the series is an assortment of relationships, they all have more negative than positive aspects. Assorted Entanglements Volume 2 lacks cohesion and balance between toxic and healthy relationships. While it’s beautiful to read stories in the LGBTQ+ collection, the series needs to improve its disjointed storytelling and add dynamic characters that don’t exhibit abusive traits.

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