Assorted Entanglements Volume 3 Has a Sweet Pair But Normalizes Abusive Love

Assorted Entanglements Volume 3 cover of Shinohara standing behind a seated Heke.

Assorted Entanglements Volume 3 continues leaning into different forms of abuse. It’s true that plenty of series, both manga and anime, take a comedic approach to violence. However, the additional dynamic of an adult woman beating up her underage partner adds a horrific layer. Two teens roughhousing is different than a pair that already has a predator grooming aspect. There are two other couples in Assorted Entanglements Volume 3, but it’s hard to look past the first pair the series introduces readers to, especially since it keeps revisiting them. 

Created by Mikanuji, translated by Eleanor Ruth Summers, and lettered by Elena Pizarro, this book is not the first where the author focuses on yuri. It’s apparent they can craft passionate and heartfelt tales of love. But they also include some disturbing stories of abuse that feel unnecessary because they normalize it rather than condemn it. The Yen Press manga shows love in different locations, whether at work or school. But it’s disturbing that the series leads with abuse and continues going back to it.

Assorted Entanglements Volume 3 Has Some Characters to Cheer On

It’s not all toxic, as the cutest couple is a writer and her agent, Heke and Shinohara. The pair circle each other awkwardly, constantly second-guessing their responses. It creates funny, cringeworthy moments between them. When they go out on a “research” date, it’s easy to sympathize with Shinohara. She’s terrified of saying the wrong thing. Often, she makes it all worse when she says what she thinks Heke would prefer to hear. 

Shinohara still doesn’t know that Heke knows she’s her gaming partner online. It’ll be interesting to see how long Assorted Entanglements can prolong this before someone comes clean. The cute surprise that Heke knew Shinohara longer is sweet. Out of the couples, this one is sweet without the abusive aspects. Who will be the first to confess out of this pair. 

Another Possible Abusive Relationship on the Horizon

Assorted Entanglements Volume 3 cover of Shinohara standing behind a seated Heke.
Assorted Entanglements Volume 3 cover. Yen Press.

It’s frustrating enough still seeing Iori and Minami’s underage relationship continue. But now the series introduces a teacher trying to build the courage to enter a lesbian bar. Her student volunteers to help her. Kujou realizes teenage Sugimoto works in a restaurant next to the bar. Kujou eventually asks for help to go to the bar. But Sugimoto decides to help her further with interacting. 

Iori’s sister, Tanaka, has her propensity for violence. Tanaka and Shizuku are cuter than Iori and Minami because they lack predatory aspects. It’s funny how Tanaka does not realize Shizuku allows her to win fights. Both have a tough exterior to hide their emotions, but hopefully, they will retire from fighting and focus on healthy affection as they grow closer. 

Assorted Entanglements Volume 3 includes a couple of promising relationships. However, focusing on Iori and Minami’s relationship while paving the way for another adult hooking up with a teen makes this series more pass than read. There’s no excuse for normalizing or romanticizing abuse. While Assorted Entanglements Volume 3 has one vibrant and sweet couple, the series needs to stop acting like abuse is part and parcel of the work that goes into a relationship. 

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