My Love Mix-Up! Volume 4 is published by Viz Media with story by Wataru Hinekure and art by Aruko with translation by Jan Cash, and lettering by Inori Fukuda Trant. This sweet manga continues the budding romance between teenagers Sota Aoki, and Kosuke Ida after a case of mistaken identity leads the pair to date. Warm-hearted with that first flush of young love, My Love Mix-Up! Volume 4 shows the awkwardness, immaturity, and confusion in early relationships with a beautiful story in time for Pride Month.
Sweet Opposites Attract
Watching the pair interact is like watching opposites attract. Aoki is open about his feelings. He shows when he is angry, sad, confused, or embarrassed. Ida, on the other hand, is far more reserved though they are dating. Although Ida rarely even laughs or smiles, he does so when he teases Aoki. However, Ida is also more forthcoming about his relationship. To Aoki’s horror, he tells his teammates he and Aoki are dating, and Aoki breaks up with Ida right after.
Breaking up may seem ridiculous, but young love is like that. Minor issues are more serious, and lack of communication leads to conflict. They should have discussed whether to tell others prior. Aoki’s response stems from his fear that people will shun Ida if they learn he is dating a guy. Ida does not care about that. Both have issues conveying how they feel. Aoki flies off the handle, and Ida is uncertain how he feels about Aoki and does not realize why he teases him. The authenticity of the characters brings nostalgia reading this and looking back at our school years.
They Develop Side Characters Too
It is not all Aoki and Ida. My Love Mix-Up! Volume 4 spends time with Hayato Aida and Mio Hashimoto too. Their dynamic is also adorable and reminds me of Lovely Complex with Hashimoto’s desire for Aida to see her as a girl. Hashimoto helps Aoki and Ida’s relationship and later gets help from Aoki to get Aida to notice her. People can always advise on other people’s relationships than they can on their own. Of course, the advice is comical and does not work, but still, there is a sweetness between these two. At times this pair’s interactions overshadowed the leads because of their personalities.
The pacing feels slow at times. But since the story and characters are interesting occasional drag does not impact the enjoyment of the manga. I love readings stories that normalize love outside heterosexuality. People experience the same drama, stress, and heart pangs regardless of who they are and who they love. Stories that reflect different kinds of love are essential because people must see themselves reflected in books, shows, art, and movies.
I am curious to see how their relationship progresses and if they decide to tell others they are a couple. I hope later volumes explore comedy because I love romantic comedies heavy on the laughs. My Love Mix-Up! Volume 4 is an excellent BL story about young love.