My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong As I Expected Volume 11, from Yen Press, is written by Wataru Watari with illustrations by Ponkan 8 and translations by Jennifer Ward. It continues the story of Hachiman Hikigaya, Yukino Yukinoshita, and Yui Yuigahama. Their relationship has come a long way from the continuous insults in the beginning. This issue has the humor of previous ones and heartfelt moments, and even adorable nostalgic moments from their past.
My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong As I Expected is equal parts humor, heart, and cynicism, and it continues in this volume. As Valentine’s Day approaches clients, who need help baking Valentine’s Day chocolate treats converge on the Service Club for assistance. The client’s motivations vary. But thanks to Iroha Isshiki’s discussion with Yukino, Yui, and Hikigaya, they decide to hold a baking event before the holiday for interested students.
The characters are learning more about themselves. We all recall those confusing emotions and fears, especially when it comes to love and affection. The moments between the trio are always equal parts, funny and awkward. The light novel does a realistic job of capturing those moments. Sometimes it’s impossible to discover ourselves with societal and familial pressures. There’s also that terror where you want a relationship to move forward but are terrified of how group dynamics will alter.
Character’s Are Moving Forward
To see the dynamics of the relationships makes the reader also hurt. We’ve grown attached to their relationships as they are, but change is unavoidable. The constant nods to anime and manga from Hikigaya are comical. They are no different than when an avid movie fan references quotes in conversation. Although, Hikigaya does this often. Many previous Service Club clients are in this volume as they all come together to make Valentine’s treats for their chosen, be it friends or someone more.
The tension is in large part thanks to Yukino’s sister, Haruno. Haruno’s the epitome of the mean girl that smiles while delivering ice shards through her words. She lives to bring discomfort. Later, we may discover they are good people deep down, but I wish someone would scream at them for now. Haruno especially, as she keeps disturbing the peace. She may be right that the Hikigaya, Yukino, and Yui can’t continue this inauthentic companionship. But forcing the issue can do more damage.
Drawn Out Like An Anime Fight But Still Works
There is a drag in this volume that even the characters acknowledge, Haruno most of all. Something is off and inauthentic in their relationships. Yet moving forward, and what that may mean, fills them with fear. However, the resemblance to life is there in the drag. If many of us look at our relationships, most of them would be shallow; composed of people we only interact with because they are present.
Hopefully, as this one ends on a cliffhanger, we get forward traction in the next volume, and Hikigaya, Yukino, and Yui are no longer in a static relationship. But most popular shows and manga don’t have partners pairing up right away. After all, Sawako and Shota didn’t become a couple until the end of season two, which was adorable and worth the wait. The journey to love is often as beautiful, if not more so than when the pair declares love. That’s a Kimi Ni Todoke reference.
This volume of My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong As I Expected may drag out what we are waiting for, but it’s still engaging and worth a read. There’s nostalgia, laughter, and affection. I’m excited to see what happens next!