Play It Cool, Guys Volume 3, from Yen Press, continues the story of these quirky, clumsy, adorable, cool guys with a new addition. By Kokone Nata with translations by Amanda Haley and lettering by Lys Blakeslee, I enjoyed this volume even more than the second volume. They have all met, and the manga follows their interactions. With an endearing story, and cute guys front and center, it is easy to love the characters in Play It Cool, Guys Volume 3.

They’re dorky, yet cool. This volume has chapters 13 through 18. Each chapter in this full-color manga has a different color depending on whose perspective the chapter focuses. The color and focus match the previous volume; Shun Futami’s chapter is yellow, Souma Shiki’s is a cool mint green, Takayuki Mima is pink, and Hayate Ichikura is blue. The new addition, Motoharu Igarashi’s chapter, is lavender. It emphasizes the different characters and allows us to associate them with their cool shades. 

More Interactions Between The Cool, Goofy Guys

There is a movie adaptation of Motoharu’s book and Takayuki team is designing the ad. At first, Takayuki does know Motoharu is his childhood friend despite recognizing his name. Takayuki has no idea despite all the information Motoharu knows about him. Takayuki thinks Motoharu is an incredible author who is like a fortune-teller. Even Takayuki’s coworkers are in awe at his level of cluelessness.

Shun coaxes Souma to stop hiding his smile and be genuine to himself because Souma notices people stare at him when he smiles and assumes he looks creepy. There’s more here than in the previous volumes because the main characters were separate. Now, they engage with each other in each chapter. Whether forgetting umbrellas like Hayate then running into Souma or seeking advice on kindly rejecting someone like Shun reaching out to Takayuki, they are in each other’s orbit.  

Instances Of BL 

Play It Cool, Guys Volume 3 from Yen Press cover art
Play It Cool, Guys Volume 3 cover art courtesy of Yen Press

There are moments throughout hinting at BL between the characters. I mean, Motoharu admits that he is moving to Tokyo because of Takayuki. Doing that for a friend you have not seen since childhood is far-fetched, but moving for someone you liked is plausible.

I want this explored further in later volumes because cool guys do not have to be heterosexual. Dipping a toe in is fine but I want them to dive. Takayuki and Motoharu complement each other. A Souma and Shun shipping also sounds lovely.

Solid Story Progression in Play It Cool, Guys Volume 3

This volume is funny and familiar. I’ve tried to brush off embarrassing moments; I do not do it as cool as these guys though. It brings a larger story to the group and has an inspirational message about self-love, acceptance, and how what some consider a weakness can be a strength. The characters may be clumsy and clueless, but they bring out the best in each other as they come together.

Play It Cool, Guys Volume 3 takes the story in the right direction with an overarching narrative path alongside the individual illustrations. There is more here than cute guys who make goofs.