It’s been a rocky road, but Yusuke finally starts his first real relationship. Now, he strives to find a good job for the first time so that he can live up to his own expectations of the man he should be.
Little did Yusuke expect when he agreed to meet the person who he misdialed that he would end up becoming entranced by Kim Sam-Soon, a 28-year-old with an air of maturity about her along with a great career. Yusuke found his feelings growing for her despite feeling inadequate in his maturity in comparison, and it looked like their relationship was going to fail to launch until another chance meeting gave them the chance to really confront their feelings for each other. Now, the two are going-steady, and although the search is unrelentingly difficult, Yusuke pushes forward to find a job with the goal of eventually proposing to Kim.
How Was It?
I continue to be increasingly impressed with the way that Forget Me Not has succeeded in charting Yusuke’s personal maturation in the course of his failed relationships, and this volume is absolutely fantastic at highlighting this process in a nuanced and thoughtful manner as he begins dating Kim. It goes without saying at this stage in the series that we’ve seen Yusuke fail in his relationships because of his shortcomings, and what has made this process fascinating is because we’ve seen the way that each successive experience affects his subsequent actions in a way that reflects a wonderful degree of humanness. This volume explores Yusuke continuing to grow up in a rich way in depicting him in the context of his first “real” relationship, and what I really enjoyed about this was the way that his actions here reflect a more mature version of himself while still retaining other lingering doubts. We see how Yusuke has progressed in a number of ways while retaining some of the personality flaws that hold him back, such as his low-confidence and tendency to overreact, but I really enjoyed that it is apparent from the way that he acts that he HAS grown up and evolved in his personality. More than other series, Forget Me Not takes care to show that the process of maturing is not a binary process, I loved the way that this showed a nuanced portrayal of the Yusuke’s emotions, both good and bad.
Forget Me Not has done a great job really getting us as readers empathizing with Yusuke as he goes through his trials and tribulations, and we get some wonderful payoff in this volume as Yusuke and Kim begin their relationship. Their relationship, especially when placed in contrast with the way that Yusuke’s previous entanglements have gone, is absolutely charming because of how right it feels because of the way it pays service to the full range of emotions involved on their parts. I loved watching the chemistry between the two, but I also took note of the way that we also see the way that they resolve their disagreements. This helped to highlight the process of maturing that Yusuke goes through as mentioned above, but it also serves to really give a lot of emotional weight to Yusuke’s hunt for a job as he tries to cope with an extremely difficult search with the support of Kim. In the end, I couldn’t help but root ferociously for these two to give it their all in trying to make things work, and this is a real testament to the realistic yet charming way which captures a wonderful degree of nuance of this experience.
The one thing that cements this volume’s depiction of Yusuke and Kim’s relationship as perhaps my favourite depiction of a romantic relationship in a manga series is the arc’s final chapter. This chapter begins primarily from Kim’s point of view in recapping parts of her life leading up to and through their relationship, and this helps to flesh out her perspective in an awesome way that really adds to the overall experience we get in watching their relationship progress. For the majority of this storyline, Kim had been held at an emotional distance from us as readers, and this helped to highlight Yusuke’s emotional process. In contrast, this segment fully fleshes out her emotional process in a nuanced and empathetic way, exploring her own issues before coming to quite a cathartic conclusion in showing the impact that Yusuke has had upon her. Kim, like Yusuke, is portrayed in a strong degree of humanness, and this really helped to bring another powerful emotional element to this entire arc. The way that Yusuke and Kim are portrayed in this volume was a continuing highlight thanks to this nuanced depictions of their emotions in the context of their relationship, and combined with this series' art continuing to be absolutely wonderful, this storyline left an impression with me that isn’t likely to go away soon.
The final chapters of this volume launch into a new storyline as Yusuke settles into his new job, and this storyline raises a number of interesting new questions for Yusuke. Here, Yusuke encounters “Princess Nana”, who is the precocious daughter of his company’s president as well as the driving force for the beginning of this arc. Yusuke ends up getting to know her over the course of a couple coffees, and an interesting part of the dynamic the two develop is that Yusuke at this point is the experienced and more world-weary of the two of them in a strong contrast to his relationship with Kim. Although it isn’t immediately obvious what direction this storyline is going in as Yusuke becomes entangled in helping with a copyright dispute for Princess Nana’s friend (also nicknamed Nana), I enjoyed that we see Yusuke’s development continue as he demonstrates a stronger sense of self-assurance in a number of cool instances.
Forget Me Not continues to set the standard for a nuanced and human portrayal of romantic relationships, and the depiction of Yusuke and Kim’s relationship is its strongest and most affective work yet. Their relationship is enhanced wonderfully by the way that their respective emotional arcs are depicted, and found myself empathizing both with Yusuke and Kim as they embarked on their relationship together. We see the way that their relationship affects their respective hopes and fears, and as mentioned above, I continue to be impressed with the strong degree of emotional humanness that they are both depicted with over the course of this volume. As this series enters its final volume, I can’t wait to see how Yusuke’s storyline will end, and it’s a testament to how strong a job this series has done in characterizing him in a flawed and empathetic way that I am desperately hoping that he’ll get his happy ending.
Forget Me Not Vol. 6 was translated by Ko Ransom and published by Kodansha Comics USA on January 24th, 2017. Authored by Nao Emoto based on the original story by Mag Hsu, the series originally ran in Kodansha’s Monthly Shonen Magazine.
Date of Publication: January 24th, 2017
Author: Nao Emoto and Mag Hsu
Translator: Ko Ransom
Editor: Ajani Oloye
Publisher: Kodansha Comics