My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong As I Expected, Vol. 11

By Wataru Watari and Ponkan 8. Released in Japan as “Yahari Ore no Seishun Rabukome wa Machigatte Iru” by Gagaga Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Jennifer Ward.

My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong As I Expected may not be exactly the sort of harem manga Hachiman’s read in manga or novels, but it’s still a romantic comedy in the end. It has most of the major things that these series have – Hachiman may be far more cynical and bitter than the old-school potato harem lead, but he still has two main love interests and several others who easily could also slot into that place, such as Iroha and Saki. What’s more, Hachiman has changed, much to everyone else’s relief and Haruno’s disgust. It’s gotten to the point where, even if he can’t even narrate it out loud, he knows how Yukino and Yui feel about him. Yukino knows he knows. Yui knows he knows. All three know how this is likely going to end. And Yui desperately wants to put it off as long as possible, to keep their strong three-person club bond. But we know what happens to anime characters who say “I wish this time could last forever”.

It’s Valentine’s Day! And, naturally, the Service Club are roped into it. There are several people wanting to give chocolate to Hayama, but he refuses to accept any, so they ask our heroes to come up with a way they (Miura and Iroha, of course) can give him some. They end up sponsoring a “how to make your own homemade chocolate” event at the community center, with several boys, including Hayama, invited along as “taste testers”. This is a sensible plan that does not involve Hachiman throwing himself under a bus, so I approve. Unfortunately, someone invited Haruno, and she is absolutely the wrong person to be here, especially on a day like this. What’s worse, Yukino’s mom shows up again, and makes it pretty clear that hanging out with Hachiman and Yui is going to be coming to an end – very soon. Can Yui manage to hold things together, even to the point of taking Yukino and Hachiman out on a… date a trois?

It’s interesting seeing Haruno and Shizuka getting along fairly well in this book, as they’re both trying to drag Hachiman in different directions. Haruno is the sort of person you see talking to the former assassin/soldier talking about how they’ve gone soft and lost the edge that made them cool. Shizuka is urging Hachiman to try to actually say out loud – if only to himself – everything he’s been avoiding in his head. And, of course, Yui (and, passively, Yukino) doesn’t want to give up the wonderful bond she has with the two of them. The date at the end is achingly bittersweet, especially the ferris wheel ride. But sorry, Yui, you are not in a fantasy world where the kingdom has declared polygamy legal, and this isn’t going to end with Hachiman choosing two girls. That said, if this keeps up Yukino may lose by default – Haruno may not be as evil as she’s playing, but I bet mom is.

So yeah, another book that is happy most of the way through with a bitter end. Fortunately, there are no more .5 volumes before the climax, so we’ll be back next time to see how much more things can fall apart.

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