You Are My Regret, Vol. 1

By Shimesaba and Ui Shigure. Released in Japan as “Kimi wa Boku no Regret” by Dash X Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Andria McKnight.

As with the author’s previous series, I wasn’t going to originally be reading this at all. Mostly that’s because the author’s previous series was Higehiro, and the first volume of that annoyed me in about 8,000 different ways. The other reason is that it has a title and cover art that made me think it was another of Yen’s many “license the novel based on a new animated Japanese movie starring a young teenage couple whose love is perfect and yet also tragic”, and I’ve kind of gone off those. But then I saw it was none of those, that’s it’s a romantic drama which tries to dig into the concept of “free spirits”, being selfish about being selfless, and how middle school students are dumbasses who can’t talk to each other. Honestly, the same holds true in high school, which is why this is a romantic drama and not a comedy. Everyone is in love and it’s killing them inside.

Back in middle school, Yuzuru and Ai dated. She had confessed to him, and he loved being around her. They walked around, did couple-y things, etc. But eventually the pressure of thinking that Ai was the sort who shouldn’t be tied down to anyone and should live her life freely got to be too much for Yuzuru, and he broke up with her while badly communicating this. Shortly afterwards, her family moved away,. and he now contents himself with sitting in the literature club classroom, reading, and being completely oblivious to the feelings of angry tsundere Kaoru. Unfortunately for him, Ai has moved back and is transferring into their school. Even worse, she’s still in love with him. Can they manage to recover their relationship and figure out what went wrong in the first place?

This was a bit of a mixed bag for me. That’s actually a plus, because it means that it rises ahead of Higehiro. Unfortunately, it does that by actually taking place in high school and featuring kids the same age, meaning it doesn’t have 90% of what made Higehiro annoying. It does have the remaining 10%, which is Yuzuru, the male love interest. I want to push him into a canal. That said, I get it. He’s a high school kid. He’s also one of those “cool intellectuals” who really isn’t, and fails to understand how women think or even that they do. I really pity poor Kaoru, who not only is clearly in love with this schmuck but also has to take him by the hand and lead him to the actual clue, that clue being that when you break up with someone because you feel dating them is too selfish, you need to ask yourself what it means to be dating, AND talk to the other person. As for Ai, I am honestly not sure it’s healthy for her to BE dating him at this point, but I suppose that’s what fiction is for. She is a ball of energy and angst, and I hope we get more depth about her in the next two books (a 2nd book from her perspective would help, but I’m not expecting that.)

This is a compact three volumes in Japan, so it should resolve things fairly quickly. I wasn’t wild about it, but I’ll try another volume. Just remember that teenagers are idiots.

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