I hope that everyone is doing well, and had a nice time celebrating the beginning of a new year.
Things have been going fairly well, especially after finding out that Amazon finally killed off one of its biggest mistakes, and I can still do the things that I enjoy.
Back during the end of 2017, I got some Amazon credit and I used it to get two titles.
Today, I will be reviewing one of those two titles from, which is called Love & Lies Volume 2 by Musawo.
As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
Things are starting to get complicated for Yukari, as the ministry comes to check up on him and Lilina, and Yukari himself gets nervous with certain conversations.
However, when Yukari, Lilina, and Misaka go on a camping trip with Yukari's and Lilina's parents, things start getting more complicated and Lilina is reminded that things might not end happily.
While the first volume was pretty impressive, though it did have a clichéd vibe towards the beginning, that does not mean that the series will remain good all the way through.
And after reading this, I can say that I kind of liked it, though not as much as the first volume.
Just like with the previous volume, from the moment that I started reading the first few pages, I found myself so engrossed in the work that I did not want to put it down for any reason.
For any kind of work out there, a reader needs to be pulled into a work enough that they lose track of everything for a short moment that work would take to read, and, depending on the kind of work being presented, there are many ways to do this, though the usual is just by making things move along slowly, yet still seem interesting.
In the case of manga, as it is usually a serialized medium, this is done by picking up where things were left.
Back in the previous volume, Nisaka spotted Yukari kissing Misaki and both he and Yukari expressed interest in talking with the other, which made me wonder what exactly would happen, and this volume's first chapter opens up right with Nisaka and Yukari talking to each other.
As much as I would want to praise Musawo for starting things off quite well though, seeing as she does the writing and art work, the real credit goes to Kodansha's Japanese branch, or whoever they had compile these chapters into volumes, as they knew how to start a manga volume off on the right foot.
If the volume had not started right where the last one left off, I would have been a little disappointed, because that would have made a relatively decent cliffhanger into nothing more than something that did not make too much sense, though it could have just left the conversation to a flashback moment and been okay.
Fortunately, the people who compiled the chapters that made this volume did not do that, and at least made it easy to get back into the work.
Hopefully, this will continue on for the rest of the series, as it will be able to keep things interesting, though it would take quite a bit of time for me to forget how this series began in a way that did not give off that feeling of being unique.
I also liked how I was able to chuckle a few times while reading this book.
Even though the humor was not really that unique, in comparison to anime and manga in general, things were still executed well enough that I was still able to get some sort of a laugh.
One of the things that I really liked about this series was that even though it started off in a way that almost made me want to forget about this series after one volume because it did not give off that vibe of being unique that every story needs to have, regardless of whether it is truly original or not, the humor still made things enjoyable enough that the world of the series felt more lively, and Musawo was still able to deliver in this series quite well.
If the humor had been left out entirely, I would have been really disappointed, as the only reason to keep following the plot, which is not really that different from any other series that makes one wonder if the characters that are head over heels for each other would in fact get together, leading to a dating setup that is about as boring as the one in The Whistler from John Grisham, which would make me want to drop this series almost as quickly as Girls' Last Tour's first volume made me want to forget about that series.
Thankfully, the humor was still present, and that was able save this volume just enough for me to not get bored just yet, which makes me want to give Musawo a little applause.
Hopefully, the humors remains good throughout the series run, but I do not doubt that the humor will become tiresome really quickly, seeing as this series has already showed quite a few flaws in the first volume, so the next volume may be the last of this series I read.
The thing that I liked the most though was how Lilina started to react more about what Misaki and Yukari do.
Back in the previous volume, she claimed that she was incapable of falling in love and tried to Yukari and Misaki to be closer and Misaki warned that it could backfire on her, but she did not seem to care too much.
While Lilina did not say anything like “get away from my man!” in this volume, she did seem to show signs that she indeed has some feelings for Yukari, like her wondering how she should take Yukari's honesty about kissing Misaki, and with the explanation of how couples are matched up under the Yukari law that was revealed in this volume, it does make sense that it would be happening.
In a series like this, there does need to be some kind of conflict, other than the one preventing Yukari from being with the girl he has feelings for, and this occurrence suggests that there might be some conflict that will crop up and Lilina might start to take a stand, knowing what would happen if Yukari did not choose her, in order to be sure he can pursue his dream, but I kind of doubt it, seeing as what data I could gather about what happens later on in the series does not fall in place with such a scenario.
If things like this did not occur, I would have been really disappointed, because it would have seemed to be unrealistic and unbelievable, and it would have given me even more reason to consider dropping the series, because works in the romance genre still need to be works that the audience would find believable.
Fortunately, Musawo remembered that this was a work of romance and started to show that Lilina's efforts might just end up hurting her, and that makes me want to give Musawo some more applause, though still not quite as much as I would have liked to see.
Hopefully, things will improve in this area as the series progresses, but this could very well be the Attack on Titan of romance, so it could be very much possible that Musawo will either forget once again that this is a romance or do so much damage to the series that it would not be worth following.
Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at least that could not be shoehorned into what I already talked about.
Because my interest was captured quickly and held right up to the end, by picking up where the last volume left off, there were some things to chuckle about, and Lilina reacting differently than what she claimed back in the beginning of the series, this was a fairly decent read.
Although I liked the book, there are some issues.
However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about, such as typos, only one thing really bothered me.
There is no unique vibe to be found.
Now, many people might be saying that it is hard to come up with anything truly original, but, as I have said numerous times, even once already in this review, a work of fiction can still give off that vibe of it being different from everything else, and if a work does not give a reader the feeling that what they are really is going to be different, they are not going to enjoy themselves one bit.
In the case of this series, Musawo has been having difficulties creating that vibe, by having the very first chapter of the series start off like so many other series, in which the protagonist that we are introduced to has a crush on somebody and wants to be with, and when I saw a character claim that they would never get married, I thought that things would turn around.
However, in this volume, things go back to giving me a feeling that all of this has been done before and that Yukari and Misaki will eventually end up together, even if that might not be the ending that Musawo has in mind for this series.
Really, Musawo? Is this how a proper romance, let aloe a work of fiction, is supposed to play out?
There are many works of fiction and many genres that those works are classified under, but many of the greatest works of fiction out there were great because they delivered things in such a way that even people who are not technically the target audience can enjoy themselves, and they each have something that makes that work seem like it is an entirely new work.
Unfortunately for this series, this is the second time in a row that I got this feeling that I feel like I have read something like this a countless number of times before.
The second volume is supposed to give readers even more reason to continue following a series than the first did and try to start making this series come into its own by fleshing things out a bit more, but most of those chapters did not do that, or at least do it in a way that I am actually interested in what is going on.
This could very well be a weakest of the romance genre, just like how there is very little one could do with zombies, but, in my time spent reading numerous works, whether something has the unique and/or interesting feel that it needs or not is entirely dependent on how the creator writes things, so it would not make sense that any one genre has weaknesses, as opposed to the writer's capabilities being what keeps it from being good.
Still, a series or other work of fiction does need to make the readers think that it is unique, and Musawo completely and utterly failed.
Hopefully, things will improve in the next volume, because I really wanted to like this series, but I would not be surprised if things get worse, since I decided to only give this series three volumes to impress me.
Thankfully, nothing else really bothered me, so I can leave this series with something left to stand on, instead of burying it further into ground.
While there was only one thing wrong with this book, the issue that presented itself was one of the more major problems a fictional work can have and that this was the second time in a row it cropped up, it really hurts the quality of the book itself.
Despite the fact that there were a few things to like, the only issue to be found makes things bad enough that this was only good enough to kill time.
I recommend this mainnly to fans of Love & Lies, as they will be able to like this the most.
As for everyone, you are free to read this book if you want, but the lack of a feeling of uniqueness might be very off putting, so I would suggest avoiding the series altogether instead.
If you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon or, if you want to see if my judgement is right, buy a copy of the reviewed title from Book Depository, who offers free shipping to many countries around the world, so that I can find more worthwhile reads for you guys.
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