Fun, odd placing aside.
Volume 2 definitely ups the drama from the first volume as it begins with Miwa and Saeko already having sex, something they hadn’t yet initiated in the first volume. From there, their relationship grows, as does Saeko’s constant jealous when it comes to Miwa interacting with other people. Saeko is a bit all over the place in this, jumping from being totally cool with Miwa being friendly with everyone to getting clingy and jealous at the very mention of Miwa not only hanging out with a group of guys she’s in a band performance with, but also a group of their mutual female friends.
Saeko was very annoying to me in this volume, though a lot of it rang true to life for me. Saeko isn’t really jealous of others until some of their friends start bringing it up and asking why she isn’t jealous, which causes her to overthink and obsess. It’s something that absolutely happens daily in relationships so it totally makes sense for it to be a part of the series, I just wish Saeko wouldn’t run so hot and cold. I think this is actually an issue with the pacing of the story. There is a LOT packed into these 192 pages, and I think some segments could have been fleshed out so they lasted a bit longer and made it more of a slow burn buildup than just opinions and approaches changing every 15 pages.
At the same time Saeko is dealing with her jealousy issues, Miwa has decided she wants to become better at interpersonal communication and dealing with people. She envies people like Saeko who can quip back when people make comments rather than turning into an anxious mess as she does. It bothers her a lot, and she tries to let go more and be more chatty and open to experiences. However, she comes into contact with a guy named Kan Konosu who straight-up hates her and doesn’t hesitate to try and make her feel bad about herself and out her relationship at the same time. I’m getting the feeling he is secretly gay and was rejected by everyone he knows because of it and is taking out his anger on Miwa because he is jealous that although she is clearly in a relationship with another woman, her friends all roll with it and doesn’t see it as an issue. I’m pretty sure we’re supposed to eventually feel sympathetic toward him as things unfurl, but honestly, he’s just a bit of a pain in the ass and despite being gay (if that’s where the story is going) outing other people is never, ever okay. I can already tell I will struggle to find him redeemable in future volumes, but I’ll try to curb my annoyance.
Overall this is a pretty interesting series. I don’t find much contemporary lesbian romance manga, especially with women in this age range, so I do think it’s important work, but the pacing leaves a lot to be desired for me. Some chapters are super drawn out while others pack ten storylines in, so I think my main issue with this series is the overall pace of it and how uneven it sometimes feels.
Title: How Do We Relationship? (Volume 2)
Three Descriptors: Awkward, Sweet, Realistic