MANGA REVIEW | "We Never Learn" - Volume Five
Nariyuki has a lot on his plate in We Never Learn. Not only does he have to tutor three students in order to get into his college of choice, but they’re all seemingly got the hots for him. Fortunately, author Taishi Tsutsui has a knack for balancing the important parts of the story with the fluff, which all comes together great in its fifth volume.
After an awkward exchange in the last volume, Nariyuki and Uruka find themselves having difficulty talking to one another. With the aid of Fumino, the two try their best to mend their friendship. However, it’s apparent that Uruka’s feelings for Nariyuki are slowly starting to trickle out. This makes the situation even more tough when Fumino has a memorable night with the tutor, not to mention the trouble that Rizu and Asumi constantly throw at the young lad.
This volume demonstrates a strong balance between all of the characters, with Uruka, Rizu, Fumino, Asumi, and even Kirisu-sensei getting a crack in the spotlight. Reading as Nariyuki helps Rizu deal with her recent bout of fear or Kirisu-sensei forcibly wearing her old school uniform all manage to give off some huge laughs. A scenario where Asumi needs the tutor to fake being her boyfriend to appease her father also gives way to some hilarious material, especially when it comes to her dad’s reactions. However, it’s when We Never Learn goes for a tender moment where the manga truly shines its brightest.
That shining moment belongs to Fumino, who is finally being utilized more in this series. After a night out at a local festival, both Nariyuki and Fumino miss the last train, forcing them to share a hotel and a lone futon together. What follows is a beautiful moment as they gaze into the stars, revealing far deeper into why Fumino wants to study astronomy. It’s a tender situation, one that leads towards yet another possible romantic path for Nariyuki to take.
Some may groan over the way this manga has kind of gone the harem route, but it’s actually surprising to see how natural the course is taking itself. Yes, it can lead to a little naughtiness here and there, but it’s amazing to see how well it doesn’t rush towards the inevitable. We all know Nariyuki is going to end up with one of the girls he’s helping, but the journey there thus far is both enjoyable and endearing. (It also helps that the plot lines in these chapters this time around don’t feel so drawn out, an issue that I’ve had with a couple of the previous volumes.)
We Never Learn continues to be a fun and rewarding study buddy rom-com, even if it visits a harem trope or two once in awhile. Consistently funny throughout its fifth volume, the story of Nariyuki and his study buddies makes for a great mixture of laughs and tender moments. As the story continues, one can only guess who will take Nariyuki’s heart by story’s end. But until that time comes, I look forward to seeing how the relationships in We Never Learn progress, and odds are, it’ll bound to be quite entertaining!
Promotional consideration provided by Erik Jansen of MediaLab PR