MANGA REVIEW | "We Never Learn" - Volume Seven
It’s a bittersweet feeling knowing that the anime adaptation of We Never Learn has come to an end. Filled with great storytelling, fun voice acting, and some good comedy, the study buddy rom-com was a true highlight for anime in 2019. Despite being sad about its conclusion, we can still be glad that Taishi Tsutsui’s original manga is still going strong. And as evident by its pacing, the seventh volume has shown that he’s gotten better with how to handle Nariyuki and his troubled girls.
This latest collection of stories in We Never Learn gives equal time in the spotlight for all of Nariyuki’s cute study comrades. Uruka gets some time to practice her English skills, as well as spend a little alone time with her tutor. Fumino attempts to clear the air about a misunderstanding, while spending time with Nariyuki during a bad typhoon. Ogata finds a game she’s actually good at, while trying out a new look that would surprise anyone. Asumi finds herself injured, with the good-natured tutor assisting her while she heals. Even Kirisu-sensei takes center stage, as her advice to the students winds up backfiring on her own predicaments.
What has made We Never Learn such a charming manga is its treatment of the characters. Some harem-styled anime comedies always have characters that despise the main protagonist for zero reason whatsoever. (I’m looking at you, The Quintessential Quintuplets!) With Tsutsui’s means of storytelling development, every person in this series finds their reasons for their emotions and the like, instead of just out of the blue feeling something with zero context. In a way, it keeps the content of the series in a somewhat believable level.
Thankfully, the series has also found ways to become funnier at every step. Plot lines involving Fumino and Nariyuki seeking out a mysterious Instagram photographer and Kirisu-sensei trying her damndest to not fall asleep on the job is filled with laugh-a-page dilemmas. However, the highlight of this volume certainly belongs to (best girl) Uruka, as she attempts to speak English with Nariyuki. Her triumphs and stumbles alongside her tutor make for some comic gold, especially when a couple of foreigners enter the picture.
We Never Learn has transformed itself into a much-better manga as the months have gone by. Its seventh volume takes the series to bigger heights, shedding away any sort of been-there-done-that familiarity that most comedies like this tend to become victims of. Although we may never see these characters in animated form again anytime soon, we could at the very least be glad that the We Never Learn manga is still churning out some entertaining stories for the time being.
Promotional consideration provided by Erik Jansen of MediaLab PR