MANGA REVIEW | "We Never Learn" - Volume Fourteen
The clock is ticking for Nariyuki and his study buddies in We Never Learn. A new year is dawning, which means finals and entrance exams are nearing the corner. In its fourteenth volume, that realization hits everyone, especially Ogata. But before she can take her entrance exams, she has another challenge to deal with: overcoming her self-consciousness.
Something has been bothering Ogata for awhile, and the end of the thirteenth volume revealed what that was: self-hatred. Because of a shattered relationship with her late grandmother, the wannabe game master has been filled with doubt and disgust over her lack of understanding of human emotion. However, with the aid of Nariyuki and Fumino, Ogata may find the love that she’s been searching for.
This part of We Never Learn is perhaps one of the most realist moments in Taishi Tsutsui’s series. Although there have been plenty of relatable things scattered throughout this rom-com, this particular situation with Ogata may hit home for many readers. We’ve all dealt with self-doubt and a disliking of the things we may be or do. However, what many people may not realize is that somewhere close by is a person that admires everything that you do.
It wouldn’t be We Never Learn without some goofy misunderstandings thrown in during this particular arc, as evident by the nurse’s office shenanigans. Poor Nariyuki almost always manages to have both the best and worst luck when it comes to his tutor pals. But once Fumino gives off a certain smile, Nariyuki sees his doomed fate staring right back at him. However, it’s the sweeter moments that shine the brightest during these chapters, with everyone coming together to help Ogata when she truly needs it.
There are some fun side stories per usual, with Nariyuki somehow traveling back in time to go to an amusement park with a younger Kirisu-sensei. He also gets some fun bath time with Asumi, as well as lends a hand to Uruka when she need help cleaning the school pool. But within these fun moments is that realization that high school is coming to an end, with a trip to a shrine on New Year’s giving everyone one final prayer to overcome their obstacles.
It’s getting close to the end of the main story of We Never Learn, and Volume Fourteen demonstrates how much these characters have grown since its first volume. There’s as much heart and care as there are laughs to be found here, something that Tsutsui has done a wonderful job balancing throughout the series’s run. With the big tests now about to happen, one hopes for the pathways of these students to shine as brightly as We Never Learn’s humor and warmth.
Promotional consideration provided by Gabrielle Dyer of VIZ Media