HomeComics/MangaMANGA REVIEW | "We Never Learn" - Volume Eighteen

MANGA REVIEW | "We Never Learn" - Volume Eighteen

MANGA REVIEW | "We Never Learn" - Volume Eighteen


In anime and manga rom-coms with multiple love interests, the path normally only goes two ways. To the left, it’s the open-ended finale, with all of the love interests still clamoring for the protagonist. On its right, one person actually gets chosen, much to the anger of both the other characters and some of its readers. It appears Taishi Tsutsui knows this, so he’s decided to go off-road with We Never Learn, giving each of the women in Nariyuki’s life some sort of happy ending.

With Volume Seventeen covering Uruka’s path, the eighteen places its focus on Ogata. She and Sawako are now roommates in college, sharing the very haunted apartment Nariyuki and Kirisu-Sensei looked at many volumes back. As the ghost Misao causes some mischief for the two, Nariyuki finds himself visiting often to make sure she doesn’t spook Ogata. However, the more he stays over, the more the “game” between Ogata and Nariyuki can continue.

The narrative showcases that a lot more happened between Nariyuki and Ogata during the Christmas holiday. Both make a deal to see if genuine feelings for one another can build up to justify a relationship. With Sawako in her corner — as well as Misao — the two begin to see what kind of spark they can conjure up. Now that the quest to get into college is over, they can focus on building a romance, which includes many of the trademark We Never Learn shenanigans!

From working a noodle shop during the summer to a reunion with Kirisu-sensei, many things occur that help to push Ogata and Nariyuki together. As Uruka is away in Australia and Fumino is barely around, it gives the two the chance to grow together without interruption. However, there’s always an interference lurking in the corner someplace, be it Misao, Sawako, and even an unannounced family member coming over. All of it is presented with the manga’s mixture of sweetness and perverted humor, the latter no thanks to the mischievous ghost!

But one thing that I was not expecting from We Never Learn is a big storyline involving Sawako. Her parents are on the verge of separating, and she feels like she’s to blame for the problems in the marriage. It’s a common thought that hits the brains of kids of rough relationships, and it’s presented with a lot of care to the situation. It’s how Ogata and Nariyuki help her and her parents that show the strength of the two’s problem-solving skills, in ways that are — while clichéd — pretty heartfelt.

However, it’s the final couple of chapters that sets the stage towards Ogata and Nariyuki’s romance. What starts as an innocent question-and-answer game between the two evolves into some soul-searching confessions. The final spark involves a throwback to an early chapter, bringing to light the true feelings these two share for one another. Its end result will no doubt leave those in Team Ogata feeling very satisfied.

Volume Eighteen of We Never Learn may be only for those rooting for the literary major, but it has plenty of laughs and heart to entertain everyone. It is a well-plotted conclusion to this what-if scenario, as it still appears that Uruka’s is the true route. Thankfully, fans of the other three girls won’t have to wait too long to see what happens in their what-ifs, and seeing how Tsutsui handled Ogata’s gives me confidence that we’re going to be happy with these next couple of alternate routes.


Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)