MANGA REVIEW | "How Do We Relationship?" - Volume Eight
I often find myself admiring what Tamifull’s How Do We Relationship? has accomplished. On top of it being a solid LGBTQ+ manga series, it also gets what adult dating is like these days. Sometimes it goes well, and other times it can result in messy breakups. Fortunately, both Miwa and Saeko have found a good way to stay friends even after their partnership ended. But in its eighth volume, that friendship may be tested when both start dating other women.
With Saeko and Yuria getting serious, Miwa finds herself now comfortable with her ex now having a new love in her life. It also gives her the opportunity to focus on Tamaki, although she can’t quite figure out how she feels about her. That all changes during a band camp trip, with Tamaki taking the opportunity to toy with Miwa as Saeko watches. And once Saeko leaves the room, both Miwa and Tamaki take a chance.
The relationship between Miwa and Tamaki has been building up since the latter’s introduction. It’s obvious that she has a thing for Miwa, despite never having been in a lesbian relationship before. That all changes after the events of the band camp, when both Tamaki and Miwa finally let their feelings be known. It’s a moment that not only helps break Miwa out of her funk, but showcases a proper means of starting a new relationship.
Thankfully, Saeko takes their news pretty well, especially with her knowing how well Miwa took to her dating Yuria. Both continue to be friends, but the fact that they’re keeping their past coupling secret from their current lovers feels like trouble could brew in the future. I’m not saying that Miwa or Saeko will cheat on their girlfriends with one another; it’s just that if you want to have a healthy relationship, you need to be upfront with who some people in your circle really are. The fact that Yuria and Miwa get buddy-buddy with one another after a recent concert certainly makes Saeko feel weird, but — honestly — she only has herself to blame!
There’s no hint of epic foreshadowing to be found in How Do We Relationship?, but one can sometimes read the room. Yes, Saeko and Miwa have moved on. Both are dating new people. They’re happy in their new relationships. So why does it feel like there’s some minor tension when the two of them are together? The answer: no matter how far you’ve put the past behind you, it’s still lurking there to remind you of those old feelings!
While both characters are now happy with their new girlfriends, there’s a sense that there’s something missing from them. It’s not the sex (or lack of, as Saeko put it), nor is it the joy. Perhaps it’s a certain level of connection nether Saeko or Miwa have yet to create with their current loved ones. However, both have become quite supportive of their girlfriends, especially with the way Miwa supports Tamaki’s current college goals or Saeko allowing Yuria to become more comfortable in an intimate setting.
How Do We Relationship? paces itself properly in its eighth volume. There’s no rushing into these new partnerships, as Saeko, Miwa, Yuria, and Tamaki get a proper feel of what their significant others are like. For a romantic manga to actually take its time and have its characters fully get to know one another instead of rushing, I have to applaud it. In fact, I can easily say that romantic series with straight couples can learn a thing or two from How Do We Relationship?’s progression!
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt and Mandy Earles of VIZ Media.