MANGA REVIEW | "Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible" - Volume Five
When Kubo helps Shiraishi blossom, his presence slowly become known better by his classmates. While he looks like your average manga background character, it’s clear that this kid wants to be noticed in some fashion. As we’ve come to the fifth volume of Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible, it’s high time that other students start to acknowledge him. Good thing there’s a sports festival coming up!
Before we get into that, we have a heartfelt moment between two sisters. What should be just a mere ask for coffee by Kubo becomes a look back from older sister Akina on how she’s grown up so much. It’s Kubo’s words of affirmation that make Akina realize how much her younger sister has modeled her life after hers. It’s a sweet reminiscence, one that’s only made bitter by the taste of the actual coffee.
That sweetness continues between Kubo and Shiraishi, who take weird surveys that leave the girl blushing more than the guy. However, it’s a birthday gesture from Kubo to Shiraishi that showcases how far the so-called background character has come along since its beginning. There’s a warmth that’s present in Kubo’s gift-giving, one that helps to bring a hint of romance in the air. (Either that, or it’s the deodorant the two classmates share!)
Kubo gets a big taste of her own teasing medicine when Akina takes her bra shopping, where the last person Kubo wants to see in such a predicament just so happens to show up! (A bonus comic later in the volume amplifies that embarrassment to a higher level.) When Shiraishi gets a mysterious note in his locker, Kubo finds herself in a jealousy’s grasp. But once the person who penned the note is revealed, Kubo’s fears are put to ease.
Moreover, the fact that Shiraishi has another friend to call his own is a sigh of relief to Kubo. It begins what one hopes will be a blossoming of friendships that’ll emerge in their class. As Shiraishi has a tough time being noticed in the first place, the fact that someone else initiated the gesture shows that there are others looking to get close to him. And it could lead towards the next school event: the sports festival!
Shiraishi, Kubo, and three others are paired up for the six(!)-legged race, a problem seeing as the loner student can’t even do a three-legged one. He and Kubo practice together on their own time, while the rest try to figure out a strategy on how to move without falling. For the first time in what might be his entire life, Shiraishi is being counted on to help gain a victory, with friends in tow. And it’s a feeling that that scares him, as evident by his interaction with Kubo and the others.
Little-by-little, Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible is shining a light on Shiraishi. Although Kubo herself will be there by his side to the very end, there’s no telling if and when the rest of their class will follow. Volume Five is the start of what could be Shiraishi’s end goal of finally being acknowledged by the rest of his peers. All he needs to do is speak up more, or — at the very least — frantically wave his arms whenever the chance to volunteer comes a-knockin’!
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media