MANGA REVIEW | "Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible" - Volume Six
Even background characters want to have a moment to be seen. Despite his best intentions, Shiraishi still has trouble with being noticed by the crowds. Thankfully, Kubo’s been by his side since the beginning, with every moment spent with her aiding in his quest to be noticed. In Volume Six of Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible, our boy finally gets his chance to shine.
Beginning where things left off last volume, Kubo, Shiraishi, and their friends prepare themselves for the annual sports day festival. With plenty of practice under their belts, the team has plenty of hope of taking first place in the six-legged race. However, it’s in a scavenger hunt when Kubo helps Shiraishi be seen by the masses, with the girl doing her best to give the boy his first-ever win in life. Thankfully, such an event has a grand award: the chance for the two to hold hands.
“Holding hands” being the end game to all manga and anime rom-coms has been a joke/rule for years. Nene Yukimori obviously doesn’t play by those rules, as that moment gives the two something more than a step towards becoming a couple. In fact, it far better serves as a way to fill Shiraishi with a level of confidence that he’s never felt before. Kubo just so happens to be the one to boost it, giving the two a nice bonus feeling overall.
We also get the first time Kubo visits Shiraishi’s home. From coffee habits to studying techniques, the two’s first time alone at home is filled with plenty of sweetness and light laughs. But poor Shiraishi’s legs fall asleep during their studies, resulting in a fall that’ll make certain readers gasp with delight. While both somewhat keep their cool, it’s after Kubo departs when Shiraishi true composure is revealed. And honestly, can you blame him for having such a reaction?!
It wouldn’t be a school-based manga without some exam arcs, which occur in this volume of Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible. There’s the usual “Forgot my book, can I borrow yours?” story here, but it’s forgivably adorable what occurs between Kubo and Shiraishi. The girl also convinces the boy to do a late-night study session via online video chat, which at first sounds innocent enough. However, big sister Akina comes in wearing just a towel and a smile, making the video call hilariously awkward for the two classmates.
However, a big character growth is revealed via Kubo’s friends. It’s been apparent that Kubo’s been chasing her sister’s shadow since we were first introduced to Akina. Hazuki reveals all with a flashback to showcase the leaps and pitfalls Kubo has gone through to be a great student. Where Shiraishi doesn’t have to worry much since being unnoticeable, Kubo feels the expectations to be just as good as her sister at almost every corner. It is a terrific showcase of how much work Kubo puts into everything, which is a nice change of pace compared to rom-com mangas with flawless characters.
There’s a very nice little bonus at the end of this volume of Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible: the original one-shot. It is an entertaining read, which makes Kubo seem a little more naughtier than her current self. However, the one thing that didn’t change is the mannerisms of Shiraishi, who seems comfortable being a background character. Thankfully, with this sixth volume, Shiraishi seems more comfortable with a little attention. Let’s just see how things go with the upcoming school trip!
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.