MANGA REVIEW | "Love’s in Sight!" - Volume Four
One of the great things about Love's in Sight! is how it shows that anyone can overcome their disability. Whether it’s day-to-day routines or even dating, Yukiko and her fellow sight-impaired friends keep proving that they have the skills and talent to do anything the average person can do. But in some cases, it’s still hard to convince other people that this is true. And in the fourth volume of Love's in Sight!, a spotlight is put on one of the toughest things a disabled person can do: get a job.
However, before that occurs, Yukiko and Morio have a big hurdle to jump over: the first kiss. After she pretties herself up for the first time, Yukiko attempts to woo her boyfriend into making that important move. But because both she and Morio are embarrassed by the mere thought, it’s a challenge to get the deed done. It’s one of the goofier stories that been on display here, but it’s sprinkled with the sweetness that we’ve come to expect from the narrative.
What comes as a big surprise is how great Izumi and Shisho’s story is. Izumi is in love with Shisho, unaware of his disinterest in women. When Izumi finally gets the courage to tell Shisho how she feels about him, he responds in a way that’s unpredictable. And by that, I mean he comes out of the closet. The big shocker: Izumi is the first person to know! (Readers learned about this fact in Volume Two, but no other character at the time was aware.)
It does throw a monkey wrench into Izumi’s fantasies. However, she not only comes to terms with Shisho’s sexuality, she also fully accepts him. Still, finding out that she’ll never have a chance is a gut-punch that no person should ever feel. Thankfully, she finds herself in a new level of friendship with Shisho, one that may hopefully help the guy bag a hot bro in the future. (One hopes Shisho returns the favor in some fashion!)
This then lead’s to the big story in Love's in Sight!: the job hunt. Right at the start, it’s clear that Yukiko will have plenty of challenges along the way. Although no one discourages her from finding a job, they’re not exactly 100% confident that she’ll succeed. And at first, they are correct, as every place Yukiko tells in advance of her disability turns her down.
Not only is it a situation that many a person with a disability has experienced, it does all of this without wearing rose-colored glasses. The feeling of rejection is blunt, hurtful, and — above all — real. Even with Yukiko’s can-do attitude, every time she’s turned down causes a little more self-doubt to rise into her spirit. Thankfully, Yukiko has a great boyfriend, and Morio does something that takes her by surprise in the most wonderful of ways.
When Yukiko finally finds a place that’ll hire her, the challenges don’t end there. Learning that her workplace will have to be accustomed to Yukiko’s disabilities puts pressure on her coworkers, on top of our romantic lead. There’s even rumblings that she was hired to meet a disability quota. However, a one-on-one chat with her manager shows that that’s not the case, as he has high hopes that Yukiko will do a great job in her new…erm, job.
The manga takes a terrific route with dealing with disabled hires. Yes, some companies can be jerks and hire handicapped people for crap jobs just so it looks good for them. But it’s clear that Yukiko’s boss isn’t like that. Quite the contrary: he wants everyone — Yukiko included — to be able to show their potential and make a proper living. He’s not dumb by any means, and how he handles this new situation -- on top of the issues that other coworkers have -- is commendable. Needless to say, many business owners and managers could take a cue from this storyline!
Love's in Sight! continues to be one of the most refreshing and informative rom-coms in current manga. We see Yukiko grow a lot here, and her relationship with Morio keeps making plenty of progress. How it treats disabled characters is refreshing, and it’s some of the best fictional portrayals of blindness the medium has ever seen. It may not change the world just for existing, but it could help readers be better people if they experience what Love's in Sight! has to offer.
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.