HomeComics/MangaMANGA REVIEW | "Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible" - Volume Twelve [FINALE]

MANGA REVIEW | "Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible" - Volume Twelve [FINALE]

MANGA REVIEW | "Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible" - Volume Twelve [FINALE]

I was initially worried that Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible wouldn’t have enough uniqueness to stand out. Like a mob character in the background, I feared that this high school romance would be mixed in with the rest of the crowd. Thankfully, as volumes came and went, the story of Kubo and Shiraishi managed to deliver warm feels, good laughs, and genuine heart. And in its twelve and final volume, Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible ends this tale on a high note.

It’s the annual school trip, with Kubo and Shiraishi’s class embarking on Kyoto. And in the back of Shiraishi’s mind is the promise he and Kubo made: to have a day for just the two of them. But first, there’s a bountiful of things for the entire class and close friends to do, including taking a class pic. And there in the snapshot is Shiraishi, surrounded by the people he cares most about, no longer looking like a background character.

This moment may not be the big one we’ve been waiting for, but it’s certainly something that Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible has been gearing towards. Before Kubo entered his life, Shiraishi was invisible, shy, and rarely had any presence. But with the purple-haired girl’s help, our favorite good boy has begun to blossom like a rose and beam like a bright star. No longer is he someone wading in the back; he’s the guy who’s brought everyone together.

That aspect is apparent when Shiraishi helps a lost boy find his mom, an act he fears could throw a monkey wrench into his friends’ plans. The fear that he’s let his friends down disappears when Shirashi sees their reaction to the situation. Quickly, he realizes that it doesn’t matter what gets done or what they see; what matters most is that they do it all together. No longer does Shiraishi think of himself as a weighed anchor around his comrades; he’s now one of them.

Of course, this does lead to the big day where Kubo and Shiraishi spend the day just the two of them. From seeing the sights and helping an elderly couple, Kubo and Shiraishi take on everything like two peas in a pod. However, when it comes time for Shiraishi to confess his feelings to Kubo, well, you can probably guess what happens. Thankfully, he’s given another chance back at school, with his friends, family, and even Kubo’s family all supporting him.

This does lead to the one minor complaint with this finale: how the confession is handled. Although Nene Yukimori draws it beautifully, it feels like there should’ve been maybe one or two big actions that could’ve sealed the deal. Perhaps it’s because they were on school grounds, or Shiraishi had a feeling that the two were being watched at the time. Nevertheless, ending the manga without these two locking lips just feels sort of wrong.

With that being said, I cannot deny how wonderful of a read Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible has been. These characters grew in the right ways, with a great mixture of humor, drama, and realism. Being human is awkward, something that Shiraishi captured perfectly. All it takes is one person to stand by them and embrace that awkwardness to help bring them back into the fold. We all could use a Kubo in our lives, especially one who never lets anyone feel like they’re invisible to the world. And for that, this reviewer thanks Nene Yukimori for giving readers such a heartwarming rom-com that anyone would smile with rosy cheeks over.

FINAL GRADE (series):

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)