Love Me For Who I Am Volume 4 [Manga Review]

Love Me For Who I Am Volume 4

Seven Seas Entertainment

Story & Art: Kata Konoyama

Mogumo’s little sister, Sakura, has paid Café Question a totally unexpected visit! Just what is she doing there? And why is Mogumo so unhappy to see her?

If you’ve read my reviews for volumes one, two, and three, you’ll know I’ve felt like this series has been growing in quality as it goes. Here, the series feels like it has stabilized in overall quality, albeit while adding an interesting wrinkle to the story.

The key thing here is the introduction Mogumo’s little sister, Sakura. At first, she comes across as being a bit unsupportive of Mogumo’s gender identity, but it soon becomes clear that there’s a lot more going on here. In many respects, Sakura is a tool to introduce Mogumo’s family life. We get to see their father and learn how unsupportive he is of their identity. We also get to see their mother and learn about how much she’s struggling.

The interesting thing is this isn’t entirely framed as purely a look-at-how-bad-things-are-for-Mogumo thing. Yes, we absolutely feel sympathy for them, but at the same time, we also see the way their decision to move out has hit their family. In particular, Sakura has had to pick up the slack at home, and while still identifying as a girl, her father’s attitude towards her less traditionally feminine interests is clearly wearing her down.

The regular cast is also on fine form here. Despite the issues raised by Sakura’s appearance, Mogumo and Tetsu are absolutely adorable together, and I can’t wait to see how Sakura reacts when they come clean about their relationship. The other staff members from Question are also their lovable selves, with Ten-chan’s over the top reactions being as delightful as ever.

In terms of the art, I feel like this is the best we’ve seen. The characters have always been emotive, but it’s super consistent this time around. In particular, Kata Konayama has done an excellent job with using lighting to fit the mood. There’s a wonderful panel where Mogumo stops Tetsu from blurting out that they’re dating, and it does a great job at putting the focus where it needs to be. The background is understated, and Mogumo is not only cast in shadow but casting a shadow on Tetsu. It’s an excellent way of capturing the gravity of what they’re doing by stopping Tetsu from talking.

Then, that final chapter of the volume was intense. From the moment Sakura picks up the kitchen knife the tone shifts entirely towards a darker edge, and we end up left on another cliff-hanger that really makes you want to catch the next volume as soon as possible. Oh, and that cover! The colour work here is phenomenal; it’s crisp and gives the image some real depth.

Really, the only issue I can raise with this one is that it does confirm that volume 5 will be the final volume. That left me a little deflated because I’ve come to be quite attached to these characters. That’s not something you can really class as a criticism though.

Overall, this was an excellent mix of comedy and romance, with some new backstory chunks that carry some serious weight. I do not hesitate to give this one the full 5 out of 5.

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