Synopsis: After confessing her one-sided love to her crush, Maayo Kisaragi is soundly rejected and made the laughingstock when the object of her affections posted her failed attempt online. Surprisingly, her popular schoolmate Sui Chigira offers himself up to help her recover from her heartbreak with a pretend unrequited love game. She agrees but vows never to confess her love to anyone again. The problem is, as their relationship develops, so does Maayo’s feelings for Chigira. Can she risk her heart again in the face of potential rejection? This review covers Volumes 1-8 of Kujira Anan’s hit serialized manga And Yet You Are So Sweet (Nanoni, Chigira-kun ga Amasugiru).
I admit that I wasn’t entirely sold at the beginning of the manga. The backstory about the former crush and Maayo’s stalker-like behavior was weirdly delivered at the start of the story and it seemed a bit rushed. It was like the author was too excited to get rid of this conflict quickly and delve into Chigira and Maayo’s love story straight away. I can’t blame him, but still…
As the female lead, Maayo’s insecurities seemed over the top but considering how her former crush ridiculed her and embarrassed her, she could be forgiven for underestimating herself. On the other hand, it was obvious from the get-go that Chigira harbored a soft spot for Maayo. He was caring and gentle with her. He was very possessive of her and wanted to monopolize her attention (in a good way). He wanted her to focus only on himself. He was hardly successful in hiding his jealousy against Maayo’s former crush, and even is friend Tezuka. But Maayo’s insecurities were hard to crack. She did not believe that she was in Chigira’s league, and it served as a barrier between any real headway in their relationship.
Luckily, Chigira was not one to simply take things lying down. Even though his intentions with Maayo were definitely pure, he proactively created opportunities for them to get closer, and he made no secret about it. He held her hand. He hugged her out of the blue. He kissed her (within reason, given the state of their relationship). He was very respectful of her boundaries but he always made sure he got a bit closer with each encounter, either with a flirty stare, a sweet gesture, an act of chivalry. Chigara gave no shortage of heart fluttering moments in the series even during their pretend phase that its really difficult not to see through his sincerity.
Despite her hangups, I liked that Maayo always cleared things up with Chigira. She truly hated making him sad so she wasted no time opening up to him, especially with matters related to Tezuka. There were many things that she was embarrassed to ask him but she powered through her fears and made the effort to talk to him at every turn. This is something that I wish many stories had. As a result, it took only 22 chapters for them to finally become a couple. The remaining chapters that were available (22-28) were even more awesome as they navigated their relationship from a pretend to a real one.
Some would say 22 chapters would seem like a lot, but it was a good pace for their relationship. As they got to know each other, as they bared more about their true feelings, good and bad — it was a good start for this manga. While I have nothing against tsundere or yandere types in manga and anime (it is supposed to be fiction after all), it is refreshing to see these teens treat each other like normal teenagers — getting to know each other, not abusing each other with harsh words or unreasonable demands — and true to its title, its just too sweet.
All in all, I can’t wait to see how Chigira and Maayu’s relationship progresses even more, and how Chigi mends his relationship with his former bestie Tezuka (whom I think still has a major role to play in this story). Oh, I should not fail to mention that the art is top notch. Chigara is a dreamboat, most definitely (with or without glasses) and the art actually reminds me a lot of Ao Haru Ride. I don’t think I will watch the live action film that was just released this month because I want to preserve this couple’s perfection in my brain. So far, two thumbs up! The downside, as with any ongoing manga — I have to wait for months on end before the next installment of And Yet You are So Sweet. I say its still worth it.