Welcome back to Romance Roundtable: a feature where the editorial POME Crones gather together to discuss Romance Manga. Today we’re covering volume 1 of My Love Mix-Up! by Wataru Hinekure and Aruko. Fall in love along with us as we cackle throughout this beautifully drawn bisexual love triangle about sweet, goofy teens.
Jenny: this book was so cute!!
CC: I am SOOOOO excited to talk about this one!!!
my [bisexual] love mixup!!!!!
Rachel: this book was such a balm
Ashley: i enjoyed it a lot tooo
just basking in that for a moment
i feel like this is one of the books where there are certain things i don’t want to give away because they are so delightful to experience
Jenny: there was definitely A LOT of gasping on my end
a lot of cackling
CC: I think we can warn folks before voyaging into ~ * ~ the spoiler zone ~ * ~
Jenny: yeah i definitely took way too many screencaps in an attempt to actually covey the absurdity of some of these situations
exhibit a (the premise):
Jenny: just whole pages
CC: they really had a whole ass love mix-up! on every level!
Ashley: the immediate reaction to the opening eraser mixup was great and also introduces the perfect himbo at the center of the book’s love triangle
Jenny: what a kind an earnest hunk!!
Rachel: it’s true!!!
idk i know this is teen-complicated, but i love this simple love triangle
like, guy likes girl, girl likes other guy, maybe guy likes other guy??
maybe other guy likes guy????
Ashley: truly this is like, a golden ratio of bisexual love triangle
Jenny: and i feel like it gets handled really well!
with a lot of good humor
CC: i mean
Ashley: so good
Jenny: lololol this sweet dummy
Rachel: love the classic genderbent fairy tale play
as a way to shake things up
Jenny: oh my god!! i was CACKLING!!
Ashley: YES i was like okay drag is a trope i can root for every single time
the very special episode where we all gender at each other
Rachel: nobody does it better than Card Captor Sakura but this honestly gets really close!!!
CC: LMAO RACHEL I was gonna say
Ashley: HAHA yeah i was thinking about CCS the whole time
CC: a true classic
Ashley: just the best
i love the way the artist draws his volunteer moment
there are a lot of really great panels
a lot of really great faces
Ashley: so good lolol
just adorable and hilarious
Rachel: i was living for these expressions
Ashley: the ghoooost haha yes
Jenny: the mascara on this ghost!!
a perfect touch!
CC: i love the back of the head screaming
Rachel: LOL YES
Ashley: HAHA so god
Rachel: this is the same artist as My Love Story but i feel like they go so much harder in this book!!!
Ashley: oh wow yeah
Jenny: for sure!!
i could feel how much fun they were having with some of these pages
the confession scene right at the beginning
it’s like a high noon standoff
Jenny: and this panelling!!
Ashley: *energy intensifies*
this mangaka definitely has suuuch good pacing and comedic timing
Rachel: yes!! from a purely comics standpoint, there are some great great bits
i loved this as a manga inside joke
Rachel: the “mob” character with the への faces
Rachel: there was another bit that i forgot to screenshot where our main boy is reading a shoujo manga magazine
and i looked it up and it’s the same magazine this story is published in!
CC: i got u
i enjoyed this very much
Jenny: what is love? i will learn straight from the source
CC: my love fix-up!
Jenny: oh my god cuute!
this scene was so funny too
was a good way to build up the meddling friend, aida
Ashley: omg aida
Rachel: i love him
THE MOM COSPLAY
further proof that comics are good
you couldn’t pull that gag off in any other medium
CC: comics stays winning
Rachel: this also got me
Rachel: we all know that one extrovert friend
bless you, whoever you are
Ashley: AAAhahah “when a gemini decides they like you”
Jenny: lol also get a load of those massive fingers
CC: big hands warm heart
Jenny: can’t lose!!
Jenny: the rest of this page is so cute too
Jenny: i feel like they have so much fun mixing art styles
you’ve got those older kind of classic crying eyes, the yaoi hands
it conveys a lot of context in one small section
Rachel: yes definitely!!
honestly when an artist can speak enough not just to their own work/craft but also to the tropes of the craft as a whole
it gets me so fired up!!!!
Ashley: cartooning: great artform or greatest artform??????????
Rachel: as much as i loved the art in this book
i think the lettering choices are very strange
Ashley: ahh yes
Rachel: the fonts gave me such whiplash!!
Ashley: yeah, wasn’t a fan
Rachel: i’m so curious if this was the translators trying to reflect something about the original text
or if they were like, just being very extra
Ashley: i feel like they are trying to add a vibe layer
but lettering is honestly difficult and important, often treated like an afterthought i think so vibes were off
Rachel: yes definitely!!!
i have been listening to a lot of Mangasplaining and it’s definitely given me new thoughts/feelings about translations and lettering
Ashley: oooo i was also thinking about mangasplaining!
Rachel: a good podcast i would def recommend to anybody interested in manga and comics making!!
I am struggling to avoid spoilers but
can we enter the spoiler zone
Ashley: do it
CC: OK BELOW THIS IMAGE
WE ENTER THE SPOILER ZONE
Ashley: ooo yes wreaking destruction on the internet with spoilers
CC: ok so: talk about a love mix-up reveal
CC: L M A O L M A O L M A OOOOO
laughing my whole ass
Jenny: truly screamed
Ashley: the little dotted line on the eraser
Jenny: just like
Rachel: i did not see this coming
i loved it
Ashley: bro seriously
Jenny: i also did not see it coming!!
Ashley: i was genuinely floored
Jenny: i’m looking at this page again for the first time after the reveal
her face in that bottom panel makes a lot more sense now!
Jenny: not something i noticed at first!
CC: get it hashimoto
Ashley: hashimoto is soooo adorable, aoki and ida really steal the show but i love her
CC: agreed!!! want nothing but the best 4 her
i mean like, the eraser is a p good misdirection but i wonder if aoki assumed hashimoto liked ida
bc ma y beeeee he also already liked ida a little bit? who knows
seems like a big leap but
it’s my headcannon L O L
Jenny: just like well if you’re going to like an a/ida — ida’s obviously the one to like
is maybe his thought process
Ashley: that thing when you’re like “oh yeah everything thinks that guy is hot” and then you’re like… “he is hot”
Jenny: love to learn and grow
Ashley: i feel like it is a such a funny and cute teenage thing to like, start liking someone after finding out a friend does? you’re suddenly paying attention to their attractive qualities
CC: ALSO Ida
who wouldn’t like him
Jenny: so classy
Ashley: i know he’s so dreamy
CC: absolutely unflappable gem of a guy
Ashley: he can even draw a horse
Rachel: which is honestly so impressive!!!
Ashley: so real
Jenny: that was supposed to be omg
but oh my horse
Ashley: OH MY HORSE
Ashley: i want to mash that up with “on my way”
on my horse “omh”
Jenny: darn tootin’
Ashley: this is probably the first time we’ve ever done one of these with a horse where it didn’t cause tragedy
CC: MHOBJ (my horse only brings joy)
Jenny: this horse brings people together!!
Ashley: AHHHHHHH hahaha
is your child texting about horse
Ashley: in this case yes
Jenny: ok idk if we’ve really mentioned this yet
but kind of the plot of this book is like 1) yes the love triangle, but also 2) our protagonist is actively trying to set up the other two corners of the triangle?
Jenny: like, he wants hashimoto to be happy!!
but then he starts getting sad and confused
leading to that screencap cc posted earlier (can’t even tell which one of them he’s jealous of)
and honestly i just feel like this love triangle was already so good
but to add this layer of selfsabotage
this feels so much more Teen than any of the drama from riverdale
the way they’re misinterpreting everyone’s intentions including their own
CC: i mean also nobody’s been stabbed over a game of d&d
CC: much more truly relatable imo
Ashley: i will say i did briefly play d&d with a guy who carried a huge knife
but i was an adult at the time
Rachel: as long as it wasn’t tom hanks
no mazes and monsters moments here
Ashley: definitely not
CC: ok so i gotta admit
one of my favorite things about this book
just while we’re talking about the love triangle
is just how i kept waiting for the other shoe to drop
for ida to be less of an openminded sweetheart after aoki’s confession like
Ashley: HAHAH omg yesss
Rachel: yes tbh i was waiting for some degree of homophobia to show up!!
internalized, externalized, w/e
Ashley: me too, but he was extremely on the level and tactful?
CC: yeah ida’s just like, well, i’ve never been in love before, let’s be friends and i can see how i feel about this
Ashley: perfect himbo
Jenny: so classy!
also love that they got to reenact one of the scenes from the true beauty pilot
CC: L O L
Jenny: that’s how you know which couple is endgame
did one of them pull the other off a roof and then lie on top of them?
Jenny: that’s the main couple
Ashley: i mean blessed
Jenny: but this scene was one of my favorites
for a lot of reasons
but mostly for jokes
Jenny: i found this panel
Ashley: hahahahahahaha yes
Jenny: chasing after a pigeon who stole your lunch
Rachel: THE EYES
Jenny: what a day
CC: to be fair who wouldn’t feel that way after thinking a hunk stole ur girl and then literally a bird steals your whole lunch
we’ve all been there
Rachel: and then the hunk steals YOUR heart???
Jenny: what a twist
also i do just want to call out the pigeon
Jenny: the audacity
remind you of anyone??
Ashley: garbage crowww
our garbage boy
Ashley: i mean at least he waited til it was in the garbage! clever and polite crow
Jenny: knows what’s what
CC: he wasn’t up to any matchmaking mischief
Jenny: that we know of
CC: LOL you’re totally right
Ashley: just providing for his crow family
CC: i want 2 believe
birds will only steal your lunch if they’re also helping one party steal another party’s heart
Jenny: bird law
Ashley: damn that’s a good bird law
Rachel: lol well with that, do y’all wanna do final thoughts?
CC: yeah I’m ready!
Ashley: go for it!
CC: mine isn’t necessarily a joke tho
which is that this love mixup is gonna work its way into a love dodecahedron by the end somehow and i cannot wait to see how
Ashley: oh my god
that would be so good haha
CC: the geometry of love
Rachel: if anybody can make it happen, it’s this kid!!!
Jenny: i think my final thought is v much in that vein
Jenny: the worst!
love a flawed protagonist
Jenny: making things As Difficult As Possible for themselves!
he is truly a goof!!
and i think anything with him in the center is going to be an absolute blast to observe from afar
Rachel: yes!!! this is the best kind!!!
this is why Bella and Twilight are bad
Jenny: LOL rachel
Rachel: look i am here for sparkly vampires
but being clumsy and biting your lip does not make a character fun to watch
but this guy????
Rachel: this is my final thought
he said something NICE TO ME
AND I WILL BE HAUNTED BY IT IF I WANT TO BE
it WILL keep me up actually
Ashley: the abject fear of the desired object
Rachel: aoki, romance protag mvp
Ashley: okay my final thought speaks for itself…
i love them!!!!!!
Ashley: with the little bow
Rachel: and he’s doing a little blushing flex!!!
just, the best
himbos, all around
CC: you love to see it
Ashley: thank u to these goofs for delivering 3 serotonin
Join us for even more love story shouting in our next Romance Roundtable! In the meantime, monthly donation members can check out our Ko-Fi for just a few bonus goofs that didn’t make it into today’s roundtable, as a treat.