Welcome back to Romance Roundtable: a feature where the editorial POME Crones gather together to discuss Romance Manga. We’re wishing all the sweethearts a belated happy Valentine’s Day and covering the first volume of Battan’s Run Away With Me, Girl: a gorgeous visual buffet about a sweet office lady and the freewheeling disaster ex girlfriend she just can’t seem to pull herself away from.
Jenny: can i just start out by saying that after last time’s “let’s explore the genre conventions of classic yaoi” this feels like the other side of that coin
esp at the beginning
Ashley: haha AH SO TRUE
CC: i love lesbian yaoi
Rachel: the blonde and the brunette with glasses!!
the classics never fail
Ashley: gets me every time
Jenny: and, also similar to ‘classmates’ this one got kind of heavy!
do we want to do a summary for the folks at home?
Ashley: hmmm yes tough tho!
CC: everything happens so incredibly much: lesbian edition
Jenny: brunette w glasses heartbroken when highschool gf dumps her for the concept of men — they reunite 10 years later and just when i think my heart cannot break any more it does
Ashley: lonely lesbian still carries torch for high school crush even after 10 years. they reunite as adults when crush enters an extrremely ill advised engagement
Jenny: yes yes the engagement! god
Ashley: so brutal
CC: i took so many screenshots of this chick with the intention of captioning them “I’d like to report a murder” but it all just escalated so quickly
Jenny: one thing i do really respect about this book is i went from being so fucking mad at this girl to feeling so sad!!
Rachel: UGH yes, she is tied to the worst possible man!!!
Jenny: it’s true!! but also to reunite after 10 years when you brutally dumped her to say THIS SHIT
CC: he really is like literally, THE WORST
I kept shouting GIRL, RUN!! AWAY!!! WITH HER!!! out loud!!!!
GIRL: RUN AWAY WITH HER
Ashley: very same
Jenny: the slow roll on this horrible man though
we spend so much of this book getting so pissed off at this girl!! (or, at least, i did)
CC: i have never meant this more sincerely in my life but every moment with this girl and her awful fiance
Jenny: but also i was like this w the brunette!! every time the blonde dragged her back in!
like ‘i remember back then we used to hold hands’ (hold your hand); ‘i remember back then we used to kiss each other goodbye’ and then:
Jenny: i was PISSED
and to go from that immediately to:
Jenny: get outta there!!
CC: that wedding invite really was brutal. absolutely brutal. girl. what are you doing.
Ashley: oof yeah i truly don’t know what i’d do in that situation but it would definitely involve yelling
Jenny: and it just keeps happening!!
boundaries?? i don’t know her!!!
Rachel: god the reaction faces of this gal throughout the book
Jenny: oh yeah the art was SO fun
Ashley: so so delightful
Rachel: also the word balloon variety was SO refreshing!!!
that little heart word balloon after they kiss?!?!?
i am a simple woman
Jenny: to me this is romance (heart-shaped word balloons)
but what is not romance is this fucking guy
CC: i have never hated a man in a romance roundtable so much
Ashley: for a second there i literally thought the scam was that he was her roommate and that the engagement was fake
i was like, there’s no way this man is talking like this about a romantic partner
Rachel: god, when men just walk right under the bar that’s already set so low
CC: i mean like
this is a bit of a doozy but I love our disaster girl a lot. i hated her at first and love her as a character. the anger and the sympathy for her. Her absolute hot mess freefall as she tries to grab onto anything she can on the way down
i appreciate that getting to know Terrible Fiance’s backstory only makes you hate him more
CC: no ragrets
Jenny: sometimes it is nice when there is a very obvious villain
nothing to sympathize with. but also yeah i really agree–i started out hating this girl so much but by the end i loved her; just wanted to wrap her in a blanket
Ashley: yeah, i actually really needed this scene to keep going
it’s like, if you’re gonna be cartoonishly bad be TRANSPARENTLY CARTOONISHLY BAD
there’s a comfort in knowing right then and there that he’s not gonna win
CC: he just has so much contempt for women! all women!
bc what, he was a goofy little kid and got picked on?
Jenny: so dumb!!
CC: not an excuse for being so absolutely gross!
Jenny: will say, i did really enjoy the scene where he overhears his coworkers complaining about him
and they’re just like
his vibes are bad; his vibes are like BLECH
CC: oh yeah
Ashley: LOLLLL very satfisying
Jenny: they’re right and they should say it!!
CC: bleh to the max!
Rachel: bleh to the max!!
Jenny: BLEH TO THE MAX
did not like the fallout from this scene though
did not take screenshots of it bc i didn’t want to look at it
Rachel: good!!! god!!!!
CC: for the folks at home, this volume ends with Terrible Fiance hitting Midori (blond one) because she is gently, affectionately trying to get him to be even minimally involved in their wedding
Jenny: this all comes in the wake of midori and maki sleeping together and then midori ghosts
Jenny: revelation after revelation from this one
and she mostly says the title! (always fun)
‘i’m starting to think i want to get away from all this’
and then they fuck
CC: also in this scene: this absolute gut punch:
CC: stab me in the heart why don’t you
Rachel: god the fluid lines and the screen tones and the spot fills in this all just kill me
CC: a tapestry
Jenny: if we do ever do the comrade himbo/fairytale witches wrestling league, that’s gotta be a finishing move
Ashley: OOF HAHA
man, yeah this one is definitely more intense than i expected, in a good way mostly
the stakes are like insanely high but there were so many beautiful sweet little moments
very soap-operatic but more gay than any soap opera could ever be
CC: i was so mad that vol 2 isn’t out yet. absolutely rattling with anticipation bc I am so invested
rachel, I really love your points about the art because I also really felt like this is a great one for using all kinds of tools in a comics artist’s toolbox to just stab you in the heart with feelings
I really want to start collecting this series bc it’s so beautiful!
Rachel: it really is!!
CC: (also love 2 cry)
Rachel: i haven’t looked it up, but has this artist drawn anything else??
i’m furiously googling lol
Ashley: but yeah, the way this artist makes you want to take in every lovely detail of the most painful moments of a romance is like… unfair!
CC: uhhh heLLO???
CC: gorgeous. beautiful. i want 2 read all of this.
Ashley: i am screaming inside my heart~!
Rachel: this is now a Battan appreciation post
CC: hell yeah hell yeah
pome-mag aka battan fan club
ok so there is one thing about this book i do really want to talk about, and it is midori’s (ugh) romantic rival for her god awful fiance
the audacity of this girl
Jenny: truly!! like, hey is it ok if i come over, i’m nearby — and then the reason she came over was to confess to your fiance in front of you??
Ashley: OH MY GOD HOW COULD I FORGET
CC: and she’s just like LOL SORREEEEYYYyy
Jenny: you would’ve been fine w anyone, but i love him for who he is <= GIRL!!! WHO HE IS IS TRASH
CC: do you even know him????
Rachel: this was extremely cringe to me
Ashley: to be clear: the romantic rival to midori’s fiance is a whole other person, a true random
Rachel: midori’s co-worker!!
Jenny: one of her employees!!
Rachel: AHH I FORGOT, EVEN WORSE
Ashley: wait – midori is her boss? oh my god
Jenny: midori owns and operates that store!
Jenny: it’s her business!
CC: and this girl is like, hey boss, the guy who knocked you up? he should be with me. bc you’re pathetic. anyway!
Jenny: and they both (the employee and the fiance) shit on midori for being stupid and incompetent but like, bitch! she built a thriving business!
Rachel: she pays you!!!!!
Jenny: SHE PAYS YOU!!!!
Rachel: ugh when people mistake kindness for a lack of intelligence
Ashley: midori is truly just like, so beaten down into accepting the worst treatment
and maki is just like… what if a person was normal (complimentary)
CC: she strikes me as a person who truly believes that happiness is for other people. she can’t even consider walking her own path because it’s like she doesn’t think she deserves more (than this garbage)
CC: my heart aches for her! but whew so real
but also like: Midori!!!! you can have it all!!!
Ashley: you can be happy AND normal and best of all gay!!!!!!!
CC: just walk out!!! heterosexuality 2 compulsory? you can leave!!!
even though also the way she treats maki is very unkind and i think maki deserves better too tbh
Rachel: also, sorry, but these like, lens flares???
CC: I LOVE THEM
Rachel: michael bay could never
CC: love a visual metaphor
Ashley: ugh i know, just like so glowy without being BAROQUE
Rachel: love to push the medium!!!
Ashley: but yes – maki deserves way better, but i also completely sympathize with like, wanting to be the knight in this scenario
this book has like! gravity! it’s very very physical!
like you just feel the pull between them very strongly in a way that evokes the scary dizziness of it all
so many interesting panels are drawn from this extreme perspective of looking up at something
CC: INTERESTING, I didn’t even notice that!
Ashley: like the one in the example of the flashback with the shitty fiance treating some other woman like shit
Rachel: this artist knows what they are doing!!
CC: i’m looking back at some of the framing and just getting lost in the gorg paneling
I love this book!!! I am absolutely gonna keep an eye out for vol 2 when it comes out
Rachel: i’m ready!
i did just want to point out that after the fiance cements his position as worst man alive
that’s when midori comes back to maki, even though she’d ghosted after they slept together
Jenny: and it’s like — i get it! how could i not! but also! complicated!!
what a place to leave off vol 1!
Rachel: YEAH god!!! i felt the emotional whiplash of this!
Ashley: yeah, no surer way to make me go WHY STOP NOWWWWWW
CC: leaves me just hooting and hollering GIRL, RUN AWAY WITH HER over and over again
carly rae we need ur backup
Jenny: RUN AWAY WITH HER GIRL!!
Ashley: *skronky sax*
Jenny: ok ok i am ready for final thoughts now
Ashley: my final thought is pretty basic but like
make it happen
Ashley: never in my life have i wanted the exact thing advertised to me more
CC: damn girl, looks like you’re running away!!!
Ashley: this moment! now! gretna greene let’s go
CC: LMA love a callback
ok my final thought is also pretty simple but
if your gf has blond hair and that one anime tooth
CC: buckle up bc you’re in danger L O L
CC: threat level: taylor swift song
Ashley: high risk, high reward??
red flag #1 blonde; red flag #2 anime tooth!
CC: gonna just lump in pink hair with blond hair here
Jenny: in black and white comics they will look the same
CC: if your girl’s hair isn’t fully inked and her teeth are sharp watch out
CC: you see those screen tones and you GO home
Jenny: run away girl
Rachel: and you bring her with you!!
CC: nice nice nice
Jenny: ok i will say my final thought is just
this one is me
Jenny: wise baby you met on twitter
Ashley: LOL IT IS YOU
Rachel: LOL I DID THINK OF YOU JENNY
CC: I laughed out loud bc of your last Romance Roundtable It Me
Jenny: i figured there were so many similarities here i’d keep it going
Ashley: i’m glad every artist whose books we’ve picked lately has the wisdom to include a Jenny
Rachel: it shows an excellent increase in quality
CC: jenny, you just have so much range
Jenny: lol bless thank you thank you
Rachel: ok, here’s my final thought
i went looking around on Battan’s twitter for pretty art, and instead i found this blessing
Ashley: A PERFECT ANGEL
Rachel: READY FOR WINTER
Ashley: did you know that every italian greyhound is a wealthy lesbian??????
CC: I do now!
Ashley: that’s why they look so great in turtlenecks always!
Rachel: i love this for us
Join us next time for even more love story shouting in our next Romance Roundtable! In the meantime, Monthly Ko-Fi members: head on over to Ko-Fi for just a few bonus goofs that didn’t make it into today’s roundtable, as a treat.