Warning: Here Be Spoilers
Last week, I gave the first volume of Forget Me Not a pretty enthusiastic stamp of approval. So of course, I was pretty excited to buy volume 2 for this week’s review.
Forget Me Not volume 2 starts with Yusuke’s time in prep school, as he struggles to bring up his grades for university exams. One of the part-time teachers, a young woman named Hermes, is beautiful, smart, and shy, and Yusuke has fallen for her. Thinking he has no chance, he keeps this crush a secret between only himself, and a male classmate, who assures him that he also has a crush who has rejected him, and they can be in it together.
Finally gathering the courage to confess, Yusuke manages to get an invite to Hermes’ home, under the pretense of looking at homework together. There, he meets her boyfriend. Shortly after, an unfortunate sequence of events leads to Hermes getting fired, and Yusuke is faced with a dilemma: do what he can to protect the woman he feels hurt by, or bury his head in the sand?
Despite his prep school drama, Yusuke eventually goes on to get into his first choice school. He moves to Tokyo by himself, where the loneliness starts to set in, though he enjoys college and his job, and has made new friends.
In his freshman year, Yusuke becomes acquainted with a somewhat odd young woman (characterized by her tendency to sit in the very front of the lecture hall, and then inevitably fall asleep). It turns out that she’s been working several jobs, leading her to always be exhausted. She and Yusuke become close, maintaining a “just friends” status.
It isn’t long before Yusuke is asked out by another girl from one of his classes, and finds himself in a precarious situation between the two of them. Soon, both girls even become friends, and volume 3 ends with what we can only assume is the calm before the storm.
There are two qualities I enjoy seeing in fictional characters most. The first of these is growth. The second is that they feel real to me. You don’t need to go through exactly what a character does to be able to understand their reactions and responses. Both of these are clear in Yusuke – even moreso now than in the first volume. His actions during the Hermes arc show a real change in character. He no longer is the young boy who pushed Nobuta up against a wall, cynically asking about her feelings for him. He wants to prove himself, and seems to have realized that success is not about hurting the people who hurt you.
Yusuke’s story is one of failed starts and rough endings, guilt and hurt, and the constantly renewed hope of starting over. His story is one that can easily be understood by anyone who’s had their heart broken.
Once you add that empathy onto Forget Me Not’s still-gorgeous artwork, I have to say that Forget Me Not is setting up to become one of my favourite series. I’m anxious to see both what has led Yusuke up to this point, and where he will go afterward.
My one issue with volume 2 is that it went by so quickly. Granted, it could be because I was so excited to read it, but volume 1 definitely advanced the story much further than volume 2 did. Forget Me Not volume 3 is scheduled to come out on July 12th (and you can be sure I’ll be reviewing it right away!)