Plot: Iku and Yori start high school apart, and that’s not all that’s changing. Tomoka has somehow managed to get accepted to Yori’s school, and she has every intention on winning Yori’s heart. Iku and Yano have started new jobs as wait staff at a restaurant, despite Iku’s inability to do anything without destroying everything. Iku is doing her best to save money for trips to see Yori, but a new problem has emerged. Yano has fallen in love with Iku and declares war on Yori for Iku’s heart.
Breakdown: I will admit that the first chapter starts out fairly well. In a sitcom manner, Iku goes to where Yori lives to visit him just as Yori goes back home to visit Iku for their birthday. The comedic back and forth between both Yori and Iku and Yano and Yori is nice, but it’s quickly ruined.
Iku, the easily lead dumbass she is, goes to a hotel room with Yano under the excuse of them getting something to eat, which they can’t do in a restaurant with Inu!Yori. She chows down then passes out in his bed because of course she does. I should mention that Yano was teasing Yori on the phone by saying if he didn’t get there soon he’d start doing perverted things with her. This seemed like innocent teasing between friends until he lead her to his room….where he proceeded to lick her ear as she was sleeping.
Knowing this series, I can bet if Yori hadn’t burst into the room shortly after, he’d probably molest her much further. Looks like my predictions on his character being ruined from subtle hints in the OVA may have been correct. So far, he is the most likable character, though, outside of Nakamura. I don’t know what that says about the quality of this series.
When Yori arrives, he puts the ring on Iku, but they can’t even do that simple gesture without making Yori into a possessive creepy jackoff. The instant he puts it on her, he calls the ring a ‘collar’ and says he bought it so that other men would stay away from her. He even seems to state that Iku is so dense that she probably doesn’t realize their relationship is incestuous…..
Well, that was a chapter alright……oh, yeah, it ends with Yori pretending to start to rape Iku as she pretends to sleep. Aw, how romanticreepy.
The next chapter, thankfully, doesn’t go any further than him licking, sucking on and biting her finger. We’ve gotten to the point where that’s restraint…They have some nice banter again, this time about the gifts. She loves her ring, though feels guilty that all she got him were some miscellaneous items you could buy at a drug store like a shampoo hat and an ear cleaning kit….Though, again, they even have to make that creepy, because we then see Yori getting a hard on because Iku’s cleaning his ears. I know there are many fetishes out there, to each his own, have at it….but none of them, zero, should involve ear wax.
Surprisingly, again, though, despite the temptation, the chapter just ends with the two sleeping on the floor.
The next chapter opens with Yori and Iku showing each other how they look in their new school uniforms through email and Yori fumbles with trying to take a picture of himself with his phone. Ah, the good ol’ days when ‘selfies’ weren’t a thing.
Again, starting out cute and innocent enough. Iku is attending a high school with basically everyone else she was with in junior high such as Yano and Nakamura. Meanwhile, we get a twist in Yori’s story when Tomoka suddenly shows up stating her father transferred to the area recently and, using her connections to Yori, somehow (since he’s the only one who passed the entrance exams) she was accepted into the academy.
She quickly tries to get her mitts all over him, though Yori wants none of that. A blackened text bubble indicates that Tomoka’s not giving up so quickly, though…..
….Okay, Tomoka was a bit bitchy before and undoubtedly possessive….but this whole job transfer is fishy as all hell. If I wanted to be this paranoid, it sounds like Tomoka somehow coerced her parents to move there when she found out about Yori’s decision, somehow screwed with the exams to get her entrance, then she could take advantage of her close proximity to Yori to rip him from Iku.
If that’s even slightly true….holy shit….that is some soap opera level insanity.
The rest of the chapter is pretty benign. Iku has conflicted feelings about Tomoka not going to her school, but she’s unaware Tomoka is at Yori’s. They meet a new girl named Mori, though I haven’t gotten a good hold on her as a character yet. They note her strong personality, but if anything she comes on a bit too strong for me. Finally, we get more indication that Yano is romantically interested in Iku.
Next chapter……You remember what I quoted in volume three? ‘Iku, who cannot do anything.’? I always thought, despite evidence to the contrary, that such a statement couldn’t be completely true. Iku has to be competent at something. She doesn’t get great grades, she’s needy and dependent to the point of a vague mental disorder, she’s clumsy, she’s incredibly naive, she has no backbone, she doesn’t seem to have any talents – but she has to be competent somehow.
No, no, not really.
The start of this chapter has Iku getting a job as a waitress at the restaurant Yano works at. I assume he pulled strings to get her hired because she….cannot do….a God. Damn. Thing. She can’t take orders, listing off tons of foods when the customer merely ordered one thing. She can’t carry a tray of food without dropping it because it’s heavy and hot. She can’t bus a table without breaking every dish on it. She can’t wash dishes without breaking them. She cannot complete a single waitressy task without a complete disaster.
She, rightfully, gets fired, but Yano saves her job since their boss is desperate for the girls that Yano is attracting to the place and he threatens to quit if she goes.
Despite getting her a job and saving her from getting fired, Iku treats Yano like crap just because he playfully teases her every now and then (She doesn’t know about his true creeper-ness at this point) She tells him to go away and says she’ll ignore him, except when he asks about Yori because Yori is the moon, sun, stars and earth beneath thine feet. You’re kinda lead to believe Yano’s being a bit pushy here, but apparently Yori actually asked him to escort her home because she’s just too much of a naive dunderhead to come home on her own too.
Iku has gotten this job because she’s trying to save money to pay for the train fare for her and Inu!Yori to visit Yori, despite him saying he’d pay her travel expenses.
The chapter actually goes fairly well for the most part. Yori longs for Iku, Iku tries her best to work hard to get to Yori on her own and Yano’s not being a creeper either….but of course we can’t end the chapter without something creepy and terrible happening.
Iku tries her best at her job when, of course, a fat, disgusting, sweaty pervert comes in. He purposely spills his water so Iku will lean over the table to clean it up, and, when she does, he gropes her boob. Iku freaks out, spilling food all over him. He pretends he didn’t do anything and becomes outraged that his supposedly expensive clothes are ruined. Yano tries to intimidate the man and defend Iku, but Iku’s boss believes the customer and demands Iku pay for his clothes and apologize or else she’ll get fired.
She gives in because she has to keep the job to visit Yori, and she ends up losing all of the money she saved, making her start all over again. Even though, again, Yori said he’d be more than happy to pay for her travel expenses. After the incident, Iku starts crying and calling herself an idiot, and Yano suddenly hugs her, much to Iku’s surprise.
Let me be clear and state that I don’t blame Iku for what happened nor am I mad that she didn’t stand up for herself and tell this pervert and her unsympathetic boss to fuck off. I am, however, annoyed at why she buckled.
Other than some sort of weird sense of pride or something, Iku has no reason to want to keep saving her own money to visit Yori if he’s financially capable of paying her way. Her paying the pervert and apologizing is basically her saying she’s fine with coping with the random groping pervert and doing horribly at this job to save money that she doesn’t really need just so she can snort a couple hits of Yori to get her fix.
The next chapter starts with the continuation of the hug, which is brushed off rather quickly as Yano cheers her up and then gives her some playful ribbing. Yori suspects that Iku is starting to like Yano since she brings him up in conversation more and more, which makes sense considering they both go to school and work together. Iku completely denies it, however. Yori is fed up with Iku trying to work and get the money to visit him, so he decides he’ll get a job and visit her instead….
Wait, I thought he had no money troubles, which is why he offered to pay for Iku’s travel fare whenever she wanted. He didn’t seem to have trouble buying that seemingly expensive ring or visiting home at the start of the volume. Now he needs a job?
He tricks Iku into believing he’ll get a job as a host. When Yano visits him to see what’s up, he discovers Yori’s actually a gas station attendant. They spend the rest of the day on amusement park rides and teasing each other when, on the Ferris wheel, Yano drops the bomb on Yori that he likes Iku. The rest of the conversation is not shown, but Yori doesn’t seem to react much and the next page doesn’t show a newspaper headline of ‘Teenage Boy Viciously Murdered in Ferris Wheel’
The next day, Yano gives Iku a bracelet he got at the amusement park that has a little Inu!Yori-esque charm on it and tells her Yori got it for her, when that’s not true. He’s about to tell her what they talked about and the chapter ends.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……This volume has gone on way too long without something horribly creepy and borderline rapey happening. Oh whatever will I do if this volume ends without me feeling the pure darkness of hatred in my soul?
The final volume starts with a continuation of Yano and Yori’s conversation. Yori takes his confession extremely well. He doesn’t get mad, he doesn’t even react much at all. Yano says he’s not backing down and he’ll declare war on Yori for Iku’s heart, and Yori accepts his challenge with a non-threatening smile. Half of this scene is done in comedic chibi-style, by the way. Quite the contrast between this and how he acted around Nakamura.
Back with Yano and Iku, Yano drops the bomb on Iku that Yori told him that their relationship is incestuous. Iku flips out in panic, worried she won’t be able to be with Yori anymore, but Yano says he’ll keep her secret.
He’ll keep her secret……
Under one condition……….
She has to love Yano. She has to be his. She has to give all of her love to him.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have finally broken out into creepy sexual abuse blackmail!
Yano is completely serious about this threat, physically intimidates her and even licks her neck to get her to agree to it.
Do I need to replace the hair sniff counter with a lick counter?
To Iku’s credit, she does slap him, refuses his advances, says she hates him and storms off into the house without agreeing to his terms. It seems Iku does have a backbone if you threaten her Stockholm syndrome.
And that’s the end of volume four. Final thoughts?
It’s actually the most tolerable volume so far, and that’s probably because Yori’s away from Iku for most of it so he can’t be a creepy pseudo-rapist. However, Yano, despite being the most fun character, is pushing the gas pedal on his creepiness, peaking with, of course, the blackmail.
Iku continues to be a huge ball of dependency issues, now compounded by an unwilling dependence on Yano since she literally cannot do a damn thing for herself, but she impressed me in the finale a tiny bit.
Story-wise, this volume doesn’t advance much. Iku and Yano get jobs, they all start high school, we get a brief glimpse at Tomoka who seems to have gone rogue, but the only important progressions are Yano admitting to Yori that he likes Iku and the blackmail. By the way, I know all’s fair in love and war and stuff, but blackmailing Iku into a relationship isn’t fair in this little competition they have going. If she ever does show affection for him or start dating him, it will be because of the blackmail not because she legit loves him.
Plus, having a competition for Iku’s heart just further trivializes this whole situation and turns Iku into a prized possession……and she is actually described as a possession in the final chapter. Lovely.
It’s a damn shame is all. Yano and Iku would actually make a fairly good couple if Yano didn’t devolve into this creepy son of a bitch. I almost feel like this competition is less for Iku’s heart and more to see who can be the creepiest asshole.
So, how will this blackmail go? Will Tomoka turn out to be an even bigger major bitch? With Yano out-Yori Yori? Will I ever figure out why anyone would be attracted to anyone in this story? Find out next time on the manga I wish I weren’t reading!