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- Mangaka : Yukimori, Nene
- Publisher : Viz Media
- Genre : Comedy, Romance, School Life, Seinen
- Published : May 2022 – present
There has been a surge of episodic romcom manga with slow and deliberate pacing that’s clearly designed to invoke a warming feeling in your heart. Manga like Komi Can’t Communicate, Teasing Master Takagi-san, and Hitomi-chan Is Shy With Strangers, just to name a few. Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible is the newest edition to that list, so let’s see whether or not it can live up to the standard laid out by its predecessors. Here’s the review for the first volume of Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible.
Shiraishi is a boy who has a severe lack of presence. He can sit in a chair and scribble in his notebook for hours and people won’t even realize that he is there. There are even times when people accidentally sit on his lap because they thought it was just an empty bench. It is certainly quite an annoying little quirk, but for the most part, Shiraishi has accepted that predicament and doesn’t really think about it all that much. That being said, there is somebody who seems to be immune to his invisibility. Her name is Kubo and she has always noticed Shiraishi, even when everybody else failed to do so. She likes to tease him about his lack of presence and always encourages him to be more proactive and step into the light once in a while. In a sense, Kubo won’t let Shiraishi be invisible.
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1. Bold and Heartwarming Romance
As mentioned before, Kubo-san falls into the category of romantic comedy that is designed to be sweet and heartwarming. This first volume proves that it has flawlessly achieved what it sets out to do. Every chapter of this manga will make you smile and feel warm inside. Seeing Kubo pouting because Shiraishi didn’t greet her back in the morning because he thought she said it to someone else is just so funny and adorable. However, there is also a bold side to their interactions, particularly from Kubo’s side, that can’t be found in other similar stories. Kubo is quite proactive in her attempt to gain Shiraishi’s attention. She will say things like how it’s good that they have a similar height because it would make kissing so much easier, or directly asking Shiraishi out on a Christmas date two weeks before Christmas. Kubo is one feisty girl, and needless to say, Shiraishi’s innocent heart just can’t handle that kind of frontal assault. And that is what makes their interaction so amusing to see.
2. Perfectly Paced
There are roughly 16 pages worth of content in every chapter of Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible. While that is fewer than most weekly manga out there, that is actually quite common for this type of story. The most important thing is how to properly pace the story with such a limited amount of pages. Most manga that tell a similar story to Kubo-san end up slowing down the pace in order to enhance the interactions that happen in every panel. That means limiting the settings and the plot to usually just one scene per chapter. For the most part, this manga follows the footsteps of its predecessors by showing a short and snappy scene in every chapter. What makes it different, however, is the fact that the pacing is noticeably faster than other similar manga. The chapter may talk about Kubo watching Shiraishi trying to enter a bookstore, but nobody seems to notice him. It is an incredibly simple plot, and yet you will blaze through the pages and suddenly find yourself at the start of a new chapter. This style of pacing may not fit something like Komi Can’t Communicate, but it is perfect for this story.
1. Teasing Master Takagi-san Version 2.0
There are several instances in this review where Kubo-san is compared to other similar manga like Komi Can’t Communicate or Teasing Master Takagi-san. The reason is simply because the overall story of this manga is indeed incredibly similar to that manga, particularly Teasing Master Takagi-san. Both titles showcase a female character who teases the shy and awkward male character while constantly giving hints about her true feelings for the clueless boy. Sure, Kubo-san does offer something different, such as the aforementioned boldness of the heroine and the faster pacing. However, all of that just makes Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible feel like an upgraded version of Teasing Master Takagi-san. A 2.0 version of a perfectly good manga. It would be nice if it could offer something new and fresh in subsequent volumes and finally get out of the shadows of its predecessors.
Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible tells a familiar episodic story as the ones that came before it. It managed to add something that makes it rather different than the others, but it would be better if it could take the story to an entirely different place than its predecessors. Perhaps getting out of the episodic formula of Takagi-san, and trying to tell a traditional linear story like Horimiya? Don’t get us wrong, it is a perfectly enjoyable manga to read, but as stated before, unless Yukimori-sensei decides to do something fresh and original, then there’s really no reason to follow this manga other than simply because you like this type of story. Have you read Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible? If you have, what do you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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