Has anybody else read Black Panther and Sweet 16? Well, despite one guy being on the cover of every volume and another guy only appearing once, it’s actually a love triangle series where the author didn’t decide the end pairing until about two chapters from the end.
I’m beginning to think We Must Never Fall in Love! might fall into that same category.
Yes, it’s true Sakura and Kaede finally admit they love each other romantically, but only after she gets told by her friends her feelings are love. (Uh, hasn’t the whole point of this series was Sakura didn’t want this to be love, but now she suddenly doesn’t know what love is? Whatever…)
So you might assume this sixth volume would be the start of their secret relationship. Well, kinda? Because while Kaede wants to treat Sakura as his girlfriend, after about a week (which mostly happens as a montage), Sakura puts the breaks on. She doesn’t think she can hide the truth from their parents. Then she suggests that maybe they don’t officially date and then revisit this conversation in two years. The other option is to say they’re going out but to never do anything date-like.
Kaede spends much of this volume sulking with the occasional request to act like a couple. His frustration is understandable. He doesn’t want to hurt his parents either, but Sakura first couldn’t keep her feelings under control when they weren’t dating, and she can’t keep them in check now that they are dating. So he’s in a weird zone where he is both sibling and brother and yet neither.
Meanwhile, the Hatano situation is far from over. Both his and Sakura’s friends are noticing his change in attitude in general and his reactions whenever Sakura’s name is brought up. But when a girl tries to take advantage of Hatano’s newfound kindness, Sakura interrupts even though she was scared and nervous. This, of course, gives him another reason for Hatano to like Sakura, but, in a later monologue, Sakura wonders about how she felt for him in that moment.
So it is possible (although not probable) Sakura could end up with her original crush, and Hatano’s personal development makes him an attractive choice. But Kaede continues to dominate in the heart-pounding moments for readers: running out to confess, sweetly kissing her on her ear, and trying to be forward/aggressive but being done in by his own embarrassment. I love how he only has a poker face a few steps up from Sakura’s — which, of course, she has none, since that’s the whole trouble right now!
After the volume’s Valentine’s Day fun, Sakura, Kaede, and some of their friends head out on a trip, which is where this volume ends. The end is going to reignite the siblings vs lovers struggle, and so maybe the questions about whether they officially are or are not going out will be answered. Dating your stepsibling is awkward, but readers will likely side more with Kaede’s disappointment than Sakura’s practicality.