I Don't Know Which Is Love GN 1

I Do not Know Which Is Love GN 1

We don’t see many full-fledged yuri harem mangas these days, so this debut volume is keen to showcase both of those features right away. Before we even reach the table of contents on page three, our heartbroken heroine has already made five declarations that she is going to get a girlfriend. By the conclusion of the first chapter, she has encountered five attractive women, all of whom are eager to go out to dinner with her. She has also woken up in the middle of the night with one of them, naked in bed. I Don’t Know Which Is Love is all about indulging in the euphoric indecision of being the cheese in a quintuple-decker girlburger, and has little patience for anything approaching nuance, in contrast to other harem series that might slow-roll the introduction of their love partners.

This volume’s greatest strength—and its biggest obstacle—is its audaciousness. Although the story is supposed to be about Mei being divided between her many suitors, “love” is a bit of a strong term to describe what she’s going through at the moment. While each of the women in this volume’s later chapters is expanded upon beyond their introduction, Mei’s relationship with any one of them varies from being enamored to being in awe of their beauty. While that’s only hinted to in the latter pages of this volume, there’s definitely possibility to expand on those reactions and go deeper into drama as each of Mei’s possible lady loves learns about the others. Going through the first few chapters of a dating simulation, when each female is introduced in general, with the hope of developing a more in-depth relationship later on, is how it feels. Right now, it’s all straight out of a rom-com, with Mei having to fight to stay afloat after being hurled into the deep end of the Thirsty Lesbian wave pool.

But if you’re in the mood for something light and fluffy, this volume is quite entertaining, mostly because of her harem’s distinct gimmick and assortment of personalities. Every woman has a distinct aspect of attraction for Mei, stemming from a preoccupation on one of the five senses. Shy classmate Riri is very tactile and loves nothing more than to feel her hand on Mei’s cheek. Mei’s academic advisor, Maria, wishes to surround herself with adorable pictures of her students because she has an eidetic recall. Due to her extraordinary sense of smell, Kaoru, Mei’s roommate, is able to detect the odors of every other woman she comes into contact with during the day and is eager to remove them with her own. The charming Minato, who longs for some appropriate lesbian ASMR content but must settle for hearing Little Sister characters declare their love for “Onii-chan” rather than “Onee-chan” for the time being, is my personal favorite. She has sensitive hearing. Despite being straightforward gimmicks, they work effectively to distinguish the characters and their private moments with our protagonist.

Yes, there are a lot of physical scenes in this film. There aren’t any explicit sexual scenes or unrestrained nudity, but each chapter has at least one scenario when a woman gets to know Mei well—from gentle pats to full-on intercourse. Thanks to a few well-placed breaks, this first volume isn’t particularly spicy, but it is still blatantly and openly sexual. Readers may find some of the scenarios unsettling due to the extreme eagerness of most of these women. Even though Mei had consented to kiss her previously, Karin, the self-described “Kiss-crazy Senpai,” physically bids hello by tongue-wrestling Mei. This is at least a bit rude. In a similar vein, even though they slept in different beds, Professor Maria is likely scheduled for a disciplinary hearing after spending the night at a hotel—no, not that sort of hotel. With the flimsy justification that Mei’s fabric softener was too powerful for her nose, Kaoru strips Mei naked and cuddles up in her bed during the night. This is the greatest, most clichéd ecchi moment. Though later sequences see both Kaoru and Karin getting express agreement before re-engaging, these times are mitigated by the knowledge that Mei is 100% down to clown; however, those who are sensitive to aggressive or forward sexual interactions should be aware.

All things considered, this volume offers a breezy, lighthearted dose of harem fun with a dash of spice and the potential for more.

Tamamushi Oku’s artwork is straightforward, yet expressive and adept at expressing the various energies that each figure possesses. The main concern is whether this narrative will continue to be a fun romp or delve into deeper somber drama. Mei’s inability to distinguish between being attracted to each of these ladies and being “in love”—and how much that means to her in a sexual relationship—is the most obvious hook in the story. The last chapter promises drama with the possessive and insecure Riri, as well as some deeper truths with Karin. In their post-script, Oku acknowledges that they are merely winging it and letting the tale take them where it will. So, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not this first book will serve as a guide for the remainder of the series. All things considered, this is a good introduction with lots of jokes and cheesecake for fans of yuri and harem manga, especially both.

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