As Akari and Abe settle into their relationship, Akari finds herself even more in love with her straightforward, take-charge boyfriend. But even as thoughts of the past and future leave her unsettled at points, Abe is more worried about the now — especially Ryomei, who isn’t doing too well at hiding his attraction to Akari.
Yes, while I praised Abe-kun’s Got Me Now! for making the love triangle between Abe, Ryomei, and karate, Ryomei is now crushing on Akari. The girl in question is oblivious to this fact, frustrating Abe all the more. Because as readers all know by now, Abe isn’t one to hide his possessiveness.
Ryomei’s feelings for Akari don’t make up the main plot for these volumes, but I can’t say it will stay that way. Here, we see the main couple go through the winter holidays together as well as spend time with each other’s families. It’s a bit of a shoujo greatest hits collection, with a Christmas date, upset girl’s father, and taking care of a sick partner while parents are absent. Abe-kun’s Got Me Now! does give these storylines a bit of a makeover since they usually involve the couple not together yet or the male lead teasing and/or speaking in an indirect manner. Abe, however, couldn’t be less direct about his feelings if he were walking around with a Jumbotron with “I LOVE AKARI” plastered on it.
…And maybe “I WANT AKARI”on it, too. While she panics about the thought of taking their relationship to the next level, he confirms he’ll go at her pace. But that doesn’t apply to embraces or kisses, which he’ll do anytime, anywhere. Combined with his robust physique, there are plenty of moments to make readers swoon as he unabashedly douses his girlfriend in affection. The supporting cast is still underused (does Akari’s friend even have a name?), so even though Ryomei is becoming a regular and we see more of the leads’ families, there manga doesn’t do anything to distract from Abe, its star.
There are still plenty of shades of alpha male syndrome though. This causes Akari some embarrassment, but she is trying to be less passive in their relationship. Akari is also going to start thinking more about her future, and hopefully she can find something to do after graduation.
While I did complain about Abe-kun’s Got Me Now! following the standard playbook, I do appreciate Iwai seemingly heading off at least some of the drama surrounding college plans. Abe reveals he’s aiming for a university a couple of hours away, and Akari doesn’t immediately start throwing a fit or immediately start cramming for that university. Whether they end up going together or not, I do like to see Akari focusing on herself first rather than just chasing after her boyfriend.
…But then again, I was wrong about Ryomei, so perhaps I’ll be wrong again.
Still, if you’re reading Abe-kun’s Got Me Now! for the story, you’re in the minority. Sure, there are moments to enjoy like meeting Akari’s family or Abe trying to get Akari to reveal what’s her favorite thing (which is, of course, actually a person), but those are completely overshadowed from Abe pulling Akari toward him or going around shirtless. This manga knows its strengths and definitely rewards its audience even as the story is otherwise pretty standard.