So Cute, It Hurts Vol. 1 TP
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Price: $9.99
Creator: Go Ikeyamada
Format: 192 pgs., Black & White, Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-4215-7985-6
Age Ratings: 14+
ICv2 Ratings: 3 Stars out of 5

Megumu and Mitsuru are fraternal twins who attend different high schools.  One week, Mitsuru finds out that he is in danger of having to attend supplemental history lessons due to his poor grades so he convinces his twin sister to switch clothes with him and go to his school to boost his history scores while he attends her school.  What follows is a twisted tale of first loves blossoming as the twins struggle to keep their secrets from everyone else.

If I had to choose two words to describe this first volume they would easily be "cute" and "fun."  There are certainly problems to be found within these pages but it's nothing that can't be overlooked by simply turning the page and getting further into the story.

The biggest issue that plagues this volume is the over-reliance on common or trendy manga tropes.  There's the twin trope, the crossdressing trope, the eye patch trope, the quiet, bullied girl trope, the two-faced popular girl trope… the list goes on and on.  It's as though the author had a checklist of all the things that they always wanted to try to squeeze into a manga and decided that this was the series that they were going to attempt to get them all into.

It's not all bad though as among the more common tropes are some unique elements which really struck me including the inclusion of a deaf girl as one of the primary love interests.  It's very rare to have a character with this type of disability within a manga (and understandably so as sign language cannot be an easy thing to draw) and so when I saw that not only was this being included but that it was being assigned to a major character such as a love interest it pulled me in all the more.

So Cute It Hurts is off to a fairly decent start but as mentioned, it isn't perfect.  This is a volume for shojo fans who want something comfortable and familiar yet still entertaining.  While the debut volume won't blow anyone away, it will certainly keep people reading all the way until the end.

--L.B. Bryant