There are a lot of alternative titles for this mang. My Love Mix-Up! is what’s on AniList and how you’ll find it at RightStuf. The original title is Kieta Hatsukoi. I’ve also seen it as Faded First Love and Vanishing My First Love, both of which sound way too dramatic for this story.
In any case, this is my review of the first 5 volumes of My Love Mix-Up! As it’s still ongoing, I think it counts as a first impression. Also, I read them in two days. Not sure why that makes a difference but I figure if I haven’t had a long time to think about it, it’s a first impression!
Why I Picked up My Love Mix-Up!
This is one of the very rare titles I sought out because of ratings. What I mean is that I actually sat down and looked up the best-rated mangas on AniList in a few genres and this was one of the titles that came up. Since I had never heard of it, I figured I would give it a try.
Mistaken identity leads to a blossoming romance between two boys.
Aoki has a crush on Hashimoto, the girl in the seat next to him in class. But he despairs when he borrows her eraser and sees she’s written the name of another boy—Ida—on it. To make matters more confusing, Ida sees Aoki holding that very eraser and thinks Aoki has a crush on him!
My First Impression
This reminds me of My Love Story!
What I liked
Turns out, My Love Mix-Up! is illustrated by the same artist as My Love Story so that may have something to do with it. In any case, the art is great. But it’s really the story that had the same vibes. Maybe the artist picks by the story and has the same tastes as me?
Although My Love Mi=-Up! is marketed as BL and that’s certainly a big element of it, it’s not the entire thing. In fact, with BL Metamorphosis, this is another story that actually has some astounding female characters.
The romance between Aoki and Ida is maybe the core of the manga, but the friendship which blossoms between Aoki and Hashimoto is just as important and I found myself looking forward to the scenes between those two more than anything else.
Aoki and Hashimoto are friends. Actual friends. They confide in each other they trust each other, they root for each other’s happiness, help each other out and push each other when needed. When Aoki has a problem, he goes to Hashimoto for advice and vice-versa. Maybe the love that Aoki had for Hashimoto moved from romantic to platonic but it didn’t vanish or fade in any way. If anything, it grew 5 sizes!
This is a real friendship between a boy and a girl. No one wants to date the other, no one is jealous or sad that they aren’t the love interest. And it really works. I totally believe that these two could be friends. I have a thing for friendship pr0n, you guys. And Aoki and Hashimoto are really fantastic examples of it. Just like Gouda and Sunakawa were in My Love Story!
Moreover, My Love Mix-Up! doesn’t take itself too seriously or irrationally. The relationships develop organically. So far, there hasn’t even been a kiss but it doesn’t feel drawn out. These are kids going to school and a lot of their time is taken up by other events. It’s as much a school-based slice of life comedy as it is a romance.
Oh, and did I mention everyone is respectful of their partner? I’m currently watching Tricornered Window so I find it a pleasant change.
Sometimes the comedy is a bit uneven. Some of the jokes are derived from Aoki or Hashimoto’s exaggerated reactions. Most of the time it works and I get a good giggle. Some of the time it just seems a bit weird and too much.
If you wanted hot sexy BL action, this isn’t for you. I think the boys hold hands once in 5 volumes. However, there is a great few chapters that deal with Aoki’s first actual encounter with homophobia that was very well done in my opinion. It was handled gracefully and with a lot of nuances which I appreciated. This is not a drawback, I just started babbling I guess and ended up putting one of the definite strengths of the series in the drawback section…
I guess it could get a bit long for some. It’s like 70% Slice of Life and if that’s not your thing, well this won’t be either.
I really liked My Love Story! And although My Love Mix-Up! is a completely different story, I like it for largely the same reasons. It’s a celebration of the happiness love brings. It embraces how goofy and cheesy it makes us and doesn’t dwell on the pain. And it praises healthy relationships, good communication skills, patience and open-mindedness. Now that sounds like a love story I want to read about.