Title: Kubo Won't Let Me Be Invisible Vol. 2
Author: Nene Yukimori
Release Date: July 5, 2022
Publisher: VIZ Media
Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible Vol. 2 continues the story of the absurdly unremarkable guy and the popular girl who insists on interacting with him. The previous volume defined their dynamics, and now we see more of their relationship’s initial baby steps.
Shiraishi, the protagonist, is so bland that he can’t even be noticed by other people most of the time. This aspect of him is more than a simple gag, as it has various implications in his life. The main consequence is that he has had little chance to interact with people.
Even common socialization aspects feel alien to him, as he never had those experiences. Kubo is a massive force in his life, taking him from the insane state of staleness brought upon by his average self. Even if it’s a little forceful and she can be a mean teaser, those interactions with her bring some color to his daily life.
Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible Vol. 2 starts with Kubo contacting Shiraishi during New Year’s Eve. There’s a lot to unpack in this small interaction for the young boy. Not only does he not have friends to contact during such occasions, but Kubo is a popular girl who seems like his extreme opposite.
Even picking answers to her gets him on edge, but then when it’s time to call her, he freezes up and presses the wrong button. The awkwardness in the whole situation is an excellent example of their current relationship. However, there are hints that things are unlikely to stay the same for so long.
While both Shiraishi and Kubo are dense dorks, the circumstances couldn’t be more evident for Kubo’s friends and family: the girl has found her first love. It was already noticeable in volume 1 how her motivation wasn’t simply teasing Shiraishi or anything of the sort. However, this is the point that further cements her feelings.
While she may not know the name of this feeling yet, there’s no mistaking how she is completely obsessed with enjoying his company. His qualities are something only she knows, things only she can see from a boy no one else would even notice. She has even started feeling a little possessive of him.
Meanwhile, Shiraishi is on a different wavelength right now, and this isn’t a matter of simply being too dense. People have ignored him for many years, and this condition impacted his personal view of self. He’s so bland that he could be just another face in the mob, so it feels impossible that a popular girl could be interested in him. The thought is so unfathomable it doesn’t even cross his mind.
Volume 2 is a slight improvement to the pacing, with chapters feeling like they cut at the best moment and nothing too significant left behind. The extra chapters also provide curious additions to Kubo’s and Shiraishi’s story, feeling more detailed than the actual numbered ones. Graphically speaking, it is on the simple, clear side, but the expressiveness of the characters is perfect for the comedy.
Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible Vol. 2 is an enjoyable follow-up to the comedy story of the unremarkable and invisible boy and the girl who’s always trying to test his limits. While their relationship is slow to develop, the volume still manages to offer a thoughtful look at who they are and a fun time with their silly antics. I look forward to seeing them understand their feelings better and how this newfound awareness will impact their dynamics.
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