We Never Learn 006-008 – Manga Review
Reviewed by: Tom
Synopsis: Nariyuki Yuiga is a hard working student, aiming for his school’s prize award: Full College Scholarship. The only problem is the two genius level girls in his way: Rizu Ogata, a master at science, and Fumino Furuhashi, amazingly adept at the humanities.
Warning: Spoilers to Follow:
Yuiga is forced to tutor both Fumino and Ogata, who both seek to get into schools’ that focus on subjects they’re bad at. Ogata is bad at humanities, where as Fumino is awful at science. In order for Yuiga to get that Full College Scholarship he’s going to have to help these two achieve their dreams too.
Chapter 006 focuses on Ogata needing help to write an essay, something she’s apparently very bad at. Despite coming over to Yuiga’s place for help, the conversation is derailed by Takemoto who, again, is thrown in to add more personality and comedy. A blackout occurs, romance antics ensue, and somehow through it all Ogata discovers how to actually write an essay on the assigned topic.
The plot’s progression, outside of the shameless Takemoto injection, is pretty standard stuff. Introduce a problem, have a seemingly unrelated event take place, and the characters manage an epiphany from said event. It’s not particularly original, but it generally works all the same. Compared to the series first set of chapters it’s gradually gaining footing. We Never Learn is starting to find itself, telling stories that feel meaningful, even if the characterization, outside of Takemoto, really isn’t where it needs to be.
A big problem remains that both Ogata and Fumino, as well as Yuiga, are all pretty boring. It’s not to say they don’t have their own personalities, but they’re so subdued or common place within anime and manga that none of these characters stand out as particularly memorable.
Takemoto again plays a major role in this next chapter as we focus on the group trying to find a way for her to memorize 50 English words so she can pass her next exam.
Takemoto gets distracted comparing her assets and persona to Fumino, all in question of which girl is Yuiga’s type. There’s a few more romance antics as Takemoto realizes that Yuiga remembers how hard she’s been training for swimming since her childhood. Again someone manages an epiphany and realizes the one way to get Takemoto to actually study hard is marry that effort with swimming.
It isn’t long before Takemoto has memorized all the words she needs to know for the exam. The chapter ends with her handing Yuiga what’s meant to be a gift, but has given him her wet swimsuit by accident instead.
Again this chapter follows a fairly similar formula to the previous, although the epiphany is a bit less hidden. In fact, I’d say the revelation that Takemoto should study via swimming is downright obvious and much of the chapter is spent just waiting for our characters exceedingly slow brains to catch up to what is perhaps the most obvious outcome. In fact, Yuiga whole speech about studying just being tough and having to push through feels entirely disingenuous considering the eventual outcome.
Chapter 008 tries to inject a little more drama into the story by offering up an ultimatum for our girls, while also reminding us of how all of their previous tutors would abandon them. We even get to meet one of their former tutors, who’s kind enough to refer to herself as such.
Ogata and Fumino over hear their former tutor’s comments and this seemingly puts a lot of pressure and negativity into Ogata, although that negativity surprisingly bounces off her quite quickly and instead Ogata puts her all into studying without any push at all from Yuiga. It kinda robs him of a chance to be of any extra aid to her, or for our characters to have a deeper heart to heart.
Ogata goes to take her test and while pressure mounts on her to do well, she doesn’t cave and ultimately passes, if perhaps by luck as she guessed her way through the last few questions. The chapter ends with concern that Fumino, who appears to be both tired and sick, won’t fair nearly as well on her next exam.
I feel this chapter really mismanages its opportunities. Ogata really should’ve been more concerned/beaten down about possibly losing Yuiga as her tutor, even if things have been going well. They were so discouraged in the first chapter, and we’re still so early in the series, I have trouble believing their mindsets have changed all that much.
Plus without Ogata perhaps ‘freaking out’ over history repeating itself, there was no real opportunity to have our characters really grow closer. Despite the early tension building, ultimatum driven scenes, everything felt surprisingly low stakes. Sure, it’s a comedy, but in order for romance to really flourish there’s got to be some palpable drama at times and We Never Learn just is not delivering that.
That’s it for today. Please let me know what you thought of We Never Learn in the comments below!
We Never Learn can be found in Shonen Jump and its first three chapters are available to read for free at Viz.com.