Member Reviews

There are a lot of misconceptions about how Japanese society views queer identities, so I’m always up for a book which takes a more fact-driven approach, instead of a romance-centered one. And this is INCREDIBLY fact-centered, as our narrator, Chika, is a psychology student who is most specifically interested in understanding herself and her own aversion to relationships. With the help of her dream mentor and a small, queer found family, Chika gains knowledge and confidence, leaving us with a cozy “happy for now” ending.

Stars and space feature prominently when Chika attempts to understand sexuality. As an astronaut in space, one star among many, or being lit up by companions. I’d be fascinated to see this artist render some of those images in color, because they’re gorgeous, full of movement and life, even when just in black and white.

Readers should be aware that there is a brief depiction of assault in this book. It is treated seriously, and isn’t dwelled on long or in detail, so it doesn’t feel gratuitous. It feels like a logical danger that Chika faces, and while she isn’t able to get immediate counseling, she has friends who support her feelings, making sure she doesn’t become isolated.

Advanced reader copy provided by the publisher.

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Themes / Representation:
College
Friendship
Asexual MC
LGBTQIA+ Characters

Content Warning:
Sexual Assault (Once, at the start of the volume)

What a great way to kick off Pride Month! I was excited to see this manga available on NetGalley as I’m trying to read more LGBTQIA+ manga and also read more Acespec books.

This story follows Chika, a student who is trying to find answers about her gender identity and sexuality in college. After moving into a share house and learning from her Professor and peers, she starts to come to an understanding of how she feels inside.

This was a great introduction to Asexuality and other Acespec identities for those who may be new to the term. It acknowledges that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach to the Asexual spectrum and people who identify within this label can feel differently from their peers.

This is also a standalone volume, so definitely something I’ll recommend for those starting in the manga format and not looking for a long series.

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"Is Love the Answer?" was such an endearing story of discovering who you are and not conforming to any boxes the world wants to fit you into. Rather, you should be the only person able to decide that for yourself. I'm slowly discovering more ace-rep manga & novels and I appreciated this one firstly for the heart behind it, but also for the great info and situation examples it provided. I could see how some might look at a work like this as "info dumping," but I would strongly argue that there are still so many people who do not understand asexuality at it's core so it's valid. I felt very endeared to Chika's story and the way they navigated understanding who they are as a person. They didn't want to boxed into whatever "normal" is and that's true for so many of us. Even once they decided on the label of "asexual," they realized quickly that this doesn't answer every facet of themselves. We're all complicated beyond real measure. I loved that this book didn't shy away from that!

I'll be on the lookout for more works from this mangaka in the future. If you enjoyed seeing ace-rep in this manga, you may also enjoy the series "I want to be a wall" by Honami Shirono.

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This manga is a cute way to examine what it means to be Aces and that it is not as black and white as it seems. The main character is endearing and a great conduit for guiding the reader through understanding how she feels. The secondary characters off a broad spectrum of the rest of the LGBTQ+ community, and further more that sometimes allies can say the wrong thing with the best intentions. 100% recommend.

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I thought this was interesting with good artwork. There were times when I thought it was a bit too much of an info dump and I wanted more action in the story. Overall it was a nice read and a good book for those questioning their own asexuality.

Copy provided via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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I have such mixed feelings with this one. I loved the concept but I didn't like the execution. The concept was sooooo important. But i felt so underwhelmed after finishing this book.
Books are usually either for entertainment or educational but this one was neither. It introduced the topic of asexuality however there was never an ending nor any progress in the story. There were some moments which were so cute but then they story would float to a monologue which would lead to nowhere. Also there was a male roommate whose purpose I couldn't understand at all. It was a very luke warm experience unfortunately.
Thankyou #NetGalley for a free copy to review this graphic novel.

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Is Love the Anwser?
By Uta Isaki

4.5/5

The main character Chika is struggling to find her place. She grew up like most of us being told that she should have feelings of love and want to be with someone. She does the thing in high school we all do where she really tries and even forces herself to be in a relationship, and almost makes herself believe that she does in fact like the guy she’s dating but ends up realizing she does not.

We then see her move to college and far away from her hometown in hopes she can either find someone or learn what “normal” is. The rest of the story is her learning that sexuality and asexuality is a spectrum and that everyone’s normal definition is vastly different.

I think this book explains these terms and experiences well. She is still learning and growing, and it is well displayed in the book. I think if someone who is questioning their own feelings but not quite sure what is going on this would be a good book to read to know they aren’t alone and that all of us are trying figure things out. I also enjoyed that this was found family and that the family is helping Chika understand things that if you live in a smalltown you might not get to experience or understand. I think even the side characters are well written to show other sides of being LGBTQIA+.

ARC given by Netgalley.

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This manga is one that I still think about as it felt like a warm hug. As Chika discovers more about herself and making sense of a world that seems to make sense for everyone but her, the manga really dives into how sexuality can be different for everyone.

Watching her go through this discovery, there is a wave of relief, not just from Chika, but from me as well. the emotions conveyed really allow the audience to feel just how big of a relief it can be to start understanding yourself.

Is Love the Answer? does a wonderful job of looking into what it means to discover oneself. There is this beautiful exploration of seeing that everyone is different and that's okay.

Please, even if you aren't ace, but especially if you are, pick this up. It's just a beautiful manga.

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Many thanks to Netgalley, Kodansha Comics and the author for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is what you call an amazing resource, its literally RESOURCE.

Is Love the Answer follows the coming of age story of Chika, who has moved to a new city for uni and also to discover how they feel and who they are. Chika feels like an alien as she doesn't feel any attraction or romantic feelings for anybody and wants to understand how and why this is works. So she choses to study Psychology. After an initial glitch, she makes good friends and finds people who can help guide her through the resources.

This was such a heartwarming story with so much information and beautiful art, found family, amazing narrative.

Absolutely loved it.

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Is Love the Answer is a great coming of age graphic novel that can serve as an introduction to the asexual and aromantic spectrum and is beautifully drawn throughout. There’s an attempted sexual assault scene depicted within the first few pages of the story. However, it serves as a jumping off point for our protagonist, Chika, to discover herself. Like many on the asexual and/or aromantic spectrums, Chika feels she doesn’t understand what romance or romantic love is, as most people her age would, almost like instinct. She finally explores more at University, meeting new friends, a quirky professor and encountering new experiences, which helps her grow into a more assured of herself. The info can be a bit much if you’re not familiar with the concepts already, but I’ve been looking at this stuff for a while, so it wasn’t too big of an issue. Since the story was written by a Japanese person living in Japan, not everything matches up to a western understanding of the queer community, but it’s great to see how it’s viewed in other parts of the world. I heavily advise you to look at the post story notes, there’s plenty of info there as well. I know it’s just an introduction, part of me wished there was a bit more to the story, as it’s self contained in 6 chapters. This is a great start if you’re just learning about this aspect of the community and minus the one scene near the beginning, is rather wholesome.

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Thank you NetGalley and Kodansha for the DRC! I feel bad that it took me so long to start it but I finished it in a day because it was so engaging.

Though I knew the story was going to focus on asexuality, I didn’t realize it would show Chika during her high school and college years. But, that added to the story quite well. I was shocked at the students thoughts and actions towards trying to force her to do the same things as them. It was interesting to see her meet up with an old friend who apologized for forcing her to do things that the friend herself didn’t even want to do. I just wish people would learn that lesson sooner.

I did enjoy watching Chika learn how many things are a spectrum and can/will change. Whatever decision is made today does not have to remain if things change and she should not feel bad about evolving and learning different things about her identity and how she chooses to express herself. I’m glad she was able to find people who cared to learn to understand her but I was a little confused about her just moving into a professors share house. Is that legal?!

Overall, I really enjoyed this and would love to see more works on the topic in manga. Solid 3.75.

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This wasn’t really my thing. I did enjoy learning a lot more about asexuality and the experience that people have this version of asexuality. I i find that the story was a bit dull at times and it seeme like we’re going anywhere besides the fact the main character is trying to figure out her own sexuality outside the perception of what people who aren’t asexual.

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Thanks to NetGalley, the Author and the Publisher for this ARC!

I really enjoyed this one.
At first I foolishly thought this was a "romance" but it quickly became clear that it's ore of a "finding yourself" or "coming to terms with yourself" kind of story.
It is clear that this isn't the end and because this was so cute and informative at the same time, I really want to read the next volume!

It's soft and sweet and chaotic and just a perfect feel good kind of manga.

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For those learning about asexuality and the spectrum it was a cute read. I know what it feels like to be confused about how you identify so I both resonated and rolled my eyes at her conflicts.

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This is an informative and sweet story of a girl trying to figure out how she wants to identify herself. She uses the guidance of friends and college professors to try and understand romantic feelings, attraction and relationships. I really liked that even when she decided to define herself as asexual she still felt like that was flexible. Hearing all the different characters talk about how they define themselves was interesting too. I recommend this one for sure.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my digital ARC.

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The book follows main character Chika as she struggles to understand why, unlike some of her friends, she struggles to feel sexual and romantic attraction.
Her friends constantly tell her, "you just need the right guy," but , Chika doesn't share the same feelings as her friends no matter who she meets. She is constantly bombarded with what is considered normal behaviour with complete disregard to how she would be feel.
When she attends University , she begins to explore and understand a little more about her gender identity.

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Where was this when I was a teenager? A very wholesome read explaining that there's no normal/ abnormal representation for everyone.

A very good read, for any ages, even though you think you are "in the know".

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A very sweet depiction of a young woman discovering the vocabulary to describe her sexuality and the friends and mentors who support her on that journey. The art is beautiful.

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I really enjoyed this manga. It’s a much-needed story about a girl on her journey of self-discovery, learning about sexuality, gender, and romance.

Be aware that the manga touches on issues like the subtle aggressions and difficulties caused by sexual normativity. It explores the challenges of trying to understand one's sexuality in a society that lacks information about asexuality and aromanticism.
While sexuality isn't a choice, we can control the language we use to describe our experience and explain it to others. I found this idea wonderful. The manga does a really good job of portraying this, using metaphors and beautiful art. The protagonist explores all the possibilities by interacting with her community. She doesn't represent all aspects of asexuality but is a person within the spectrum, asking questions that sometimes don’t have an answer, seeking to understand how labels or better said, what labels represent her better.
in conclusion, the manga is beautifully done. I highly recommend it—not only is it educational, but the art and characters make it entertaining to read. I'm so happy that it finally has an officially translated.

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2/5

This story started off great, the problem is I found it so incredibly boring and repetitive and the plot was completely forgotten after a third of the read.

I think this manga is perfect if you are looking for a very deep self discovery introspective vision of an individual. You will take a trip inside this person, the thoughts, the fears and everything around.

If you are looking for a more "standard format" where you get a mix of both deep dialogues and story, this is definitely not for you, having only deep dialogues but absolutely no story.

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