It’s time to return to relationship drama and angst on steroids known as Forget Me Not in Vol. 2.
In the second volume, we bring a close to the Hermes storyline and how that “relationship” fell apart in the end. Overall, in comparison to the previous volume, the story strangely felt less engaging than before. For one thing, it’s because the story is always on the move, never really having much downtime before reaching each important point. It also didn’t hit the emotional points as highly as last time, we didn’t have any more scenes with the mystery girl in the present, and it comes across like we’re almost getting into a rut. Serizawa remembers a girl, we enter the flashback, meet said girl, see their relationship, and watch as it falls apart. This early in, that’s not at all a good thing to have.
As for the characterization itself, I will say there were some improvements here. Yusuke Serizawa felt a bit better than he did in the first volume. While he doesn’t exactly end things on a great note with Hermes, his attempts at trying to move on did show he had matured somewhat from previous flashback stories. Plus, he seemed more perceptive, able to pick up on some smaller points that were troubling Hermes and went out of his way to befriend and help Tsukushi without any thought of trying to be romantically involved. The girls themselves still felt like stereotypical girl character tropes from other series, but there was some much appreciated depth added here to make them feel more real. Hermes’ shy personality and demeanor makes a bit more sense in her final chapter. Tsukushi is the pippy, happy-go-lucky and ditzy girl, but it comes across more as she’s using that as a cover for how sad and beaten down by the world she actually feels. You even see some of that bottled resentment and frustration break through every now and then, showing there’s more to her than expected. There’s also the addition of Serizawa’s friend from the Hermes storyline that I was really impressed by. With the type of character he was and given the country’s issues with portraying this group, I was really impressed with how well written and human he was. I really hope he pops up again in the series.
The second volume’s pacing is relatively quick, but each chapter always progresses the current relationship with the girl Serizawa forward in a plodding, deliberate manner. The slowness does help to build up this connection the characters have with one another, though, getting to see how they interact and making the inventible fallout more powerful. The dialogue is perfectly fine, but only rarely does it really shine, like in the finale to the Hermes storyline and the fallout that occurs there. The occasional bits of humor do help to lighten the mood at times and the themes of the complication of relationships remains here as they did in the previous volume. However, it doesn’t feel as strong as before since we’ve barely scratched the surface of the Tsukushi storyline in comparison to three stories from the first volume.
The artwork looks just as good as it did in the previous volume, helping to capture the feel and tone of the book so perfectly. Its style remains soft and light, capturing the brightest and most heartwarming of moments. However, it can instantly be turned around and capture rather heartbreaking and sad scenes–the finale to the Hermes storyline stands out in particular. The characters are drawn well enough and capable of expressing every emotion in their face and through their bodies well. The only issue with the characters’ depictions are that a lot of the women tend to have the same looking face, just with swapped hairstyles. The layouts are mostly put together well, with the occasional awkward transition from one panel to the next. The biggest problem I found with the artwork is the lettering, which uses a generic serif font choice when Serizawa is thinking or having an internal monologue. It really doesn’t look good and seems almost amateurish.
Forget Me Not Vol. 2 is a solid continuation of the story and exploration of the complicated relationships one can fall into. Though it contains missteps that weaken it and its fast pacing can hamper the manga at times, if you enjoyed the first volume on any level, the second book is more than worth a look.