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Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible is a Slice of Life Look at Young Love

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Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible is a Slice of Life Look at Young Love

There are plenty of mangas looking at a developing relationship between two characters. Though over the years, we’ve seen some where a person who isn’t particularly sociable or popular ends up opening up and growing as a person as they connect with someone important. There are Kimi ni Todoke and Komi Can’t Communicate, for example. Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible is a similar sort of situation. Except here, we see how a young woman tries to get others to notice the person she can’t ignore.

Junta Shiraishi is essentially the equivalent of a generic NPC. Which ties in to the original Japanese name of the series. In the title, it refers to him as being a “mob character.” People and even inanimate objects never notice him. However, his classmate Nagisa Kubo does. Which, initially, she seems to use for her own amusement. At least, that’s how Shiraishi seems to see it. From getting him to stand on his seat in class to see if the teacher, who doesn’t often notice he’s even attended, to seeing what lengths they have to get for a phone’s camera to recognize his face is even there, she’s constantly teasing him.

Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible is a Slice of Life Look at Young Love However, the whole first volume is about establishing who Kubo is to Shiraishi and vice versa. For him, she starts out as a classmate. She actually notices him, which he seems to appreciate. Even when her antics would verge on annoying, he doesn’t seem to mind too much. He himself even assures her he isn’t mad. (Though admittedly, he does seem to regret it a bit as it eggs her on.) He’s also a bit clueless about the whole situation. It is as though he understands she has an interest in him, but doesn’t get the “why.”

As for Kubo, Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible volume 1’s rather well paced. It doesn’t hesitate to clue the reader in to her intentions. Which is refreshing, in a way. With how many “will they or won’t they” series out there, we know from the start the direction things are headed. While she is trying to increase his exposure and make him more noticeable, it is never malicious. Her goading him into standing on his chair is as “cruel” as it gets. She genuinely attempts to call attention to him in a positive way. At one point in class, she even offers additional support so he looks smart in front of their teacher and classmates. And while she does “tease” him, a meeting with her elder sister helps establish where she gets it from. There are even moments when she expresses some degree of guilt or regret, even when it probably isn’t warranted.

The format also means that the development of Shiraishi and Kubo’s relationship feels more natural. As a slice of life series, it follows the same sort of format as Yotsuba and Komi Can’t Communicate. There are short vignettes in their daily lives. We see them meet outside of school when Shiraishi has his little brother at a park. Kubo is teased by her sister about her sudden change in habits. The two of them interact in class. We see how she draws him out of his shell and the way they interact.

The result is a rather fun read. I enjoyed seeing how Shiraishi and Kubo reacted to one another in Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible. Watching exactly how animate and inanimate objects wouldn’t realize he existed tended to be rather amusing. It also gets especially interesting to see the contrast in perspectives that sometimes makes Kubo herself seem more villainous or like an extremely ordinary girl. I feel like it’s a good manga to pick up and read a chapter or two of as a quick diversion.

Kubo Won’t Let Me Be Invisible volume 1 is available from Viz Media.

Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.