Kimi ni Aisarete Itakatta can be localized to English as You Loved Me So Much It Hurt or I Wanted to be Hurt by Love.
I read a review of this series a few volumes ago, and it’s been sitting in my “Plan to Read” section on MyAnimeList ever since. Here’s a synopsis, for the uninitiated:
The ways of social niceties and fitting in are far too complex for the timid and awkward Kanae Kanai to ever understand. Even so, sweat pooling under her skin and tension coursing through her body, she goes along with her “friends,” all in an attempt to avoid being ostracized.
But going with the flow is something Kanae does only during the day. By night, she participates in compensated dating, relishing the feeling of being needed by someone. However, even for a girl like her, who is plagued every day by fear and anxiety, there is hope. Despite his overwhelming popularity, Hiroshi Nomura, the ace of the baseball team, remains kind to everyone regardless of clique.
While many would shun someone like Kanae upon discovering their situation, Hiroshi does the opposite—he offers his hand to pull her up and his shoulder to cry on. The pits of despair are unfathomably deep, and Kanae might need that helping hand to escape from them.
To be a bit personal without delving into too much detail, I’m somebody who deals with a pretty extreme social anxiety disorder. I can relate to having a low self worth and “going with the flow” in order to avoid ostracization and potential bullying.
Perhaps I picked up this manga because I related to the concept? Well, regardless, let’s dive into Volume 1! This series is currently ongoing, so we’ll likely release updates as it releases as well.
Please note that this manga is triggering for many. Topics include sxxual violence, nudity, extreme bullying, and pr0stitution by somebody und3rag3.
We begin by seeing a horrifying death scene of Kanae, our protagonist. She’s on the ground as police take away a man who’s crying and looking over his shoulder at her. Kanae says “I just loved you — Why? I only loved you, that was all.”
We seemingly jump back in time to Kanae at a lunch break with her friends at school. She gets some rice on her face and one of her friends mentions it, to which she freezes in place and apologizes in fear. Her friends as why she’s apologizing, because after all, they’re friends! Why would they be upset at her? Kanae blushes at this, seemingly happy.
Two girls approach the group telling them they’re sitting in their seats. Ichika, one of the girls, tells them to shut up and calls the girls ugly. When the entire group chimes in to insult the girls, one of them asks Kanae to back them up, and Kanae does. One of the girls begins to cry at their harsh words, and Kanae thinks to herself that she feels bad for them, but won’t do anything outside of the group in fear of being ostracized. She confides in us that she was horrifically bullied in middle school, and will do anything to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
Kanae goes to karaoke with her friend group and a few guys she doesn’t know. One of them snaps her out of her trance and asks if she’s listening to him, to which she apologizes and says she isn’t. The guy clicks his teeth at her and tells Ichika, one of the girls in Kanae’s friend group, to let him join her instead. She shoots a nasty look at Kanae for this.
Kanae panics and begins to spiral into thoughts of being horribly bullied again. She decides to do something to try and get in their good graces again, so she goes to get them drinks, but they seem unresponsive to her. She continues to panic and leaves the room, crouching down and sobbing vehemently.
Her meltdown is interrupted by Hiroshi, one of the guys in the friend group at karaoke. She stops crying and he asks if she’s okay. Kanae learns that Hiroshi simply thought she was having a heat stroke, and she allows him to believe this rather than correcting him.
When she returns to the karaoke room, she tells everyone that she’s leaving, but nobody really responds to mentions that they heard her, not even a goodbye. Hiroshi notices however, and says that he’s leaving as well, to which everybody erupts a sea of “aww, why???” and he quickly grabs his bag to catch up with Kanae. Kanae runs away from him though, and doesn’t allow him to walk with her.
We learn here what Kanae does at night when she’s feeling like she lacks human connection or she feels unwanted… prostitution. I’ll spare you all the gross details, as it’s very graphic in the manga, but Kanae relishes the feeling of being wanted or desired by the other person, regardless of how disgusting or predatory they are on her.
Kanae and her “Customer” sleep together and before they part, Hiroshi discovers Kanae. He grabs her hand and runs away from the predator, dragging Kanae with him. After they’re far enough away, he asks Kanae what she was doing with that man. She responds by getting extremely angry at him, asking him “What the fxck he’s doing” by interfering with her.
He tells her that doing that sort of stuff isn’t normal, and Kanae runs away again. On the train home, she keeps muttering to herself, frightening anybody that asks if she’s all right. When Kanae gets home, we get a peek into how horrible her home life is. Her mother constantly belittles her, telling Kanae that she bets she isn’t even studying at all and she must be “an idiot” for working so hard at work while Kanae does nothing all day. Kanae’s younger brother joins in on this, telling Kanae that he hates her because she doesn’t work hard enough in class and that’s why he has to study so hard.
She flees her house and goes outside to sit on a curb and cry. She’s approached by a face that’s familiar to her — Narumi. Narumi is a boy with light colored hair that complains about his “Paisen” — a senpai or older person that makes him do dirty deeds, like buying stolen goods. He listens to Kanae’s troubles that day and empathizes with her, saying it would be bad if another person knew she was a prostitute. They seemingly know one another already, and Narumi isn’t surprised by Kanae’s… “occupation.”
He tells Kanae to let him know when something goes sour and he’ll come “flying to her” to hear her out. Kanae goes home after their interaction and is paranoid that Hiroshi will tell others about her being a prostitute. However, when she enters the classroom, everybody greets her like normal, so her worry melts away. However, that changes when Ichika asks if Kanae slept with Hiroshi.
Kanae can barely stutter out an answer, but Ichika flies into a rage, screaming at Kanae that she probably did because otherwise there’d be no reason for Hiroshi to run after her at the karaoke bar. Kanae shouts out that she didn’t sleep with Hiroshi, and Ichika says if that’s true, then Kanae will help her do something. After school that day, we see what that “something” is — Ichika wanted Kanae to tag along Ichika and Hiroshi after school. With Kanae’s presence, Hiroshi would be sure to turn up, but if Kanae can fade into the background and let Ichika take the lead, perhaps Ichika could win Hiroshi’s heart.
Well, Kanae is miserable the entire time. When they part ways after visiting a shrine, Kanae is glad, and wonders if she should apologize to Hiroshi for setting him up like this. Kanae begins to hallucinate slightly, when her mind can’t help but create horrible belittlement from passerbys, and she has a bit of a meltdown on the walk home. Hiroshi runs to catch up with her, but we can’t really hear why over Kanae’s voices interfering. Eventually she collapses into herself on the ground and vomits. Hiroshi hugs her to try and calm her down.
Unfortunately… Ichika stumbles upon this scene, and assumes Kanae seduced Hiroshi for herself.
Kanae accompanies Hiroshi as he he cleans his shirt and he gives her a towel to dry her tears. I assume he walks her home, because we cut to Kanae with Narumi, where she is very happy to have his towel. Kanae says that it’s the first time a guy has been kind to her without her sleeping with him, and we see a bit of jealousy from Narumi.
The next morning, Kanae is completely ignored by her friends when she greets them.
Apparently, Ichika created a groupchat without Kanae in it, for the sole purpose of trash talking her and saying how much of a snake she is. We get a small bit of characterization for Ichika, where she feels extremely moved and happy that all of their friends are taking “her side” in this. Ichika was also bullied in middle school, and she’s happy that she isn’t “alone anymore.” For the next few days, we witness some horrendous bullying from Kanae’s former friends, with Ichika taking the lead in bullying her. Tomiko, a plump blonde girl in the friend group, puts cockroaches in Kanae’s desk. That night, when Ichika goes home and tells her parents about it, her father is against the bullying, but Ichika and her mother practically bully her father out of the room.
One day, Kanae goes on another one of her “consultations” with a client, when Hiroshi begins to text her. The client grows suspicious and demands to know if she’s setting him up for something, and the fact that this situation no longer feels comfortable for Kanae leads her to spiral again. She’s apparently all in her thoughts, because now she’s awake in her classroom when Ichika swipes her phone, causing her and Kanae to get into a physical spat.
That night, beaten and with bruises, Kanae goes to see Narumi and tells him she has a favor to ask him.
The final chapter of this volume is absolutely gross and brutal. I know I gave you trigger warnings before, but trigger warning for some of the most extreme sort of violence a high school girl can get.
One day walking home from Karaoke with the group of friends, Ichika is abducted into a white van where Narumi and two other guys are. One guy with dyed blonde hair tells them that “after this” they’ll go get beef bowls (“Gyuudon”, a quick and easy fast food meal in Japan). The dyed hair guy asks Ichika what sort of bowl she likes and she hesitantly answers she’s only eaten the normal one. The guys joke around about her answer before the dyed blonde hair guy starts touching her. Ichika slaps him and tries to fight back, but she’s subdued.
He begins to attempt to do the act when the van door opens. Ichika kicks the blonde guy in the stomach and tries to run away, only to be punched by the person who opened the door. Another guy enters the van and joins in. Meanwhile, Kanae records from the trunk.
Opinions / Analysis
Whew. I warned you, this manga was gross and brutal. Kanae went way, way too far with this one, even though she was being tormented by those girls every day. I feel horrible for everybody involved.
One thing I “like” about this story (if you can like anything at all) is that Kanae isn’t blameless. Too often, protagonists are blameless in stories, where they’re just doing their best and everybody perfectly sees that and thinks they’re a saint. Kanae isn’t that, whatsoever. The second she caused this to happen to Ichika, she’s complicit in this horrible action.
I know we all fantasize about bullies getting their comeuppance, but this is way, way too much. To Kanae though, I wonder if she can understand the severity of what she’s done to Ichika.
The beginning few panels of Kanae lying near lifeless on the ground is horrifying too — how does Hiroshi, somebody so kind to her, end up doing something like that? Does he realize what she’s done to Ichika at that point? Is that his way of getting vengeance for her?
That’s the weird thing about revenge, isn’t it… once you get it one time, it starts this horrible never-ending cycle. And it seems like Kanae’s started that horrible cycle. I fear for her, and at the same time, I want justice. It’s a tough, uncomfortable spot for the reader.
Additionally, there’s this one scene in the manga where all of Ichika’s friends rally behind her and say things like “How awful is it to ditch and backstab your own friends…?”, talking about Kanae. When obviously they are doing the exact same thing without even talking to Kanae first. Yeah, how awful of you all.
What do you all think of this manga? Let us know in the comments!
Check out our coverage of other series here!:
Jujutsu Kaisen Episode 1 Review
Serial Killer Reincarnated in Another World Chapter 1 Review
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