I got into grad school, hooray! It is such a relief and as a reward I went and bought myself a bunch more manga. I’ve been eyeing this series at the bookstore for a bit so I treated myself even if I think these are overpriced at $13 each for small volumes.
We Swore to Meet in the Next Life and That’s When Things Got Weird! is an isekai style reincarnation romance. Princess Yuko and Harold the knight are in love but can’t be together because of societal pressures, so they swear to find each other in their next life and get married. In modern-day Japan, Yuko has been waiting for 39 years and has given up hope of finding Harold again, but then a 17 year old high schooler rushes up to her and proposes. It’s Harold, but their age gap worries Yuko and she is unsure if they can start their romantic relationship again.
The art in this series is what drew me to it, as it’s very cute and expressive. I also liked the exploration of the impact of societal judgement and how to navigate what other people think of your relationship. The tone throughout is extremely sweet and cozy, with all the characters being nice, supportive people. This is also a very physically chaste book — the most we get to see is a brief kiss or two, and holding hands is a big step for them that they have to discuss. I will say that the age gap was a lot for me. The book navigates around the potential power dynamic through the reincarnation concept and by having Harold be the one who’s more certain and in pursuit of Yuko in their new lives. Because they did know each other before and he’s been searching for her since he was a child, it feels more balanced and they both do express their concerns and communicate openly with each other. However, it still made me squeamish because he is 17, even though they do seem to wait until he’s 20 to get married. If you can deal with that, this is a really sweet book full of cheerful feelings.