I Cannot Reach You Volume 1 Review

I Can’t Reach You is one of the official English translated titles of “Kimi ni wa todokanai” — also localized to “I cannot reach you”.


Our story begins with our protagonist, Kakeru, being held back after class due to an extremely poor grade on a pop quiz. He sees his childhood friend, Yamato, outside the window during a small break, alongside a girl. He shouts out to Yamato that he can’t hang out anymore after class because he’s got to stay after. We learn that Yamato was likely being confessed to in that moment, and that Kakeru’s friends think it’s weird for Kakeru and Yamato to hang out in the first place due to them being aesthetically polar opposites.

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Artwork within Volume 1

As Kakeru stays by himself in the classroom during a make-up supplementary class, he drifts off, only to be awoken by Yamato, who also stayed back to help him out because it’s unlikely Kakeru would’ve been able to do it himself.

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Yamato and Kakeru

Eventually, the conversation drifts to why Yamato doesn’t yet have a girlfriend. Kakeru asks if there’s someone that Yamato likes, and Yamato’s face flushes. Kakeru is confused, and asks him what’s wrong, causing Yamato to just repeat “Kakeru” over and over again. Eventually Yamato stands up, being so flustered, and leaves the room. Kakeru isn’t completely oblivious to what this means — he says “that… why was he so ambiguous? I’ll get the wrong idea for sure…”

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Yamato blushing

Regardless, the next chapter, we see that Yamato is quite attractive and tends to get a lot of stares and attention from girls, meanwhile Kakeru finds himself extremely average. While on the bus, we have the stereotypical “gets too close to one another” moment because of bus overcrowding.

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Yamato and Kakeru on the train

The next sequence is in gym, where Yamato is fallen on top of by a classmate. The classmate is extremely paranoid that Yamato is angry, but his usual stoic demeanor doesn’t change. Yamato also finds an opportunity to slip out of the class to head to the nurse for a sprained wrist from the fall, but Kakeru notices he’s gone and goes to find him. He finds the nurses’ office empty with only Yamato inside, and we get a cute moment of Kakeru putting cooling pad (used for swelling and inflammation) on Yamato’s wrist.

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Kakeru wrapping Yamato’s wrist

The next mini-arc is about a mixer where Kakeru is invited to a mixer by a fellow classmate and invites Yamato along. Yamato doesn’t want to go, but agrees because Kakeru wants him to. The girls are smitten with Yamato, but he seems to get pretty uncomfortable with Kakeru trying to get him a girlfriend. Cuz, y’know, Yamato isn’t straight.

Kakeru gets pretty close to a girl named Akane, who initially claims that Kakeru is sort of like her younger brother. He wastes money on a UFO catcher trying to get a plushie for her, and as she leaves to go get more money, Yamato sees this and wins it for Kakeru. He gives it to him and says he should give it to Akane. So, it seems like Yamato somewhat wants Kakeru to move on and get a girlfriend — perhaps Yamato would be able to move on if he does?

Regardless, Kakeru can’t muster the courage to give the toy to Akane, and wins another one from the UFO catcher instead. He gives the toy Yamato gave him to his younger sister, Umi.

On the walk home together after the mixer, Yamato almost confesses to Kakeru before being interrupted by some kids running by. Get ready folks, because this is a trend that’ll happen many more times.

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Kakeru (Left) and Yamato

Yamato has convinced himself at this point that as long as he’s beside Kakeru, he’ll be fine and content; and yet, his heart hurts thinking about Kakeru dating somebody else. I mean, that’s a pretty cruel fate for somebody who’s in love with someone, after all. Well, Yamato, the dude from the mixer, and Kakeru are engaging in light conversation when the dude from the mixer admits he started dating one of the girls. He asks Kakeru if he’s dating Akane, but he says no, saying that they only text once and awhile. Well, that upsets Yamato, who gets up and leaves.

Kakeru ends up at Yamato’s house to play a video game, and during this, Yamato flat-out asks if he’s dating Akane or if he plans to. Kakeru says no, and asks if Yamato would be upset if he started dating a girl. He begins to play off his question as if it was a silly thing to ask, but Yamato is surprisingly honest, and says that yes, he would be upset.

Annnnd that’s where volume 1 ends!

Opinions / Analysis

Well, Yamato is acting a bit irrationally, and that’s normal for somebody in love for that long. Like, he loves Kakeru and likely has for a long time. One part of him probably wants him to pursue relationships with girls, because he knows that’s the status quo. The other part is a bit selfish, as we all are, and wants Kakeru to himself.

But you know what I DON’T like? Kakeru seems pretty damn selfish, too. Like, he knows that there’s a possibility that Yamato likes him — he’s just ignoring it because it’s easier for him to ignore it. He can’t play the “oblivious” card because we saw him think of Yamato having a crush on him. He can’t deny that. That’s really cruel, Kakeru. Not cool, dude! Address the issue!

Volume 1 of this series was pretty nice and ended on a nice cliffhanger, but we’ve got branching paths from here. Either their relationship can progress, or it’ll stay more and more of this cat-and-mouse game where Yamato gets jealous, Kakeru gets confused, they both blush, and then move on to the next plot point where the cycle repeats. I can’t stand series like that.

What do you think?

Check out our coverage of other Shounen Ai / Yaoi manga here on LAN:
A Gang That Picks Up Trash? – Iberico Pork and Love and Camellia Review
A Vampire Rescues A Lonely Man – Red Baryl ni Sayonara Volume 1 Review
Dark Past, Love Triangles, Horrible City – Acid Town Volume 1 Review

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