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Manga / When Will Ayumu Make His Move?

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Urushi: Heh heh heh... You're getting better, but you've got a ways to go yet.
Ayumu: You're really something, senpai. Such a masterful shogi player...
Urushi: Ha ha ha! You know it!
Ayumu: ... and also... as if that weren't enough, you're pretty cute.
Urushi: NWHA?!
The first few lines of the manga, Chapter 1

When Will Ayumu Make His Move? (Soredemo Ayumu wa Yosetekuru) is a Slice of Life romcom manga series written by Sōichirō Yamamoto (creator of Teasing Master Takagi-san and In the Heart of Kunoichi Tsubaki). It was serialized in Weekly Shonen Magazine from March 2019 to November 2023 for 225 chapters. The series is based on Shōgi no Yatsu, a sixteen-chapter webcomic Yamamoto posted in 2018 prior to it officially becoming a serialized manga.

The story follows Ayumu Tanaka, a first-year high school student who quits the kendo club to join the unofficial Shōgi club, and Urushi Yaotome, a second-year student who serves as the club president. Ayumu has a crush on Urushi, but vows not to confess his feelings until he can beat her in a game of shogi. However, his inexperience makes this an uphill battle for him as he has yet to win a single game. Meanwhile, Urushi suspects that Ayumu has feelings for her and is equally as determined to make him admit to it, but Ayumu's infallible poker face proves quite the challenge for her to make him slip up.

An anime adaptation directed by Mirai Minato was announced on January 8, 2022, with production handled by SILVER LINK. The series was licensed by Sentai Filmworks, and aired from July 8 to September 23, 2022. The series can be watched here.

This manga contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Beach Episode: Chapters 137-139 focus on the main cast at the beach during the Shogi Training Camp, later returning in Chapters 150 and 151 for nighttime fireworks.
  • Childhood Friends: Ayumu, Takeru, Sakurako, and Rin not only went to the same middle school together, but most of them belonged to the kendo club, the exception being Sakurako, though she did hang out with them.
  • Club Stub: Downplayed. Though Urushi maintains that she's the Shogi club president, the school does not recognize the club due to lacking the required four members needed in order to be considered official. After Takeru and later Rin become members, both the club and Urushi's status as club president become legitimate.
  • Compressed Adaptation: As a result of being a 12-Episode Anime, a lot of source material from the first 100 chapters was either skipped over or reworked to fit the anime. On one hand, this is fine as many of these chapters are self-contained stories that do not have much of an impact on the greater plot. However, other chapters that did get skipped showcased character interactions or character development that were otherwise omitted. For example, Urushi's Appearance Angst is barely touched upon in the anime, while the manga has several chapters dedicated to highlighting this.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Kana Hanazawa, Maki's voice actress, sings the anime's opening song, "Kakehiki wa Poker Face", while Kanna Nakamura, Urushi's voice actress, sings the anime's ending song, "50 Centi".
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Invoked and Played With. Straying from the cliched route of Urushi declaring that Ayumu can't ask her out until he beats her at shogi, Ayumu's quest to beat Urushi is a completely Self-Imposed Challenge, much to her chagrin.
  • Everyone Can See It: As of Volume 2, every secondary character to make an appearance has commented on how obvious it is that Ayumu and/or Urushi are crushing on each other.
  • Forehead of Doom: Both literally and figuratively. A prominent aspect of Yamamoto's art style consists of drawing his characters with this. This is also Played Straight with Urushi in particular, as she tends to act dutiful due to her status as the Shogi club president, even though it sometimes goes against her own wishes.
  • Japanese School Club: The Shogi Club. In a gender-switched from the usual senpai/kōhai dynamic in this type of manga, despite appearing to look younger than Ayumu, Urushi is actually one grade above him. More importantly to the plot, she's also the far more experienced shogi player of the two.
  • Love Confession: Handled in somewhat unorthodox ways:
    • Ayumu admits his feelings about Urushi from the start — he outright tells Urushi that she's "cute" and that she's the only person he wants to play shogi with — albeit in a deadpan manner that leaves her wondering if he's serious or teasing her. However, Ayumu has vowed to himself that he won't ask her out until he beats her at shogi, and has held himself to that. When he finally beats her in Chapter 224, the two of them wound up confessing to each other.
    • Takeru takes this to an accidental extreme while trying to resist Sakurako's hypnotism by not only skipping asking her out but straight up proposing to her. Even better is that Sakurako accepts.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Chapter 124: Rin walks in on Urushi on her back, with Ayumu holding her legs shouting, "Please show me!"
  • Officially Shortened Title: "SoreAyu", which is also its series nickname.
  • Origins Episode: Chapter 69 is this for Ayumu and Urushi, establishing the day the two of them met and the moment Ayumu chose to join the Shogi club.
  • Pilot: Yamamoto's webcomic, Shōgi no Yatsu, served as this for the series, with character designs from it serving as early renditions of Ayumu, Urushi, Takeru, and Sakurako. Some of the plot points in the manga's first thirty chapters came from this webcomic.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Well, shogi in this case, but it's essentially Japanese chess.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: Both Ayumu and Urushi can be seen as this to Nishikata and Takagi from fellow sister work, Teasing Master Takagi-san. While Nishikata gets flustered pretty easily from Takagi's constant teasing, Ayumu remains unfazed from Urushi's attempts. Additionally, Takagi is easily able to thwart Nishikata's attempts to tease her, while Urushi's attempts to tease Ayumu backfire on her at times, making herself flustered instead.
  • Story Arc: This is less apparent in the much earlier chapters, but the story starts gradually forming longer, more serialized story arcs:
    • Chapters 93 - 109 focus on Urushi and Maki on a Class Trip to Kyoto, while Rin helps train Ayumu to improve in shogi.
    • Chapters 118 - 121 have Ayumu meet Urushi's parents.
    • Chapters 135 - 156 kick off the Shogi Training Camp in preparation for the shogi club's first-ever upcoming High School Shogi Tournament.
  • Visual Pun: In one chapter where Urushi accuses Ayumu of not looking up to her while he claims that he does, during the scene she's standing while he's sitting. In other words, he's literally looking up to her at that moment.
  • Will They or Won't They?: This dynamic is pretty much the foundation of the manga, at least in the early going. Both leads have a serious mutual crush on each other, and notably, neither is completely oblivious to the fact. However, Ayumu will not come out and admit his intent to ask her out until he beats her in a game of shogi, a game in which she's very proficient, and he's green as grass. Chapter 224 has the both of them confess to each other after Ayumu finally beats Urushi in a fair game.

Alternative Title(s): When Will Ayumu Make His Move, Soredemo Ayumu Wa Yosetekuru