- Alas, Poor Scrappy: After her offscreen Death by Childbirth, Yayoi has become this for the readership. It was also helped by her father's genuinely heartbreaking reaction to this event that made her a lot less disliked.
- Base-Breaking Character:
- Miyabi. Opinions are split between those that see him as The Woobie, those that see him as a Jerkass Woobie, and those who see him as an Unintentionally Unsympathetic Jerkass.
- Yumi is either a likable and realistically flawed sympathetic protagonist, or an Extreme Doormat. Not helping is that Emi Muto has stated before that Yumi is based off of her own experiences, but with the way how everything seems to work out for her is too suspiciously miraculous. Not only does everyone take Yumi's side, but she is also very overly forgiving of others' transgressions against her, and anyone that doesn't like her is portrayed as either misguided or a completely irredeemable jerk. If Yumi were The Scrappy, there's a guarantee she'd be a Creator's Pet.
- Family-Unfriendly Aesop: As pointed out here, the comic does advocate the notion of forgiving an abuser and I Can Change My Beloved.
- Fan-Preferred Couple: Yumi/Hugo rapidly became popular with the readers.
- Moral Dissonance / Double Standard: Most of the characters and to some extent, the fans, hated Yayoi for what she tried to do to Yumi, which is understandable. Yes, Yayoi created Poor Communication Kills with Yumi and Toshio that almost ended the relationship, but Miyabi's own incredibly callous comments over Toshio taking her back after the misunderstanding was resolved were really uncalled for. However, she did apologize for this, and she did help Miyabi's father reconcile with the family, yet no one said thank you. During that time, Miyabi had physically assaulted Yumi more than once, in front of witnesses no less, and yet the worst Miyabi gets are a couple people calling him out on this. And when Yayoi attempted to kill Yumi, everyone condemns Yayoi and goes to comfort Miyabi. But it was Miyabi's fault that this mess happened (he told his family that he was going to fall in love with Yayoi to try to get over Yumi). All of his friends and family know that's wrong and what do they do? Nothing, not even tell Yayoi's father, their manager, what Miyabi was doing. And yet everyone treats Yayoi like a monster while Miyabi gets a free pass.
- Take That, Scrappy!: Much of the fandom rejoiced when Akito, out of all people, gives Yayoi a Shut Up, Hannibal! over the phone, coupled with "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- Sacred Cow: Any kind of criticism of the comic on either Emily's Facebook, the site's chat board, or other sites can be a sure way to incite some heavy backlash. In fact, Emily has apparently banned a few people for posting their criticisms, regardless of whether they were constructive or not.
- The Scrappy: It's hard to find someone who is a fan of Yayoi, who gets the active brunt of hate from Die for Our Ship Miyabi/Yumi fans. The fact that Yayoi is so well disliked is Lampshaded further by the fact that only Yumi, Toshio, Akito, and maybe Miyabi regard her kindly. Especially when she falls into her Bitch in Sheep's Clothing and Manipulative Bitch tendencies, going so far as to nearly strangle Yumi to death, she's the most likely character anyone will name as their least favorite.
- Ship-to-Ship Combat: Toshio/Yumi vs. Miyabi/Yumi.
- Squick: Miyabi's later attraction to Yumi can feel like the guy has a serious Oedipal Complex, since she bears a slight resemblance to his late mother.
- Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Miyabi. Yes, his mother died and his dad withdrew from the family after her death; that is understandable. However, Miyabi also has friends that are always there for him, and a sister whose Number One concern has always been his well being. Plus he's the lead singer of a band with said friends that is very popular and is heading for mainstream stardom. Yet he treats these same friends like dirt, treats his fans with contempt (especially poor Eizo), and is a total bully towards the school faculty and other students. He bullies Yumi just for being at the wrong place at the wrong time and her slight resemblance to his mother, and then ends up falling for her, which he tries to deal with by leading another girl on and toying with her feelings (Yayoi may be nuts, but no girl deserves that), nearly getting Yumi killed as well as resulting in Yayoi's own death by childbirth, leaving her father (who is Miyabi's manager and mentor) utterly devastated. And aside from not only never receiving any real punishment for his actions, he's forgiven by everyone who continue to hold him up as a good person for his musical talent and Freudian Excuse. While Emi did take steps to mitigate this by giving Miyabi some Character Development, for some readers, it's way too little, way too late.
- Values Dissonance: Sometimes overlapping with Critical Research Failure, since the comic is written by a Westerner and takes place in an Eastern setting, there's bound to be views and morals that don't exactly line up with Japanese society.
- The Woobie: Poor, poor Mitsuzuka-Sensei. His wife is dead, and he has to go through the shame of his daughter Yayoi being deported after going crazy in her pursuit of Miyabi, who, by his own admission later on, treated her as nothing but a sex object. And then his teenage daughter gets pregnant and she refuses to get an abortion, even though it's made clear that going through with this will kill her. And indeed, she does, right after forgiving the father of her child in spite of the pain he's caused. He spends the next few months looking after his grandson until he's spurred to visit Japan again, and has to reopen many old wounds by confronting Miyabi and dropping Haruki off to live with the Orochi family. After all of that, it's hard to blame the man for being Driven to Suicide. Thankfully he gets better.
YMMV / The Way To Your Heart