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Does Shoji cheat on Hachi?

This is a complex question to analyze, as Shoji and Hachi’s relationship in the Love of Life manga series has many nuances. While there are some signs throughout the series that Shoji may be unfaithful, there is no definitive proof that he cheats on Hachi.

Who are Shoji and Hachi?

Shoji is a talented violinist and Hachi’s boyfriend at the start of the Love of Life manga series. Hachi is an ordinary young woman who falls in love with Shoji after hearing him play violin sublimely at a subway station. The two begin dating, with Hachi utterly devoted to Shoji and dreaming of being his wife. However, as the story progresses, cracks in their relationship begin to show.

Signs Shoji may be unfaithful

There are a few concerning signs throughout Love of Life that imply Shoji may cheat on Hachi or otherwise betray her trust:

  • Shoji often dismisses, ignores, or lashes out at Hachi
  • He keeps his apartment a secret from Hachi for a long time
  • Shoji maintains relationships with other women even after getting serious with Hachi
  • He disappears for periods of time without explaining where he was
  • Shoji refuses to make a full commitment to Hachi despite her devotion

These signs point to the possibility that Shoji is either being unfaithful to Hachi or simply using her for convenience. His hot and cold behavior suggests he does not take the relationship as seriously as Hachi does.

Counter-evidence Shoji is faithful

However, there are also signs and plot points that imply Shoji has not cheated on Hachi:

  • Shoji does appear to care for Hachi in his own way
  • He never explicitly admits to cheating even when given opportunities
  • His career as an up-and-coming violinist takes up much of his focus
  • Shoji is often bluntly honest even when it hurts Hachi’s feelings
  • He chose to be in a relationship with Hachi, even if he maintains distance

Shoji is not depicted as a classic cheater who lies and sneaks around behind Hachi’s back. His behavior could simply reflect his aloof personality and focus on his music rather than infidelity per se.

Key moments and scenes

There are a few key scenes in Love of Life that provide insight into whether Shoji cheats:

Confrontation at Shoji’s apartment

When Hachi discovers Shoji’s secret apartment, she waits there to confront him about keeping it hidden. She asks Shoji point blank if he brings other women there, and cries that she would not be able to handle it if he cheated on her. However, Shoji does not directly answer the question. He berates Hachi for making a scene but does not confirm or deny cheating.

Hospital mix-up

At one point Hachi ends up in the hospital after an accident. Shoji arrives with another woman, implying he was on a date with her. However, it turns out the woman was just a colleague of his and Shoji had asked her to accompany him to identify Hachi. This mix-up highlights Shoji’s aloofness but does not prove he cheated.

Ultimatum at movie theater

When Hachi gives Shoji an ultimatum about their future at a movie theater, he walks away without giving a firm answer. She takes this as rejection, but he never directly admits he is seeing someone else. His refusal to commit could stem from his devotion to music rather than another woman.

In none of these key scenes does Shoji explicitly confess to infidelity, keeping it ambiguous whether he has actually cheated on Hachi.

Hachi’s suspicions

Beyond these specific scenes, Hachi repeatedly suspects and accuses Shoji of cheating throughout Love of Life. Her gut instincts tell her that Shoji is being unfaithful. However, these remain only suspicions and hunches on Hachi’s part, not hard evidence of Shoji’s wrongdoing. Hachi even admits after their breakup that she does not know for sure if Shoji cheated.

The role of Reiji

Late in the manga, the character Reiji hints obliquely that Shoji was not faithful to Hachi. He tells her Shoji is not the man she thinks he is. However, Reiji is biased against Shoji and we never learn exactly what he knows, as Hachi changes the subject. So while Reiji’s words carry some weight, they are still ambiguous.

Shoji’s personality and values

Exploring Shoji’s personalities and values more broadly gives mixed clues about whether he would cheat:

  • He is very ambitious and dedicated to his violin career, which takes priority over relationships
  • Shoji values his freedom and chafes against commitment
  • However, he also has a strong sense of integrity and is bluntly honest

While Shoji’s aloofness and reluctance to commit point toward possible cheating or deception, he also seems to abhor lying and truly values his career accomplishments. This makes the question of infidelity even murkier.


Analyzing Shoji’s characterization and all the evidence available, the truth remains unclear on whether he cheated on Hachi during their relationship in Love of Life. There are certainly many hints that Shoji may have been unfaithful or was at least using Hachi for convenience. However, without a definitive scene or admission from Shoji, the issue is left ambiguous. Shoji’s personality explains many of the warning signs, like his secretive apartment, as simply part of his aloof character and dedication to music. Ultimately, Shoji’s possible cheating must remain an open question subject to interpretation by each reader.