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As an exercise...

Counter the charge that critics all but lob at this series: Emotionally manipulative. Counter it in your own way. I don't think it's a valid charge.
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Hmm...

I'd like to see the arguments they present for such a claim...

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It's made here, among other places:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfrWlf_bJ5Q

The sad part is, the reviewer had originally given a neutral but fair review, but in this retrospective on that review, it feels like the 'cool kids club' got to him and now he denounces it and uses exactly that term.

It seems to focus on things like the Pup, Mayu's backstory, and other things hard to bear but also hard to turn away from. Considering how many series do the same thing and much worse, it feels like EL becomes a focus for these accusations.

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