I've Moved Next Door to You - Mania.com

Manga Review

Mania Grade: A

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: NA
  • Text/Translation Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 18 and Up
  • Released By: 801 Media
  • MSRP: 14.99

I've Moved Next Door to You

I've Moved Next Door to You Manga Review

By Patricia Beard     March 08, 2010
Release Date: December 09, 2009

I've Moved Next Door to You
© 801 Media
What They Say
Takumi Kusunose is a man who loves the company of others and simply cannot abide being by himself. When he took responsibility for his company's losses by paying out of his own pocket, it nearly broke him. As a result, he was forced to move into a cheap apartment... but what happens when the sexy blonde guy next door begins making sexual advances at Takumi?! And what happens when Takumi's former secretary shows up, turning Takumi and his neighbor's potential relationship into a love triangle?!

The Review!
Put some color into those winter pale cheeks with a sexy threesome!

Since this review is based on digital copy, cover materials, print and paper quality are not available for evaluation.

Fuuri Misasagi's art is up to the task here. Her character designs are attractive and expressive, and she has enough breadth to ably depict the masculine businessman type as well as the more colorful and hipper, yet no less handsome, Renji. A lot of the visual fun here is watching her play off these two types, notably in Renji's redressing the sartorially staid Takumi. It's so wrong and so much fun.

While this is primarily a comedy, Misasagi has a number of touching and reflective moments, and the translation/adaptation gives the dialog the proper weight and tone making these surprisingly affecting. Readers will find that the characters all have distinctive voice and, as usual with DMP titles, sfx are subbed.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):

Takumi san is a kindly but disgraced corporate executive who upon accepting the blame for a business decision made by his company, leaves his position and feels compelled to forego the lifestyle he had once enjoyed because of the loss. To that end, his faithful secretary, Kamoshida, has found new living arrangements for him. Very low rent living arrangements.

Kamoshida, who still works for the company, has his work cut out for him in getting Takumi settled. Takumi has no experience in doing anything for himself. He cannot use a key, he cannot cook, and his interpretation of the rooms in his apartment isbased more on his concept of a mansion rather than any idea of how people really live. Overhearing the exasperated Kamoshida try to get Takumi to understand his environment is neighbor Renji Asahi who decides that handsome and clueless Takumi san could be an interesting diversion in many ways. After a bang-up introduction, the puckish Renji insinuates himself into Takumi's daily life out of the sheer necessity that Takumi's incompetence invites, much to the gratitude of straight laced and naive Takumi and much to the annoyance of the straight laced and not-so-naive Kamoshida. One would expect a struggle over the soul (and body!) of Takumi, but there is more "tuggle" than struggle here, and it's the unusual antics of the "polyamorous" Renji that transform what could have been a predictable triangle into a fun (but reluctant) threesome.

This all works because of the mercurial character of Renji Asahi. Is he a spoiler, a cupid, a matchmaker? He's all of these at one time or another, and sometimes he's all at the same time. Any attempt at assigning him a "role" comes to nothing. Once the reader thinks he's been pegged, his behavior changes, and reader expectations never take hold for long - definitely a good thing. The only flaw in this flamboyant and winning characterization is the overly tragic back story that Misasagi chooses to give Renji. While it would explain Renji's behavior and outlook, it's so over the top that the reader is taken out of the moment waiting for a denial - or a punch line - that never comes. It is quite unnecessary.

No such let down with Misasagi's take on the naive and guileless businessman. The changes that overtake Takumi san in his quest to live the way Renji would like are at once funny and touching. Dialog that would sound disingenuous in so many other stories works with Takumi. "You've seen me like this. Don't I have a right to see yours?" is very amusing when delivered deadpan by the direct and unaffected Takumi and really shows how much he has changed since Renji entered his life. Yet it's not only Takumi's sense of sexual adventure that is broadened. He comes to realize that people can care about him without obligation. When Takumi defends Renji to Kamoshida, he makes the statement that Renji "cares about me more than he needs to". Given the sacrifices that Takumi has made for others, this admission makes quite an impact and Misasagi's expressive art backs it up.

Since this is an 801 Media release, the graphic sexuality quotient is expected to be higher than in the other DMP imprints. I'm not so sure that's the case here. However, it is a lot sexier than most, and goes a long way to underscore the idea that it's the situation and not just a throbbing organ that makes for excitement.

In Summary:
Funny and sexy with likable and memorable characters. Recommended.

Writer/Artist: Fuuri Misasagi
Translation: Leona Wong
Adaptation: Leona Wong

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