My Dress-Up Darling Fans, This Is For You!
- Mangaka : Amagakure Gido
- Publisher : Kondansha
- Genre : Comedy, Romance, Seinen, Slice of Life
- Published : April 2022 — present
Like a newborn foal, Otonari ni Ginga (A Galaxy Next Door) starts out life with a stumble and a stagger before truly finding its feet. Push past the early pacing issues of this rom-com’s central conceit, and you’ll find a beautiful thing waiting for you — but patience is necessary for this soft and wholesome romance.
Fans of Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo suru (My Dress-Up Darling) will instantly be at home with the adorkable female lead and her soft-but-caring male counterpart; and although A Galaxy Next Door isn’t quite so ecchi, the blossoming romance and shared hobbies — in this instance, making manga! — are a recipe for success.
Join us today on Honey’s Anime as we take you to a galaxy that isn’t far, far away, but instead just a few pages away! This is our review of Otonari ni Ginga (A Galaxy Next Door), Volume 1!
Depending on your reading habits, Amagakure Gido might be a well-known-name to you, having penned nearly a dozen different yaoi romances over the past decade. Their most recent English publication, Amaama to Inazuma (sweetness & lightning) was quite successful, and there’s a similar setup at play in A Galaxy Next Door.
Kuga Ichiro was forced to drop out of high-school and take over raising his younger siblings when their father died and their mother abandoned them. Now a manga artist, Ichiro struggles to pay the rent, save up for his siblings ‘college education, and meet deadlines for his shoujo manga his. Things start looking up when he gets a new assistant — the gorgeous and eccentric Shiori Goshiki.
Goshiki is more than she seems, though — she’s actually a self-professed “princess”, and not entirely human. She harbors a parasite from outer space that gives her unnatural abilities such as telepathy and excellent memorization; but since she was raised far away from civilization, she’s completely at a loss in the real-world of Tokyo!
After working together, Ichiro and Goshiki have a fateful accident — Ichiro unknowingly touches Goshiki’s “stinger”, which binds the pair together via a blood pact to become husband and wife. Even worse, Ichiro suffers “retribution” in the form of fevers, blood noses, or headaches if he touches Goshiki wrong, or is away from her by more than one or two train-stops!
This overly complicated setup serves as the springboard for A Galaxy Next Door’s actual plot — that is, Goshiki and Ichiro gently falling in love as they work together on manga, share each other’s hobbies, and settle into a “found family” with Ichiro’s siblings. Everything in the first three-quarters of the manga is simply a setup for the rest of the series, and although that might turn off prospective readers (it nearly turned us off), Goshiki and Ichiro’s relationship is definitely worth sticking around for.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ OTONARI NI GINGA VOLUME 1
1. WELCOME TO THE MANGA INDUSTRY!
There are many series with self-referential plots about becoming a light novel or manga author, but we particularly liked A Galaxy Next Door’s playful combination of detail and, well, lack-of-detail. There’s enough lingo and industry discussion to entertain and inform, but never at the expense of feeling too dense for a casual reader.
2. THE NEXT KITAGAWA?
As we mentioned earlier, A Galaxy Next Door’s Goshiki shares some personality traits with Marin Kitagawa of Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo suru (My Dress-Up Darling), although Goshiki doesn’t embody the ecchi flightiness of Kitagawa. Goshiki is earnest and interested in the manga industry and works closely as Ichiro’s assistant, and even when they’re still getting to know each other, they have this shared hobby to fall back on.
It’s a very specific trope, but if it’s one you’re looking for, A Galaxy Next Door will satisfy!
Otonari ni Ginga (A Galaxy Next Door) really could speed things up in those early chapters, but we encourage you to push past the clunky exposition and awkward setup to reach the blossoming romance. Like a more family-friendly Sundome!! Milky Way, A Galaxy Next Door offers up the alien-next-door but with a fresh coat of My Dress-Up Darling paint.
If you’re thinking of checking out the first volume, let us know down in the comments below. And as always, thanks for reading!