A Galaxy Next Door is a cute new romance manga from Gido Amagakure, the creator of Sweetness and Lightening. This love story between an artist and his assistant is a lot stranger than it first appears, so get ready for some sci-fi shenanigan’s and mishaps involving alien physiology!
Ichiro Kuga has been doing his best to support his two younger siblings ever since their dad died. He’s been working as a shojo manga artist and has had some moderate success – enough to keep the lights on, anyway. But keeping up with his deadlines is becoming more and more challenging. He needs an assistant!
Luckily, his agent finds him the perfect person for the job. Shiori Goshiki is skilled, efficient and hard-working. Plus, she’s a real stunner in the looks department. It’s like a dream come true! In fact, Ichiro must be dreaming, since it appears that this lovely and competent manga assistant has a mysterious tail!
When Ichiro is accidently stung by Shiori’s stinger, she confesses that she is actually the princess of the Star People. Not only that, now that Ichiro has been pierced by her stinger, the two of them are betrothed!
A Galaxy Next Door provides a modern twist on the classic Magical Girlfriend genre. Shiori is an ethereal beauty who’s almost too good to be true. Strange biology aside, she’s basically everything Ichiro could have asked for in a partner. Despite this, Ichiro is too sensible to just go along with a sudden engagement due to an accident, especially since Shiori seems to actually be a host to an alien parasite. Shiori, likewise, is logical and fair about the situation and doesn’t try and insist that Ichiro honour her family’s traditions. Instead, they’re both very considerate of each other and decide to try and find a way out of their sticky situation.
Of course, things aren’t going to be so simple. Being stung by Shiori’s stinger has bonded the two on a biological level in a very inconvenient way. Now Ichiro can’t get too far away from Shiori without suffering severe physical consequences. The same thing occurs if he makes her upset. So, what’s the solution the two come up with? Shiori rents a room at Ichiro’s house and the two decide to try starting as friends!
A Galaxy Next Door is a very cute romance with a fun, fantastical twist. Shiori had lived a very sheltered life before she left her island to see the rest of the world and her enthusiasm about experiencing some romance, just like in the shojo manga she’s read, is infectious. Ichiro is also quite cute. He’s been devotedly caring for his two adorable siblings and, while he doesn’t want to get swept up in a crazy engagement, he isn’t immune to Shiori’s charms. Their growing relationship is very sweet and heart-warming. I especially enjoyed Ichiro’s siblings shocked reactions to seeing their brother getting close to a gorgeous girl!
This is a feel-good romance that’s perfect for fantasy fans. I’m looking forward to learning more about the strange parasite that came from space and infected Shiori’s ancestors and seeing is this physical bond is permanent. If it is, that’s going to make any lovers spats between Ichiro and Shiori quite unpleasant.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
For more information on this manga, visit Kodansha’s website.
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