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My Neighbor Seki (Tonari no Seki-kun) Vol. 1 by Takuma Morishige (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

February 15, 2015 by  



myneighborseki-1

“My Neighbor Seki” is a manga series that I enjoy but because it’s a story that focuses primarily on two characters, often in their desks during class, it’s like reading a comic strip about Toshinari’s antics of the day.  It’s great to read a few chapters but it’s a series that can grow a little old because of its limitations. Still, an entertaining and hilarious series worth reading, “My Neighbor Seki” is recommended!

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Image courtesy of © Takuma Morishige 2011 All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: My Neighbor Seki (Tonari no Seki-kun) Vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Takuma Morishige

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Kadokawa Corporation

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: Vertical Inc.

RATED: N/A

Available on January 13, 2015

Toshinari Seki takes goofing off to new heights. Every day, on or around his school desk, he masterfully creates his own little worlds of wonder, often hidden to most of his classmates. Unfortunately for Rumi Yokoi, his neighbor at the back of their homeroom, his many games, dioramas, and projects are often way too interesting to ignore, even when they are hurting her grades.

In 2010, a one-shot of “Tonari no Seki-kun” (My Neighbor Seki) was published and months later, the manga would become serialized in Media Factory’s Comic Flapper Magazine.

With a total of six tankobon volumes printed and a 21-episode anime series having aired in Japan in 2014, the manga series for “My Neighbor Seki” was released in the U.S. courtesy of Vertical, Inc.

“My Neighbor Seki” is a manga series in which each chapter features an unrelated story about a girl named Rumi Yokoi who is often distracted by the antics of her classmate, Toshinari Seki.  No one in class is bothered by him except Rumi, and quite often, she tries to sabotage him and so, she is the one that gets in trouble by the teacher, not Toshinari.

In one chapter, Toshinari is playing dominoes and has them all stacked up on his desk, and when they all collapse, it would light up a firework and Rumi is afraid what may happen.  In another story, she sees Toshinari playing himself in a game of shogi (Japanese chess) and is distracted from her schoolwork.  Another story features Toshinari making artwork from his Go pieces, another features Toshinari bringing cats to class and playing with them, another features Toshinari creating origami of animals fighting each other and more!

“My Neighbor Seki” is a fun and entertaining manga series.

A series about a girl named Rumi, who is always distracted by Toshinari’s antics, she is surprised no one else is drawn to his antics but her and she is the one to get in trouble for it.

Toshinari on the other hand is a character that does whatever he wants on his desk and never gets caught.

In some ways, the manga series reminds me of the way “Azumanga Daioh” was created in terms of short stories, many taking place on school campus but so short that you can read a few chapters at a time and enjoy it.  But where “Azumanga Daioh” shines is that there is a connection often with each short story and there are many characters that are featured and you watch these characters grow.

In “My Neighbor Seki”, the storyline is contained down to two characters and when you do see another character, it’s brief.

So, while I do enjoy “My Neighbor Seki”, because of how the manga and its stories are constructed, I can only read a little of it each day because so much is restricted to the classroom and the two sitting in their desk, I didn’t want to grow to bored reading it all in one setting too quickly.

It’s almost like a comic strip that you read in the newspaper each Sunday, great to read once a week or a few at a time but in one setting, it can be a bit much and you can easily grow bored of it.

The artwork by Takuma Morishige is good yet simple, relying on character facial expressions for Rumi and for Toshinari, showcasing his crazy antics on his desk.  A lot of panels are restricted to the characters without much detail for the backgrounds.  Sometimes it’s just a plain white background.

Overall, “My Neighbor Seki” is a manga series that I enjoy but because it’s a story that focuses primarily on two characters, often in their desks during class, it’s like reading a comic strip about Toshinari’s antics of the day.  It’s great to read a few chapters but it’s a series that can grow a little old because of its limitations.

Still, an entertaining and hilarious series worth reading, “My Neighbor Seki” is recommended!

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