Published: Dec 13, 2008 to Feb 13, 2012
Genres: Drama, Romance, School, Shoujo
Authors: Nanba, Atsuko (Story & Art)
Serialization: Bessatsu Friend
First let me begin to say that there is nothing out of the ordinary about the story and you will not regret not reading this story. But, I really wish there was more attention for this shoujo manga. I feel that the little attention it gets is undeserving as the execution of this story is well-done in my opinion.
Like the summary, you could already tell the story is ordinary. Kyousuke is a guy whom Nina crushes on but of course the problem lies with him not being able to reciprocate her feelings and him dating a girl in high school, Yuiko.
I thought, and still do, that the way Kyousuke was presented was highly realistic. He's been with the heroine for all of his life so when she confesses to him of course he cannot look at her in a 'womanly' way. He knows her flaws, her likes and dislikes already, her past and how she thinks. There's nothing new that he would find from her so that's why he manages to be so comfortable with her and be unromantic. Some people who read this manga will become annoyed or even hate on Kyousuke for that (I did), however, when it comes down to it: wouldn't you agree with his actions? A childhood friend confessing to another childhood friend where they've known each other for all their life cannot just suddenly jump in and be all lovey-dovey towards one another, especially if they have never considered them to be a romantic interest. That's why I like the manga. Kyousuke is a realistic character and he's a likeable guy too. He's nice to everyone, he tries his hardest and he doesn't bully anyone. He makes mistakes and isn't perfect.
That's why Nina likes him in the first place: a perfectly nice guy and he's always been her knight-in-shining-armor and to keep him close to her in that way still she knows that she has to be dating him. When she finds that Yuiko manages to date him she immediately tries to confess instead of muddling in despair. It's nice. She isn't the typical shoujo girl where all she does is cry out her heart and wait for someone to rescue her. Instead, she confronts the problem be the result beneficial towards her or damaging. She is pretty innocent too yet not to the extent where one wonders if she's a real human being.
She doesn't know what a relationship is like and when Kyousuke tries to touch her in a 'romantic' way, she rejects the action. A question that arises is: when you like a person and cannot touch them, what does that mean?
I'm not sure as I've never been in a relationship and neither does Nina get it. I think that Kyosuke saw that she does not know what she's trying to get herself into. After all, this is her first love and that's another realistic aspect to this manga.
What is love? What does the warmth of being beside one mean? What would you do for the person you've known for your whole life who is starting to become out of your grasp? What would you do for someone who's changed yet you still continue to like them, even when they're cold, would you still manage to give them your shoulder?
The questions are answered in this manga, and if you'd like to know then I encourage you to find out. You will not regret venturing. There are times where you want to hit your screen but at the same time you can understand where the other person's annoying personality comes from. *cough*Yuiko*cough*
The art is really nice. The feelings that Tonari no Atashi spouts from me is frustration, happiness and sadness. I can understand so many different aspects of the characters in this manga even though I just want to shut out the character and not find out as their actions seem despicable to me. Again, Yuiko I'm looking at you. Of course I'd tell you more about her but let's just leave her as the one who's dating Kyousuke. If you want to know why I dislike her then check out this manga and it's not just because she's in the way of Nina becoming Kyousuke's girlfriend.
Once you understand a person, you cannot whole-heartedly dislike them. Sigh, but hey that's a redeeming quality of this manga.
Again, Tonari no Atashi is not a once-in-a-lifetime manga and can be quite predictable yet it still leaves you gripping and wanting to know more about the fate of Kyousuke's and Nina's relationship. Although, if you're not the type of person who's into drama then this isn't the manga for you.