TITLE: My Neighbor Seki (Tonari no Seki-kun)
YEAR: January 2018 (US Release)
COMPANY: Vertical Comics
Story and Art by Takuma Morishige
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 nine tankobon volumes printed , a 21-episode anime series having aired in Japan in 2014 and a live-action drama series in 2015, 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.
I have to give Takuma Morishige a thumbs up for keeping “My Neighbor Seki” going on for so long.
A manga series about classroom antics by Toshinari Seki and the curious Rumi Yokoi, Morishige has decided to take a hiatus from the manga series to work on other manga.
Morishige wrote “This manga started off with small games played out on a school desk. Even after the games got bigger and wilder, I want to restore things back to their original state. I want to preserve that balance, so I’d like to carefully think through my ideas. And so, I’d like to take breaks as I work from now on.”
Morishige also wrote, “If I have a breakthrough, I might be able to draw without breaks again”.
And I think a break is a good thing because there is only so much Morishige could do. The series maintained it’s humor and I have written that I could only read so many chapters before taking a break and then coming back to it.
Not because I didn’t enjoy it because I enjoy “My Neighbor Seki” a lot, but it could get a bit monotonous reading about school desk pranks over and over. Sure, the pranks are different each time but I tend to enjoy variety in my manga series and get bored of seeing the same scene over and over again.
So, I took a few days of breaks before coming back to read more chapters.
For volume 10, Seki tries to make crop circles on a grass with a UFO; another chapter features Seki trying to catch bugs for his collection during class; Another features Seki taking the top of his desk to make a stained glass table and another features Seki trying to mess around with his sister’s Rena doll.
But the antics are not limited to Seki and Yokoi in this volume. We also have Uzawa who likes to destroy things and Seki trying to hide a car he’s building in class from him, while Yokoi observes.We also have Yokoi’s friend Goto (who thinks Seki and Yokoi are in a deep relationship) observing Yokoi and interpreting her observations and interaction with Seki as love.
And so much more!
I enjoyed Morishige’s artwork and his creative ideas of the games Seki plays on top of his desks are fun to read. But again, there was only so much I could read per day and to avoid things from getting monotonous, I took a break every 2-3 chapters for a few days before reading more. But I would like to see a volume 11 but I also would like to see what kind of manga work Morishige can come up with next.
Overall, an entertaining and fun manga before Morishige Takuma goes on his extended break to work on other manga.
“My Neighbor Seki”, check it out!