"Mosaic no Sakana"
by AIZAWA Haruka
Ribon Mascot Cookie, 2000
Actually, I have no idea why I purchased this volume ^_^; I think I thought the cover was cute, but I am not sure. I don't own any other manga by her, so this was my first exposure to her work. I bought this at random from an online bookstore! I am glad I did, because I really enjoyed the story in this one-volume manga! That's right, this tankoubon is a yomikiri, or one-shot story, but It's really cute, and the characters are very nice. The art style is typical shoujo. It's sort of light and airy, and a little wispy, but also detailed. I like how everyone loses their noses sometimes ^_^
This is the story of a college student named Akiko. She has just moved out on her own for the first time, and has just moved to Tokyo. She moves into her new apartment, and, for the first time, faces life away from her parents. Things are not quite as fun as you'd imagine. She has never slept in an apartment all alone, and it makes her nervous. Fortunately she has a neighbor to run to in times of stress. His name is Fuji-san, and he lives in the apartment right next to Akiko. This poor guy was enlisted by Akiko to lift all her heavy boxes up the stairs to her new place. He was a rather unwilling helper, but Akiko was desperate and pleaded with him, and he couldn't turn her down. Now Akiko is all alone in her apartment, and facing lonliness, bugs, and an unwillingness to unpack all her boxes. Through all of this, Fuji-san sees Akiko terrified of bugs, drunk on sake, and running around with her boyfriend. Being neighbors, Akiko visits Fuji-san a lot, and they have many conversations and learn a lot about each other. The first chapter is seen through Akiko's eyes, and the second chapter is mainly form Fuji's point of view. I really like how their relationship develops. To Fuji-san, Akiko is cute, a bit wild, and more experienced than he. He is quiet, kindof surly, and very practical. She has lots of friends and a boyfriend. Fuji-san has a girlfriend, but she lives far away, and he keeps in contact with her via email. Can a romantic relationship between Fuji-san and Akiko develop when both have such different personalities and are involved with other people?
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