First Impression: A Galaxy Next Door

Our bro Ichiro Kuga has had a pretty rough time of it recently. As is the case with many manga artists (and anime bloggers…), he finds himself with too many deadlines and too few hours in the day to do it all. However, he remains steadfast and determined to get it done. Why? Because our dear bro is supporting his younger brother and sister after the death of their father and the (apparent) abandonment of their mother. Thankfully, he inherited a small apartment complex, so that—plus the profits from his manga—have been getting them by. But his end goal is to get enough money to put his siblings through college. Fortunately, our bro Ichiro gets a phone call: he’s getting him some much needed help in the form of a new assistant, Shiori Goshiki. She’s a quiet, demure girl, and has a propensity to dress in all black, but she gets the work done prodigiously, so Ichiro ain’t gonna complain. After encountering an error that requires the two to pull an all-night drawing session, Ichiro, thinking that his sleeping assistant has been impaled by a pen, reaches out and gets pricked by what is in fact her stinger. Yes, baby girl has a stinger. Go figure that one. At first, Shiori is freaked out: after all, it’s pretty rude touching a girl’s stinger without her permission, and such contact is only for people who are married. Naughty boy. Ichiro quickly explains that the whole thing was a misunderstanding, and Shiori exercises prodigious forbearance. She then explains that she is a princess of the “Star People,” and among her people, touching a stinger is tantamount to being in a relationship. However, Shiroi is not down to be in a relationship just because some dope accidentally touched her stinger, even though she admits she’s a fan of Ichiro’s work. She wants the two of them to start as friends and then see where things go from there. Roll Credits!

When our boss told us about what was coming up next for review, he mentioned this show and how I would love it, as the source material was done by the same person who did Sweetness and Lightning, another one of my favorite series. Funny how well TWWK knows us, as I fell in love with this one from jump. While I realize this is just yet another “Hapless protagonist being saved by a kind otherworldly cute girl” story, dawg gone it, you can inject that stuff right into my veins on a constant IV drip because I love stories like this. In that same vein, this story does bear a striking resemblance to Sweetness and Lightning, with the exception that the female lead is older and our protag can actually pursue a relationship with her without any problems with the FBI. Though I admittedly had some hesitation, as the last anime I watched involving manga creators and romance, Bakuman, really didn’t live up to expectations. This one feels like it’s worlds better just from the first episode. Also, can I please give a shoutout to Shiori? She didn’t do the now overused cliché of screaming out, “PERVERT! ECCHI!!!” and smack Ichiro like Mrs. Kamiya smacked Tai. While she did look CLOSE to doing it, she paused and listened, and when she found out it was an accident and he apologized, she apologized as well for jumping to conclusions. Can we get more of this in anime please? Also, I really wanna live in an anime neighborhood. Why? Simple. You can either have an angel spoiling you rotten or an entire galaxy next door. Sounds a lot better than my neighborhood.

Also, can we talk about two cute beans? THESE TWO ADORABLE BEANS! Dang it, show, I already had FOUR wisdom teeth taken out! I don’t need more cavities! Ahem. But I digress.

From a production standpoint, this one look really well done! I mean, part of me expected that the show would look like Sweetness and Lightning, but this is made by a completely different company. However, it still looks really nice. With regards to the OP, it’s okay, and it matches the laid back vibe of the show perfectly. The visuals are quite pretty, especially in the ending credits.

So where does that leave us? Do you REALLY have to ask? Of course I’m following this one! Yes, I know I have several “cutesy” series on my radar this season, but what’s one more, right? It’s like eating crawfish: sure, you COULD just eat one, but when you have a big pile in front of you, do you really WANT to? This is a great story with lovable, interesting characters and very nice production values, so it’s a no-brainer for me. I can’t wait to see if we’ll get to know any of the other occupants of the apartment building, as I can see a lot of fun and shenanigans to be had with them! That being said, if I’m being honest, if you’ve seen one “Hard Working Bro Gets Help From Cute Girl” story, you’ve seen this one, so if you wanna pass on this one, don’t feel too bad.

A Galaxy Next Door is available for streaming on Crunchyroll

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