I love romance. I love sweet stories. I absolutely love fluffy romances so sweet that threaten to give me diabetes. None of this should be a secret to you. I talk about them all the time. Here’s a list of romance stuff I’ve talked about! Yeah, I do love me the stuff. It’s cute, and it’s sweet. I like it. Good stuff. You can always count on me to bring you the romance goodness because I just like experiencing the stuff myself.
Today, we’re talking about a light novel, the first one on the site, believe it or not. I’ve been getting into them a lot more lately, so I figured I might as well share one I’m really enjoying. Why is this relevant to you? Well, maybe you like light novels, but if you can’t be bothered to read, this series, in particular, is also getting an anime adaptation sometime in the near future, and I can’t wait.
The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten needs to specify whether the “me” is referring to actual me or Amane because I’m also getting pretty damn spoiled here. The story is very simple. Amane is a high school boy that’s a loser, pretty much self-proclaimed. Can’t cook, clean. Can barely survive, but he still lives by himself. It’s a miracle he’s alive.
Well, one day he stumbles across Mahiru, or The Angel as she’s more commonly referred as, sulking for some unknown reason in the rain. With no ulterior motives whatsoever, Amane goes over to his neighbor he’s never spoken to, hands her an umbrella, and runs away. He then gets sick because he’s a dumbass, and Mahiru takes care of them, and so their relationship begins.
I’m a firm believer that a romance doesn’t need to do anything special to be good. I think you can have a decent romance that’s just cute. Maybe I’m easy, but I don’t think every series needs a hook or draw to keep people interested. Well, The Angel Next Door is exactly that, at least from what I’ve read. Amane and Mahiru are the only potential couple, and there’s not much drama between them at all. It’s literally just a cute, wholesome, slow-burn love forming between the two.
That can be boring for some, but what I think really helps is that both Amane and Mahiru are incredibly well-written down-to-earth characters. Seriously, these two people are so damn casual and calm half the time it’s hard to believe they’re teenagers in a rom-com. I adore them, not only because they’re cute together, but because they’re peaceful together. They’re both at ease with each other, and you can feel that through their interactions. They don’t do anything crazy. They just exist together.
The best way I can describe this series is it’s like Toradora if the roles were reversed and with a lot less tsundere violence and drama. Amane is useless and likes being taken care of like Taiga, and Mahiru enjoys feeling wanted and likes taking care of people like Ryuji. It’s the same kind of thing, but their incredibly realistic demeanors at times make them stand out.
Mahiru, in particular, is a fantastic character. She obviously suffers from a lot of inner turmoil and has some family issues, but Amane never forces them out in a way that feels unnatural, nor is she more unguarded than you would expect. As I said, it’s very realistic. Despite the two of them growing closer, they each know and respect each other’s boundaries, and the drama and jazz is dropped slowly over time in a way that makes sense and feels fitting for the series.
They’re just very good characters that interact with each other in very good, very real ways. Everything about their interactions feels real and believable. In a genre where a lot of things are generally over the top and hyped up, this is really refreshing. It makes it feel like a bit more of a serious romance story, despite its extreme cuteness.
That’s not to say the pacing is too slow; it’s actually shockingly good. It gives at least one or two cute moments each chapter, and because of the way it’s written and how realistic Amane and Mahiru are, even the small moments mean a lot. You’ll smile at them playing video games together or eating a meal. You don’t need crazy crap to happen. You just appreciate seeing them grow closer because of the very understandable distance between them. It’s wholesome.
They don’t suddenly meet each other, fall in love, and that’s that. They’re two people who slowly grow closer, value their time with each other, and begin to form a closer bond because of that. In this type of story, about the most touching thing you could ever see these two do is just laughing playing a video game together. And I think how that simple action can mean so much, just goes to show how good the writing is.
And I easy to please with this stuff? Sure. You put two cute people together in cute, wholesome situations, and I’ll die on the spot a hundred times over. With that being said, I do know when an author or creator knows what they’re doing. It’s oftentimes from these very normal romance stories to we see how good the characters are and how much life is breathed into them, and Amane and Mahiru are some of the best I’ve seen in a bit, and I’m really happy about that.
That’s it. I’ll leave now. I’m done my service as the romance guru, or whatever I called myself in that one recent post. My work is done. Read this series. Go watch the anime when it releases. Do something.
Thank you very much for reading
Go do it! Whatever it is!