Title:A Galaxy Next Door Vol. 3 Author: Gido Amagakure Publisher: Kodansha Comics Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 192 Genre: Romance, Supernatural Publication Date: November 1, 2022
The third volume of A Galaxy Next Door was a bit eventful… and then it wasn’t. There was some tension when Goshiki’s parents traveled across the seas to bring her back home to the island. She resisted which drew her mother’s ire but her more reasonable father proposed that they give her one year to live on her own. During this meeting, they explained how Kuga was accidentally stung by her stinger. They know of a way to annul the pact and make the arrangements for doing so.
When the annulment comes, there is a chance that Kuga’s feelings for Goshiki, and vice versa, are a byproduct of the stinger and its effects. Removing the stinger could cause Kuga to lose all feelings for Goshiki.
With the results of the annulment out of the way, Goshiki and Kuga return to their lives. The rest of the manga just sees them spending a bit of time as a family together.
We are introduced to four new characters here. First up are Goshiki’s parents Takeru and Miyako. Miyako is very brash and stern while Takeru is more level-headed but he makes it clear that he’s not siding with Kuga in this matter at all. I hate characters like Miyako. Her mother won’t listen to reason or the wishes of her very own daughter. She’s all about tradition and how things must be followed. She’s the kind that just wants to control Goshiki’s life and these are the types of characters that I just want to reach across a table and smack with a dead fish.
Takeru, on the other hand, maybe against everything but at least he’s more sensible about it all. He understands that his daughter needs her freedom and does have her best interests in mind. Plus, that level-headedness allows Miyako to soften her stance so he kind of balances her out (thankfully.)
Our other new characters are Momiji Makado and Keigo Kamaki. Both of them are from the island and they are here to perform the ceremony to remove the stinger and annul their pact. Well… Momiji is because Keigo is just a little kid who took the trip because he wanted to see his princess again. Keigo is just a sweet, innocent boy who has a crush on Goshiki but he’s way too young to do anything about it. In fact, in a flashback, Goshiki asks him what he likes about her and his answer is “because you’re a princess!” Such an innocent answer from an innocent child. How I wish we could all go back to that!
Momiji, on the other hand, is just there to do her job. She’s friendly enough to be a bit thoughtful over Kuga’s situation. In fact, she’s the one who warns him about his feelings possibly fading once the stinger is removed. Once the job is done, she took her leave.
There was some nice tension leading up to the annulment but after that… it just fell kind of flat. Going back to just picking out outfits, spending time together as a family, etc just seemed like filler. I was fully expecting some sort of drama or a cliffhanger for an ending but there wasn’t anything. That’s one thing that this series hasn’t done a good job of so far which is to hook you onto reading the next volume. It just picks a stopping point and ends the volume… even if that stopping point feels like it’s in the middle of a sentence. It just feels so random and doesn’t really do much to make you want to read more.
Then, when you get to the next volume, there are events in there that should have acted as the previous volume’s ending. Those events are really interesting and re-hook you onto the story. I’m not saying the manga is bad. I’m three volumes in and I’m really enjoying it. I’m just saying that it never gives you much of a reason to continue reading at the end of the book and just relies on the fact that the story itself is good enough to make you want to read more. To me, this seems like a series where you’d want to wait until all of the volumes are out and then marathon because waiting for each release doesn’t really do much for you.
The pacing of the series seems a bit fast. It makes me wonder how long this series truly is. We’ve gone from being stung, to being engaged, to annulling the pact all in the span of three volumes. Sure, we have the one-year time limit to serve as a background reminder that things won’t last forever but all we need to fix that is a small box in the corner of a page that says “1 year later.” I just wonder what this series has left in the tank to carry us to that definitive moment.
It’s a good story so far but I hope it’s not just more shopping and going out for volumes on end. For once, I’m actually stumped as to where this story goes from here. Guess we’ll see it in the next volume.