Title: A Galaxy Next Door Vol. 4
Author: Gido Amagakure
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Genre: Romance, Supernatural
Publication Date: January 10, 2023
The fourth volume of A Galaxy Next Door started off by calling attention to the pact nullification from the previous volume. With Goshiki and Kuga focusing on their work for individual reasons, many around them think that they have entered a cooling-off period with their relationship and that makes people wonder if the pact nullification had anything to do with it. Turns out to be a false flag but you can’t really blame them for wondering that based on the events happening with Kuga at this point in time.
After Goshiki wins an award for her one-shot, things begin to settle down a bit until she realizes that she missed both Valentine’s Day and White Day. She responds by going overboard with making chocolate for both friends and family. It’s a rather cute moment but it becomes overshadowed when Kuga ends up getting sick and hospitalized. While all of this is happening, news of Goshiki’s success reaches the island and her mother has quite an interesting reaction to it.
We wrap up the volume with them going camping. While it doesn’t end the volume on a cliffhanger, it does end it on a really sweet moment!
Kuga and Goshiki took center stage in this volume in terms of development. The big plot point in this volume is that Kuga’s manga gets canceled. He has to wrap it up a lot sooner than he wished for and that hurts him in his soul. He tries his best not to show it but, of course, as he’s supporting his siblings, he worries about what will come of his living situation, his finances, etc. Plus, it hits him as an artist because he felt as if he wasn’t good enough. To make matters worse, when Goshiki wins the Encouragement Award and he reads her work, it makes him even more depressed because he felt her manga is better than his.
He goes through a bit of shock recovery and begins to understand that things aren’t as bad as they seem. Just when bad luck strikes him, he finds a streak of good luck that will allow him to continue onward without much worry. Plus, the positivity of those around him helped bring his spirits up. In a sense, Kuga was thrown out of his comfort zone by reality and had to face it head-on. It was a valuable life lesson for him (and for all of us.)
Goshiki, on the other hand, was worried when she was cornered at the beginning of the volume and was asked about a cooling-off period. You could tell that she was worried more so about the pact annulment more than anything. She still had deep feelings for Kuga so she hoped that things weren’t falling apart.
You also got to see a parallel situation with Goshiki when it comes to going through a lesson in reality. When her manga got published online, she received a lot of buzz over it. Not all of the buzz was positive and since she was so used to commanding favor back on her home island, the fact that not everyone liked her work shook her to her core.
The nice thing is that throughout both ordeals, they were there for each other and it helped strengthen the bond that they share. I guess you could say that this volume was all about the two of them doing a bit of “growing up.” This was tested even more when Kuga ended up in the hospital but their bond continued to guide them through that test as well.
This was a solid entry in the series! I wondered what was going to happen now that the pact had been nullified; however, I didn’t predict Kuga to get his series canceled. The only issue I had with that was the fact that the problem was solved almost instantly. While I would have liked a bit more drama to help really test their relationship, I guess this is fine because it’s not out of the realm of reality. I know this firsthand when I was laid off from my position at one of my old jobs and in that same lay-off meeting, I was offered a different position in the company. Sometimes problems do get instantly solved like that but in the world of this manga, I think it could have been a bit more beneficial to their character development had the solution come just a little bit later. Just a missed opportunity to explore Goshiki’s budding career and some of the feelings that could have come from that.
Outside of that, Kuga landing in the hospital was a bit of a shock. Didn’t seem to affect him too much, either as he went camping shortly after getting out. I’m surprised that the series didn’t go too deep on what that meant for Kuga’s new gig, though. I guess this volume elected to gloss over some of the things I wished they would have spent more time on but… I’m a slow-burn type of person (hell, it took me seven volumes just to wrap up the intro arc to my latest light novel series). I understand I won’t always get that and it’s not every storyteller’s style. Doesn’t mean there was anything wrong with this volume as I enjoyed it. Just a personal nitpick/preference.
One of my readers described himself as a greedy reader… always wanting more. I can see a lot of that in myself, haha! Still, a great read and I want to see more of Kuga and Goshiki’s journey. Besides, we have less than a year left to convince Goshiki’s parents. Her mother’s reaction in this volume to her award gives me some hope things will work out just fine.
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This item was purchased for review.