Anime First Reaction: Otonari ni Ginga

Ah, another romance series that I just happened to be reading the manga of. Otonari ni Ginga (A Galaxy Next Door) is put out by Kodansha and had a pretty interesting premise… especially since it centered around making manga. Since one of my all-time favorite manga series was Bakuman, I was instantly drawn to it. So, in effect, I already know the show is going to be good so it’s a question of whether or not it sticks to the source material well. Does it?

Let’s Go!

First Episode Synopsis

Ichiro Kuga is a manga author. He was so before his father passed away and now he struggles between serializing a shoujo manga and renting out his house to make ends meet. There, he takes care of his two younger siblings Machi and Fumio. One day, his editor calls and says that he found an assistant for him but he needs to go pick her up.

After a bit of travel, he meets Shiori Goshiki, and… she hasn’t done manga before at all! Worried that this might be a bust, he takes her home and discovers that she’s not only fast but incredibly skilled! She even stays and helps him pull an all-nighter so he can make his deadline! After they fall asleep, Kuga notices that there is a G-Pen about to pierce her lower back. He leans over to remove it but it wasn’t a G-Pen but…. Her stinger?

Yes… Goshiki has a stinger and anyone who is stung by it forms a blood pact with her! This blood pact, essentially, makes whoever gets stung her fiancé!! Even though Kuga doesn’t buy her story, weird things start happening! Whenever Goshiki gets far enough away from him, he falls ill. If she feels threatened or emotionally unstable, he also falls ill or shares the same emotions. Slowly, he begins to believe Goshiki’s story and now the two of them must live together with this odd pact between them!

Worth Watching?

YES – I will say that from the manga, it’s not going to be the greatest love story ever told but the sci-fi twists add a bit of comedy to an otherwise pretty wholesome show. The first episode does capture the manga pretty well although it does start off with an anime-only scene as you’re not supposed to see Goshiki’s parents until later.

The first episode does throw a non-manga reader for a loop as it looks like your typical slice-of-life romance show until Kuga gets stuck by Goshiki’s stinger. It ends the episode right after with them, basically, becoming engaged on the fly. I believe Kuga could have had a bit of a stronger reaction to that news as it was pretty muted but that’s the way the manga was, too. It’s not an overreaction-style comedy with lots of yelling and screaming to get the joke over. Instead, it’s more laid back and subtle and often sweet.

If a more relaxed romantic comedy is your type of thing, you should find plenty to like with this series.