My Idol Sits the Next Desk Over, vol. 1 | Review
[Today’s review is by Renee Scott, who is joining the Good Comics for Kids team. Renee is a young adult librarian based in NYC, as well as a dedicated otaku. She can be found on Twitter at @libraryladynyc, and on her review blog, The Library Lady of NYC Reviews.]
My Idol Sits the Next Desk Over, vol. 1
By Tetsu Tsutsui and Koyubi Sugawara
Kodansha Comics (digital only)
My Idol Sits the Next Desk Over is a refreshing light-hearted reminder of something we usually tend to forget: celebrities are human beings too.
When Sakiko recognizes new classmate Chihiro as a member of her favorite idol group, Spring Sunshine, she tries her best to not freak out and scare off Chihiro. She wants to treat her idol like any other peer. Why else would this mega star attend her school, right? When Chihiro (aka Chiro-chan to her fans) is assigned to the desk next to Sakiko, the girls become fast friends. Chihiro tells Sakiko to keep her identity as a pop idol a secret as she wants to experience a normal life outside of stardom. Sakiko is more than willing to honor her friend’s wishes.
If only it were that simple, especially when Chihiro has another friend (more like a stalker), Maaya, who doesn’t want anyone near the idol, including Sakiko.
I personally enjoyed this story. It explores how to establish relationships in an organic and authentic way, while adding a dash of humor to soften Sakiko’s awkwardness towards her newfound friendship with Chihiro. The story was very easy to follow, and so relatable even if you don’t have a celebrity friend. While this is marketed as yuri (girls love), we don’t see any romantic feelings emerge until the end of volume one, which gives the story a nice pace. We witness a girl who admires a singer who has brought her joy through her songs, and is appreciative to become her friend. Nothing is rushed and I look forward to seeing how Sakiko’s relationship with Chihiro evolves.
Now onto Chihiro’s other friend, Maaya. Oh boy. Maaya gives off extreme obsessive stalker vibes that border on unnerving. She almost gives Yamai from Komi Can’t Communicate a run for her money, without the obvious perverted fixation *thank God*. Maaya doesn’t want Chihiro to have any friends other than her, which includes Sakiko. She thinks anyone breathing near her fixation is too close. Yikes. Sakiko, wondering why Maaya doesn’t like her, is oblivious to the girl’s malicious intent, and decides to be nice to her since she’s Chihiro’s friend.
Readers will see how each character dynamic is different through their interactions, and what really constitutes as a healthy friendship. The artwork and flow go really well with this adorable story, and I look forward to what volume two brings.
Filed under: All Ages
About Brigid Alverson
Brigid Alverson, the editor of the Good Comics for Kids blog, has been reading comics since she was 4. She has an MFA in printmaking and has worked as a book editor and a newspaper reporter; now she is assistant to the mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts. In addition to editing GC4K, she writes about comics and graphic novels at MangaBlog, SLJTeen, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Comic Book Resources, MTV Geek, and Good E-Reader.com. Brigid is married to a physicist and has two daughters in college, which is why she writes so much. She was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards.
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