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Neko to Watashi no Kinyoubi

I've never thought about the minimum age requirement for a romantic relationship. In the ever-changing popular culture, almost anything seems feasible in the eyes of many. Naturally, there are also other factors in consideration, particularly the degree of receptiveness from both the individual and society. There is also a very thin line between reality and fiction. In any case, many events that we digest from the world of entertainment do mirror considerably the everyday lives of mankind. Allow me to pose this question to the readers: What do you think of a serious, romantic relationship which involves a 10 year-old boy and a 15 year-old girl? In the world of manga and anime, that seems perfectly normal. Surprisingly, a relationship like that opens up a whirlpool of thoughts and feelings which ironically usually happens among adults and such. However, they are nothing on a catastrophic scale. On the contrary, it is a sweet romantic comedy drawn by Tanemura Arina titled 'Neko to Watashi no Kinyoubi'.

At first glance, I thought that the premise of the couple's relationship was something along the lines of innocent puppy love. Well, in my opinion most of the stuff are surprisingly pretty mature (or at least they try to be) though still portrayed in typical shoujo manga fashion. Of course, I could simply avoid being overly analytical and say that it is merely entertainment. But after sampling a good portion of the series, I would so love to see them walk the journey of forever together. Oh yeah, I don't know if I had mentioned this before, but I dig shoujo manga most of the time. Anyway, moving on.

Meet the leading lady - 15 year-old Tachibana Ai. She is a high school freshman who loves all things cute and chocolate. As a student librarian, Ai always looks forward to Fridays because her crush - Serizawa Mia will patronise the library and borrow books. One day, Ai's mother asked her if she would be keen to take on a home tuition assignment requested by her aunt. The time is set to every Friday after school. The student is Ai's 10 year-old cousin Honjou Nekota. Ai agrees to the assignment since she will be paid for it.

As mentioned, Honjou Nekota is 10 and a fifth grade student. Nekota and Ai reside in the same mansion building. The Honjou family is on the 42nd floor while the Tachibana family is on the 8th floor. Nekota likes curry and a game known as Monster Hunter. Nekota instantly fell in love with Ai due to an incident a year ago (before the story proper) where he contracted a high fever and was carried all the way to the hospital by Ai. Because he needed an opportunity to see Ai, hence he hatched a plan to make her the home tutor. Unknown to Ai at the beginning, Nekota actually excels in his studies. Nekota is also aware of Ai's crush for her senpai.

Early during the progression, Ai and Serizawa-senpai became a couple yet their romance was openly disrupted by the extremely jealous and scheming Nekota, who vowed to win Ai's heart no matter what. Ai then described Nekota as a little devil in an angel's disguise. Yet in the midst of all that madness, Ai gradually came to terms with her true feelings. While there isn't any doubt that she had loved Serizawa-senpai, her heart couldn't love him more than how she's loved Nekota. Eventually, Ai and Nekota became an official couple.

What is a romance without some drama? It doesn't matter if the genre is still technically a romantic comedy. Over the course of the series, Ai and Nekota experience challenges that are seemingly impossible between children (well, at least for Nekota). The lovey-dovey moments are generously peppered across those difficult situations, effectively neutralising any form of conflict and such. Supporting Ai and Nekota is a bunch of equally animated characters ranging from Ai's younger sister to Nekota's best buddy in school.

Currently, the original Japanese release has a total of six volumes with the most recent one in September. A drama CD was also released alongside the April issue of 'Margaret'. Hopefully, this wonderful manga would get picked up for an anime adaptation!

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep ♪

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