I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
This series takes place almost entirely at school. Yokoi sits next to Seki, a boy who creates and/or plays with intricate and complex creations at his desk every day rather than paying attention to the teacher or studying. Hardly anyone notices the things he does, even the teacher, but Yokoi can't keep her eyes off it all...even though it interferes with her own ability to pay attention and take notes in class. Some of the many things Seki does in this volume: play with dominoes, stage a fictional political revolution with shogi pieces as the characters, shine his desk until it gleams like a mirror, create an increasingly skinny sand mountain, tell a story with Go pieces, entertain the full-grown cats he snuck into class, create a postal service, and have a robot family act out proper behavior during a safety drill.
This reads like a 4-koma comedy series even though it isn't. I'm already wondering how long Morishige can keep this going and still have it be interesting. So far it seems pretty limited. Seki comes up with some kind of outrageous game or distraction for himself, Yokoi is shocked but intrigued despite herself, and darn, Yokoi was so interested in what Seki was doing that she forgot to keep taking notes in class. Granted, the stuff Seki does is pretty amazing, but is it amazing enough to carry a multi-volume series?
Anyway, if I were Yokoi and had a seat neighbor like Seki, I'd probably be fascinated too. He has some fabulous planning skills, and he puts more time, money, and effort into goofing off during class than a lot of people put into their paying jobs.
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)