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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, Vol. 1
Dojyomaru, Fuyuyuki, Sean McCann
Progress: 103/374 pages
Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Jeff Lindsay
Progress: 424/470 minutes
Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story
Mary Downing Hahn
Progress: 184/184 pages
Parental Guidance
Avery Flynn
Progress: 40 %
An Offer From a Gentleman
Julia Quinn
Progress: 102/358 pages
The Twisted Ones
T. Kingfisher
Progress: 385/385 pages
Educated
Tara Westover
Progress: 315/730 minutes
My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!, Vol. 2
Satoru Yamaguchi, Nami Hidaka
Progress: 24/171 pages
Graphic Medicine Manifesto
MK Czerwiec, Kimberly R. Myers, Scott T. Smith, Michael J. Green, Susan Merrill Squier, Ian Williams
Progress: 26/172 pages
Ao Oni: Mutation
Kenji Kuroda, Karin Suzuragi, Alexander Keller-Nelson
Progress: 30/152 pages

My Neighbor Seki (manga, vol. 1) by Takuma Morishige, translated by Yoshito Hinton

My Neighbor Seki, 1 - Morishige Takuma

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.)