This review will contain spoilers for the manga and anime series The Guy Next Door's Just My Type. While the manga may vary slightly from all other forms of media, it may have similar story elements and could be considered spoilers.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to overwork, slut-shaming, assault, rape, sex addiction, hacking, gossiping, blackmail/sextortion, and violence, as it appears in the manga.
Takanashi is a hardworking programmer. He's tired and worn out, but he's proud of what he does, and as long as he can get home and get a good night's sleep, he's okay with working as much as he does. Unfortunately, he lives next to playboy Akemi. Akemi being a playboy means he has a new girl at his house almost every night, and those women get loud, making it impossible for Takanashi to get a good night's sleep.
The first time, Takanashi finds it funny. The second time, it's a bit annoying but more impressive than anything else. By the tenth night or more, Takanashi is livid. After asking Akemi to keep it down, only for his request to be ignored, Takanashi realizes he has to take extreme actions. So he goes over to Akemi's apartment, fully intending to put Akemi in his place.
The thing that sold me on this title is the art. I follow Renta! on
Unfortunately, as much as I like the art, the story isn't the best. It's your standard whirlwind that these short-form, single-volume manga have, which isn't necessarily bad within itself. However, the way this achieves that result is rough. This starts with rape, which is also not as rare in these titles as we might want to assume, and that is Takanashi's solution to his playboy neighbor problem. It's not really planned that we can see, and how he jumped to recorded rape for blackmail as his first response is wild to me. I don't read BL for the logic, but this was just out of nowhere, and it was hard to suspend my disbelief.
I've gotten in the habit of writing my own imagined fanfic in these reviews for what I wish had taken place in things I've read, and this will be no different. What I think would've been more successful narratively would have been if Takanashi went over there every time he had a girl over, like he did for the one we're shown, and just scared them off pretending to be Akemi's boyfriend. Then, based on Akemi's personality, he would eventually try to scare off Takanashi by flirting with him, thinking it would scare off Takanashi, only to encourage him into actually pursuing him. I think this would make more sense and help develop who they are as individual characters.
The way the story is currently is actually backward. It starts with rape, and then Takanashi spends the rest of the volume trying to ingratiate himself to Akemi by hanging around, cooking for him, and the like. It takes so much more to create reasonable chemistry after that that I don't think it was successful by the end. There's a bonus chapter available on Renta! that has so much more personality and humor than any of the rest of the story, which is really unfortunate. It shows how much more development and characterization could've been had in the main story that just wasn't there. As much as I enjoyed the bonus, it only emphasized how disappointing the main story was and showed how little chemistry this pair really had.
This was a disappointment. When I saw the art, I was pumped. Then, when I saw that it was a neighbors setup, I was even more excited. Then we end up with nonsensical revenge, with a ton of forced chemistry for a pair that just doesn't feel like they belong. I think this would've been more successful as just a straight-up, mind-break style story and throw out the attempt at romance, or spend more time on the pair growing from this wacky neighborly hate into a pair who loves each other. This one is a miss.
Have you read The Guy Next Door's Just My Type? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!