The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten, Vol. 3

By Saekisan and Hanekoto. Released in Japan as “Otonari no Tenshi-sama ni Itsu no Ma ni ka Dame Ningen ni Sareteita Ken” by GA Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Nicole Wilder.

Tempting as it is to simply cut and paste my review of the 2nd volume here and call it a day, I will try to find new things to discuss. This series runs on sweet but slow burn, and there are very few surprises. On the downside, that makes it somewhat boring. On the good side, you know exactly what you’re getting and you get a lot of it. The main difference in the third volume is that Mahiru tries to come on to Amane a lot stronger to get past his impenetrable shell of self-hatred. She fails, but it’s the effort that counts. She is starting to get a bit sick of his attitude, though – as is the rest of the cast, including his new friend Yuuta, the “class prince”, who sees a kindred spirit in Amane and is rather startled that the feeling isn’t mutual. By the end of the book, everyone is dragging him constantly to feel better about himself. Will it help? Possibly?

Usually the 2nd paragraph of my reviews is where I summarize the plot, but the plot can essentially be summarized in three words: Mahiru Tries Harder. As such we get a lap pillow, and more spontaneous touching. We get Amane seeing another guy ask Mahiru out, and see just how difficult it can be for her to reject them, especially when they refuse to accept it. We see Mahiru managing to actually join Amane for lunch and get away with it. Most importantly we get Golden Week, where Mahiru asks Amane on a date. Of course, it’s not a romantic date to him – not at all, after all, how on earth would she ever have feelings for him? It’s just going out to a cat cafe, a mall (where much trying on of clothes is done) and an arcade (where there is winning of stuffed animals) but as Just Friends. That said, a return to school shows some folks spotted her on the date, so something may break next time.

The author knows Amane’s big flaw can be annoying to the reader, but instead of trying to disguise this it is shoved in our faces – and his. We do finally get his own tragic backstory here, which amounts to “I grew up rich and naive and then met typical middle-school two-faced jerks”, but it’s left him bitter, mistrusting and thinking he’s the absolute worst. This even plays into the title, as he regards everything Mahiru is trying to do in order to get her feelings across to him as “spoiling him”, so he automatically pushes back. Multiple times in this book she, Itsuki and Yuuta all tell Amane to man up, have confidence, and actually try to show Mahiru how he feels about her. The end of the book implies we may see this in the next volume, but for now, this is painful.

Still, the sweet and cute romance outweighs wanting to strangle the lead man, so I’m still invested in it. Imagine how sweet it will get once these two actually confess. Like eating Pixy Stix.

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