The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten, Vol. 4

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.

I’m going to talk about the ending of this book, for the one or two of you who have never read my reviews before and don’t know I tend to spoil. It’s sort of unavoidable. Honestly, it’s something of a surprise to see the book has finally come out – it’s been 11 months since the last volume in English, and I’m not sure why there was such a delay. It could simply be to allow the reader time to recover from and prepare themselves for another wacky adventure with Amane’s self-hatred, which continues to drive the plot, because otherwise the series would have been one book long. Unfortunately, since the last volume of this Tentai Books has released a good 3-4 different series with a similar premise, so it now has competition. Can it manage to be sweet and syrupy while also separating itself from the pack? Yes, thanks to the ending. I wasn’t going to wait 5 volumes.

You know the basic plot. Mahiru loves Amane and is trying to subtly show him it’s OK to ask if that is the case. Amane sees the signs, but cannot possibly imagine anyone liking him romantically, so keeps pulling away. If this annoys you, why are you four volumes in? The main events here are exams, which features Amane trying to do better than before for Mahiru’s sake; getting in better shape, which features Amane trying to do better than before for Mahiru’s sake; and the sports festival, which features Amane trying to do better than before for Mahiru’s sake. He’s nearly got it! He’s almost there! That said, he still needs one last push, and it all comes down to the Scavenger Hunt, where Mahiru chooses to give up on “not rocking the boat” and drops a bomb in the middle of the school.

Not an actual bomb, of course, but she makes it clear in front of the student body that Amane is the guy she loves. She is aware this will trouble him, because the last four books have all been “we need to hide our friendship or else I will get attacked at school”, but honestly, I admire her waiting this long. I wanted to punch him in the face, as did his friends. That said, it is in fact the grandest gesture that makes Amane give in and confess to the rest of the class that he is in love with Mahiru. There’s an undercurrent here, seen in a lot of other high school romcoms, of “looks and shared interests are not as important as simply understanding one another”. That said, this honestly works out a lot better than you’ expect. Amane isn’t disliked or an outcast. he’s just “that tall guy who almost never talks”.

Best of all, now maybe Mahiru can stop0 being such an Angel at school. The author assures us they have a lot more volumes planned, even if this felt like an ending. That said, they also warn that we still have Amane’s self-hatred to deal with. Ah well, if you’re going to buy into a fluffy series you’ve gotta buy into its less-fluffy things, I suppose.

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