Title: Nighttime for Just Us Two Vol. 1
Author: Maki Miyoshi
Release Date: April 12, 2022
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Nighttime for Just Us Two is a shoujo romance story with a unique spin on the formula. It tells the story of an easily ignored girl and her relationship with a boy who has an alien inside his body. This newfound extraterrestrial friend will shake up her convictions and might even change her world.
Miyako Nikaido is a young girl who has always been a loner. She has a hard time interacting with people, something she finds to be rather stressful. Over time, she got used to being alone everywhere, ignored by classmates, and even considered a weird girl by her sister. Nobody can even remember her name.
She’s the happiest when she’s completely alone, enjoying some cute videos on her phone. Even at home, she seems to feel uncomfortable. Some hours before dawn, she leaves the house to go to an isolated place that looks like a riverbed and enjoy true peace.
However, one day, she ends up in a strange situation. This time she isn’t alone at the place, as one of her classmates shows up and talks to her. She knows this boy very well, as they have been studying together since middle school, even though they never talked much. But there’s something weird about him.
This boy, Koga, is a people magnet who, despite talking little, has strong charisma due to his good looks and sociability. When he approaches her, he seems to be acting weird. He claims to be an alien using Koga’s body and asks her to be his friend. Her first reaction is to think he’s delusional, but maybe there’s some truth in these words.
Her meetings with this Alien Koga at night and interactions with the normal Koga at school will change her typical loner life. Having the chance to make a friend, is it true that she didn’t feel sad about being ignored and having people not even know her name? It’s the kind of situation where her usual world can’t ever be the same again afterward.
The narrative is nicely conducted, making the shenanigans a fun read. Nighttime for Just Us Two is the kind of wacky tale that works well because the characters are relatable, and their reactions are so believable that reading it feels like spending time with friends. I already care about them too much.
One thing Nighttime for Just Us Two particularly excels in is the emotional reference for characters. Their faces cringe, change a lot and go expressionless with perfect timing. Every panel nails this aspect of their reactions so much that even glossing over each panel is enough to grasp how they’re feeling.
Nighttime for Just Us Two Vol. 1 is one of my favorite starting volumes from a shoujo story. It establishes the characters and their relationships so well that I feel just as confused and intrigued by the prospects as the characters themselves. Will it evolve into a romantic triangle with two boys in the same body? I’m giddy to see more of these shenanigans.
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