Basic Premise: The MC moves into her new stepfather’s house at the same time her stepfather’s nephew, Kido, arrives claiming sole rights. She also receives a promotion to Seasonelle magazine and teams up with a new hire. Named Kido.
- The word choice and localization that provide characterization are fantastic. All the characters’ commentary and interactions are good and click with the other routes. Watching Chiaki pine for Kaoru never gets old.
- The MC is priceless. While she comes across as more everyday than, say, Metro PD‘s or Queen’s Gambit‘s protagonists, her snarky observations and measured decisions about what behaviors to let slide and what needs to be called out give her an intelligence and agency I adore. When the MC starts mockingly imitating Kido’s regional accent I shrieked in glee. She also sticks to her plan to move into a new apartment despite Kido’s half-hearted offer to let her stay in the house.
- Kido is such an odd duck. As the MC says, he’s “a slob, and a cheapskate, and mean,” he falls into none of the archetype categories, and I couldn’t predict what his back story or actions would be. He was confusing and layered and I HAD TO KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON. Also, his unimpressed face is my favorite sprite ever.
- The relationship between these two veers between open hostility and friends who like to prod each other for most of the story. It never felt unhealthy or abusive to me though. Yes, Kido tries to bulldoze the MC into doing what he wants at times and lists what he thinks are flaws to her face. But she pushes back, gives him a frank assessment of his faults, and – importantly – does not blame herself for his behavior. In the end, these two only agree to start dating; they’re not swearing grandiose oaths of undying devotion. Good grief, I love whoever did this story and localization.
- Having such believable interactions backfires in one case. Kido repeatedly tells the MC to butt out of his business. I too hate having nosy people poking in my affairs so my natural reaction would be to choose “you got it – call if you need anything” options and leave him alone. The MC never does anything too meddlesome, but it is a little annoying.
Bottom Line: Recommended. While not very romantic, the unique characters and funny repartee make this a great read.