Cover Image: Neighborhood Story, Vol. 2

Neighborhood Story, Vol. 2

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Member Reviews

I think I'm in love with this series, Mikako is a fantastic protagonist and I'm so enraptured by the different pieces that are coming together with the relationships and character arcs. Her mom in particular is so interesting to me, and there's a ton to love. Here's to the next flea market!

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Ai is such an amazing mangaka and artist. This series is quickly becoming a fave of mine and is on my “bookseller favorites” table.

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Volume 2 continues Mikako’s and Tsutomu’s love story continues. This series plays out a lot like a soap opera. There’s so many side stories and sub plots that take centre stage.

This book itself is also really long. I’m impressed by how much is covered in a single volume.

The drama itself is classic. You’ve get every trope you could wish for. So many characters and feelings are well portrayed in this volume.

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Volume 2 of Neighborhood Story did not disappoint, and this is quickly becoming one of my favorite Slice of Life manga I've ever read. I love that each of the characters are so well fleshed-out, and how realistic their struggles and emotions feel for their age. Even when I get frustrated with a character's behavior, I'm able to see them themselves get frustrated with it and think to myself "ah...yeah that's definitely what it was like being a teenager". This volume introduced a lot of new characters, and I'm interested to see where the overall story will take them.
This is a must read for Ai Yazawa fans who love her style and storytelling, but I find it to be a lot more refreshing and upbeat than her other titles, which honestly is a breath of fresh air. While there is conflict and drama, I adore that the characters really do self-reflect most times and usually verbalize their feelings. The solutions to their conflicts always feel satisfying and help the characters grow up in a realistic way, which I really love for this genre.

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Neighborhood Story vol 2 really successfully dives into the messy, complicated girlhood of a teenage girl grappling with everything all at once. This version of girlhood means she disappoints friends and loved ones. It means she projects her insecurities. It means she has big, big feelings about her parents, being a child of divorce, and feeling that her family is less than whole without her father–is valid and all incredibly relatable feelings for readers old and young of Shojo. I give Mikako grace now as I would have given it to her if this manga series were published in the days when I was the same age as she is. I must clarify: while I give her grace–I still hold her accountable for her actions that hurt and affect others. Maturing as a young adult looks different for everyone, fictional characters included, and it is not a one size fits all for anyone.

Just like in the first volume of the series, this second volume of Neighborhood Story reminds me that the fashion via the artwork looks timeless. Timeless in the way that this manga’s artwork and the fashion herein, don’t necessarily look dated and still chic. There were so many emotional moments in this volume that the mangaka crafted with love and skill like the reveal of the teens’ club sign/mascot. I was also especially moved by a newer character’s flashback on being moved by someone’s art and being motivated to one day meet the artist behind it. Yazawa as usual does a superb job in illustrating emotions through the volume. The emotional highs and lows in just in the Flea Market weekend field trip for the teens is worth buying this volume for and is the well-paced conclusion to Mikako’s family drama towards the end.

Overall, Neighborhood Story is a mostly solid series that Shojo fans will welcome from the house of Ai Yazawa. While this second volume punches up with the drama and theatrics, it does not move out of the lane of memorable, hilarious, and both heart-warming and heart-wrenching young woman centered stories that celebrate fashion and relationships–that the mangaka is so well known for. Neighborhood Story remains a Shojo page turner of a series that I am overjoyed that we fans, are finally getting access to, translated.

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This digital ARC was obtainable via NetGalley for an honest review!

"Neighborhood Story" volume two was even better than the first. In this volume we watch Mikako & Tsutomu relationship blossom into a state closer to maturity. We also see another love triangle pop up when a new girl comes into the picture. Towards the middle of this volume, a serious topic becomes the main focus. During Mikako & Tsutomu shared birthday party, Mikako is visibly upset even though she has everything a girl could want. I did not expect to be moved by Mikako's unspoken birthday wish. I definitely enjoyed "Neighborhood Story" volume two as it made me feel emotional. The ending was quite nice!

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Ai Yazawa has a knack for creating characters that have barely anything in common with you and yet somehow you end up rooting for them. Mikako gets some lovely character development in volume 2. I look forward to how things continue in volume 3.

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I really enjoyed this volume better than the first! Mikako is juggling school, romance, and getting her brand Happy Berry up and running. I typically don't care for romantic rival fights/misunderstandings, but Ayumi is a sweet character and I enjoyed her interactions with the friend group. I also love that we're getting to know more of Mikako's backstory and watching her and her friends grow emotionally. I'm really looking forward to the next volume.

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