Monthly in the Garden with My Landlord Volume 2: Matching Set



I love a good, cute, and relaxing romance manga with a side of comedy, and Monthly in the Garden with My landlord volume 2 does very little to disappoint. Its story is very tight, but Yodokawa is able to have a lot of fun with the relationship between landlady and renter here. By far my favorite piece of this volume though is how Asako and Miyako’s relationship develops. Given the past trauma of Asako’s relationship, and the struggles that Miyako faces in commitment with life (as well as pasts with her idol group), the pair quickly settle into a very sibling-esque relationship. Their proximity and casual nature with one another very quickly dissipates any romantic tension between the pair, and creates a status quo that directly challenges their nature as people.

And impressively enough, Yodokawa has the perfect catalyst to solve that issue- a blast from the past. Monthly in the Garden with My Landlord volume 2 focuses a great deal on the sort of anxious and antsy nature of Miyako, which stems from the relationship with her past. So, to help drive things forward and set Miyako towards the right direction, Asako and her friend/Miyako superfan Hatomori, they drag Miyako out to a concert for her previous group mates. It’s a really fun piece, and works great in helping to widen the cast of characters available for the series. Hatomori was a good introduction for Asako in volume 1, so it’s great to see Miyako’s circle grow in a similar fashion.

The best part to come from the intersection of those circles though is the sort of odd camaraderie that Hatomori and new ELM leader Samukawa share towards Asako and Miyako. It’s really quite funny how quickly the pair pick up on the (blatant) connection that Asako and Miyako share, and basically confirms to the reader that the pair have a great deal of love for one another.

Within that, I don’t quite think that it’s either is oblivious to their feelings, but that they’re attempting to ignore them so that they can tread on in life and not fall prey to the issues that faced them previously. Asako has a really great example of that with Miyako when she gets sick in this volume, admonishing herself for how she takes care of Miyako due to a memory with in relation to her ex. Similarly, Miyako conflates Asako’s behavior with memories of her mother (whom she doesn’t really talk to anymore), but ultimately is unable to shake the direct relation to Asako. The two clearly are aware of their feelings for the other, but force themselves to view them under different circumstances to avoid the issues that each have with a relationship. Asako and the negativity she was met in her previous one, and Miyako’s challenge with commitment.

Overall, it’s a really great dynamic that Yodokawa’s forged, and it goes to great lengths to contextualize and challenge the pair’s current relationship so that it doesn’t end up feeling awkward or forced when they finally get together. Alongside that, I really enjoy that Yodokawa is starting to create a bit of a web with the character relationships, attaching Hatamori to Samukawa to create a bit of a mirror image of our main pairing. I’m unsure if Yodokawa will follow through and couple them together, or whether they’ll just be the AsaMiya cheer squad, but they’re certainly another key relationship within this second volume that makes you curious about how they’ll drive Asako and Miyako forward in their personal lives.

Also, I shouldn’t really need to say it, but the art (specifically in relation to the characters) in Monthly in the Garden with My Landlord volume 2 is very pretty. I love how visually distinct all the designs are, and how varied and personalized expressions and idiosyncrasies are. Though, if I’m picking a favorite moment from this volume, it’s 100% Hatomori and Sumakawa’s shock at the fact that Asako and Miyako are so hilariously head over heels for each other, but are so far removed from the idea of a relationship despite that. Seeing that hilarious look of shock on their face just gives me so much life.

And so at the end, Monthly in the Garden with My Landlord volume 2 doesn’t quite reinvent the wheel, but it certainly the steers the story towards new territory (though it had every intention of doing so regardless), giving readers an idea of where things will be heading in the next volume. It’s a rather inoffensive and fun volume, but I think that’s exactly why it’s a great read. The romance has weight and feeling put into it, the character dynamics are very fun and cheery, providing plenty of opportunity for comedy, and Yodokawa presents some very pretty and expressive art to deliver all of that to the reader. It’s a light, fun, and “juicy” read that feels super easy to recommend, so I’ll do just that- go read Monthly in the Garden with My Landlord.

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