Inaba Suzuna is trying her best to make a campus debut and to have many friends in Tokyo. Until she realized that she miserably fails at living alone. Fortunately, her neighbor, Seto, comes and saves her from dying of starvation. Bright campus life is still far away for Suzuna, but at least, she has a very dependable neighbor!
This is one series in which the story is good because of it's simplicity. No over the top happenings or the need for excessive drama since there aren't enough chapters for it anyway, so the story more or less proceeds smoothly and naturally. I've read a number of funny, interesting stories recently, but this is the one I felt I truly enjoyed in a while, so much that halfway I was sad that it didn't have more chapters for me to prolong my enjoyment.
If it's short and simple - it can't be that good right? Well, I disagree! I'm honestly surprised by the pacing of
the story, where you can really see two characters grow comfortable around each other over the course of months and years, without requiring out of place major timeskips. The character relationship progression is very natural and sweet, at a pace that neither left me bored nor made me think things were happening too sudden. At the same time - it's not slow, and when progression happens it doesn't drag on for a million years. It's a short story where things are satisfying and not annoying.
If you liked bonnouji, another neighbours hang out and fall in love sort of manga - this has a similar kind of atmosphere, however with better pacing but less additional stuff due to it's shorter run time. There's less time post-relationship to explore in Tonari wa nani wo kuu hito zo, but there's a sequel manga following their relationship/story for those who want more lovey-dovey stuff.
The characters are great and not the kind to act unreasonably or too trope-y. The guy is calm and slightly disinterested when it doesn't come to food, and gives the feeling of someone who can do things well. But he isn't mean nor with a lack of emotion, and never did I feel he was overly perfect, but kind of just like a good senpai. The girl is cheerful and has her cute moments - but without all the unneeded bad points manga always give their female leads. She's not incompetent nor acts stupidly or overly naive, and she's able to keep up with the male lead easily in a comfortable relationship. In short, she's a good girl who's actually likable so there's no need to think "huh, why does he even like her again?". The few other recurring side characters are also memorable and act as true supportive friends in the little group (even if they do leech off some foodstuffs). There's really nothing to be hated about them.
Their get-togethers brought about by the whole cooking theme is also great fun. There's effort put in and even I, a total noob at cooking, can enjoy the cooking scenes which appear every chapter or so. Just as the manga is consistent with having a cooking scene (with recipe!) about every time, it feels very much like an everyday occurrence for the couple and a sweet, natural thing in their lives to look forward to. As a cooking slice-of-life, it definitely succeeded in making it complimentary to the story without neglecting it.
Overall, if you want a comfortable story and relationship with good pacing and likable cast without dragged out drama, this is a good one to try out. If there's dissatisfaction with the number of chapters and too little shoujo/love-y moments, the sequel (tonari wa nani wo kuu hito zo - horoyoi; currently 4 chapters out but not found on MAL) has more of that to enjoy. Regardless, it started and ended satisfactorily within the short 14 chapters and will not be a waste of time to read.