Ai loves cute things and chocolates but more than that she loves her senpai. He's popular with the ladies and is the son of a famous actress so she doesn't feel fit for him. While trying to figure out ways to confess to him, she's asked by her aunt to tutor her little cousin Nekota. Nekota's only a 5th grader but the year before Ai carried him to the hospital when he had a fever, and that's when he fell in love with her. He's not about to lose Ai to anyone and tells her right away that he'll steal her heart. At first Ai thinks it's ridiculous and that she loves her senpai, but soon she finds herself falling for the younger guy...
Neko to Watashi no Kinyoubi was a manga I decided not to read when it was publishing, and I finished it today. Just a few minutes ago. I have to say that I was really dissapointed with this manga (comparing it with other Tanemura’s works) but my idea changed in the last chapters. I think that this will be a long review and I’ll try to do it with minor spoilers.
I do not use mal anymore but I think that this review may be helpful to someone, since seems that many people dropped this manga..
The plot is simple and really awkward. A girl called Ai,
16, in love with Nekota, 11. I don’t have any problems with the age gap, but Nekota is just 11… I mean, for me, he’s really young and the plot was really hard to digest, including that Ai falls really fast for him. As something normal in school life/romance only shoujos, there are a lot of problems within the main characters, such as exlovers, problems with friends, parents…
The main problem I saw was that the plot was very simple. If you compare this work with other Arina Tanemura works, as I said before, you’ll be really dissapointed. Arina is special not only because the way she draws, that may be very annoying for some people, but for the stories she made. She usually does stories with magic, main strong characters with a hard background who have to face a lot of difficulties. But Ai isn’t like that. She’s just a student, a normal student, who enjoys her love life with her cousin. Putting aside the fact that Nekota and Ai are relatives, their relationship seems “fine”.
Ai. Ai was the main reason that made me feel dissapointed. But I changed my oppinion in ch65. She knows that. Arina knows that Ai isn’t a strong character. Arina KNOWS that this story isn’t strong as her other ones. And that’s what makes Neko to Watashi no Kinyoubi special, that it’s not like his other stories. Ai doesn’t need strong power, she doesn’t need magic. In her monologue, she said that she doesn’t have magic or is a ninja, or a shojo manga main character along with other past works references, that she’s just a normal person, and that is okay.
As a personal feeling, I think that Arina wanted to express that she’s able to do normal things, normal stories about two lovers, without magic or tragic backgrounds (…Or not very tragic). And if she did this with that feeling, she did it well. It’s true that Ai-Nekota relationship reminded me a lot of the Maron-Chiaki relationship (Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne), but of course both relationships are different.
Please, read Neko to Watashi no Kinyoubi with this feeling in mind. That it’s okay if it’s a normal, boring, love story. Because that is also special and gives it the same value as her other works.
Thank you for reading, do not give up this manga and please give it an opportunity!
So first off, if you don't enjoy age gaps do not read this manga.
Now back in 2013 I picked this manga up with no real insight to what it was like except that it was by my favorite mangaka Arina Tanemura. I had hig hopes for this manga and it fell pretty short.
5/10 for story. Why? Neko to Watashi no Kinyoubi follows you're average shoujo heroine Ai. She's really average aside from her love of chocolate, which gets mentioned almost every chapter. It first makes out to be a girl in love with her senpai with the small twist, her cousin younger by
5 years, Nekota is also in love with her. It seems interesting and heck I was rooting for the senpai who is also in love with her but as the title suggests Neko(ta) is the main character and love interest. So yeah the eventually end up together even though they're cousins. I mean it's not that bad, right? Oh no, Nekota forces himself upon Ai on more than one occasion and keeps wanting to have sex with her even though he's 12. Also her other cousin forces himself on her and her other cousin loves her because shes a shoujo heroine literally named love. Yeah it's a kind of messy plot that makes me think Tanemura-sensei was doing this manga because she had to for income or something.
For the art I give it a 10 because yet again, Tanemura has succeeded in her beautiful style that has kept me captivated since I was a kid. Other than that theres not much to be said.
When it comes to the characters in this manga is where expectations aren't met. Arina Tanemura tries really hard to make heroins interesting, whether it be their tragic back story or their passion to move forward and overcome great obstacles coupled with tragic circumstances. This kind of heroine is what she succeeds at writing. Ai however doesn't have that. Ai is indecisive and a kind of boring character. Shes got no huge traits to offer shes just...really normal. And the relationship between her and Nekota can be cute at times but it can get really annoying. The side characters, Serizawa and Mosuko actually are a better couple and I would not be mad if this manga was about them instead.
Overall I give it an 6 for now. If this is you're cup of tea go ahead and read it and dont let this review stop you. In all fairness it could be worse.