A transfer student at her new high school, Chihiro Watanuki is helped out by a student while finding a place to park her bicycle. After her class introduction concludes, she finds out that her seat is right next to the boy who helped her earlier that day. Her classmates inform her that he is Yuuji Yugami, the ace of the Baseball Club. However, they also advise her to stay away from him, as he is known to be a bonafide weirdo and his actions are incomprehensible to most people. Unconvinced, she attempts to interact with him, quickly realizing that he is nothing but a pain to talk to and that the rumors were indeed true.
Shortly afterward, Chihiro gets entangled in a sticky situation with the third-years, but Yugami once again comes to her rescue, albeit for his own self-righteous reasons. Convinced that there is more to him than meets the eye, she is determined to treat him unbiasedly and to live a normal high school life surrounded by friends.
There is a lot of mediocre slice of life manga out there, but when you find something good, let me tell you all, it's something special.
I've just finished reading the last chapter. What a journey. Too many great slice of life gets repetitive, because they are generally stuck in some gimmick. The characters never evolve and even in comedies this can get really frustrating.
"Yugami-kun Doesn't Need Any Friends" is not one of those. It's actually probably my favorite slice of life of all time.
Yugami and Chihiro development throughout the series is amazing. Both themselves as characters and especially their relationship. I really care for them
as characters. There is a moment down the line that Yugami heard about some bad news from a blog and the moment really made me upset for her. In the next page, I laughed out loud with her reaction. "Yugami-kun [...]" is that type of manga: I get worried because I care about the characters, I laugh because I understand their situation.
Of course, the main duo is the best thing about the manga, but they also had an amazing cast of lovable, quirky characters that left a strong impression on me. They are among the most endearing casts I've ever seen in a long, long time. The kind that makes you wish you could read more and more about their lives. They are also incredibly funny.
Talking about the humor, this manga is really funny. Yugami's straightforwardness and Chihiro's kindness are used in a way that never gets old. I loved two scenes that explore those character traits: one, which involves Yugami as a baby; other, which involves Yugami and Kadota imagining the interaction between Chihiro and another character.
The baseball scenes are also great. This is coming from a Brazilian guy that barely understands how you even score on baseball. And the baseball is the means to get one great scene between the two main characters that I think about all the time.
The strengths of the manga are the characters, the plot and the humor. The art is not out of this world, but it does have a certain charm. The designs are simple yet remarkable, with Chihiro's derp-y faces taking the cake. The art evolves a lot during the run, something that I always find fascinating to see.
Jun Sakura's manga was supposed to run for just one volume at first. It ended up with 16 volumes. I will be looking forward to whatever they write next, if it has half the charm of "Yugami-kun [...]", it will be already worth the time.
This review is heavily based on personal opinion and is heavily biased because of the human nature, feel free to agree or disagree.
The core of Yugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga Inai is that it's a character-driven Slice of Life manga and honestly.. it's kind of weird, I say that because I haven't seen anything quite like this before and the author did a great job of writing the story and ending it in a really satisfying way that probably won't work in any other Slice of Life stories.
The art is good, It's definitely not in the same level as Boichi and Yusuke
Murata's breathtaking details or Ishida Sui's really artistic art style, but the author definitely knows what they are doing. So far after my 2nd reread, I haven't noticed any mistake in terms of perspective, anatomy, etc etc. It also helps that it doesn't fall into the "generic-looking" folder in my brain, so it gets an extra half point.
As I said before, this is the core of Yugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga Inai, character writing. Every single character, the interaction between them, and how they reacts to events happening in the manga are well-thought out and good, probably too well-thought out in fact for just a Slice of Life manga.
I love this manga, I really do. Seeing Yugami's relationships with other characters grow, Chihiro's journey on making friends, Kadota (and pretty much anyone that's involved with Yugami in some way)'s reaction to whatever Yugami is doing, and the most enjoyable of all, Yugami's relationship with Chihiro. I have both laughed and and had my heart broken just because of how immersed I am and how much I enjoy this manga.
Yugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga Inai is a hidden gem that's hidden within the many titles of Slice of Life manga or just stories in general. Anyone that wants well-written character that is just about people's normal, everyday life should definitely try this one out. Reading this has been a journey, and even though I'm a really forgetful person, when I remember this manga, I will definitely.. cherish it.
A second-year transfer student, Watanuki Chihiro struggles to make friends but eventually finds connections to her classmates through her seat neighbor, Yugami Yuuji. With an atypical yet likeable cast of characters this manga captures the fleeting memories of high school life and subverts the norm of the slice-of-life genre.
A true slice-of-life to the core with a touch of sports and subtle suggestions at romance, this series was relaxing to read and brightened my day. I'm thankful that the manga was motivated to progress at a moderate pace and not overstuffed with filler chapters and moreover that the manga was allowed to come to a
natural conclusion. Even in the most trivial of moments, I felt like there was a clear intention behind every panel. If you're looking for a romantic, rose-colored life I don't think that this series is for you, however, I do think that this manga is very realistic and relatable and there's a romance in that.
Disclaimer: I'm gonna start reviewing manga from now on. This is my first PROPER review in English, it may be bad, but I want to learn reviewing from now on.
Yuuji Yugami, that weird geniuses from your class. He looks boring and weird, but turns out he's an interesting one.
STORY 8/10: The story is basically your usual slice of life high school manga. But what made this manga different, is the character interaction. But I will write my opinion on the character on the character rating. Oh, and if you're here just for the "Romance", just don't. I've friends that read this for the romance
and he's disappointed (but for me, their romance is satisfying enough). Anyway, just like another slice of life manga, the story is just random daily life on the point of view of our main character, Chihiro, the transfer student. The time is progressing as the chapter, so it's not stagnating on one time only.
ART 9/10: I love it. It's simple, beautiful, and cute. Befitting of slice of life genre. Of course you won't find something like Murata's OPM here, it doesn't suit slice of life genre anyway (and he's just a league on his own, too). It just fit nicely there. I like how the expression fleshes out too.
CHARACTER 10/10: Oh, damn. This is why I love this manga. The character writing is just outstanding. It feels human. Every character interaction is very good, and they've their own unique personality too. The characters relationship develops as the manga progresses, and the development also doesn't feel too "positives" neither too "negatives". It just perfect.
ENJOYMENT 9/10: I really like this manga, I finished the whole 16 volumes only for a week. Seeing how Yuuji and Chihiro relationship is really fun and entertaining. And Chihiro personality also resonate with me tbh. There are sometime annoying cliche like that "relationship misunderstanding" thanks to Kadota, but it's his own fault for not being frank to Yugami but it's still fun.
OVERALL 9/10: "Yugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga Inai" is a hidden gem, I even didn't know this manga exist before someone opens a thread on Reddit. Thanks to him I got to read this wholesome manga. Reading this is really fun. I recommended it.