Review of Living with Matsunaga (Arechi)

Living with Matsunaga

Stories that take place in shared houses or student residences are an opportunity for the characters to be forced to be close to each other. But, unlike other stories of the style (a very recent example in Spain is love in focusedited by Manga District), the House of Living with Matsunaga is populated mostly by working adults, except mikothe protagonist, who is the only teenager and the next closest in age ryoa college student.

This is partly a sign that this manga is aimed at a slightly larger audience than other titles. In fact, Living with Matsunaga was published in the Desserta magazine with readers more oriented to the New Adultbetween December 2016 and June 2021, being compiled in 11 volumes. Although that does not mean that the first volume of this work lacks the features shojo from other romances for a younger audience, it does mean that the story is a little less cloying than many other romances. Because miko she’s trying to find her way in a world much more grown up than she’s used to.

On November 3, Arechi Manga put on sale the first volume of this manga that has a excellent mix of romance and more grounded story. Something that is due not only to the fact that the characters live in a shared house, but also to the fact that everyone is aware that miko She is a high school student and is treated as such. No one pampers her, but everyone pays attention to her, and when she’s down or worried, someone inevitably comes up to her to lend a hand or just listen. And, in this review, we will bring you closer to this first volume that fans of the genre will love.

© 2017 Keiko Iwashita / KODANSHA LTD.
© 2022 Arechi Manga, seal of Yermo Editions and Publications SL

A classic story that works

I have to admit that I love romance stories full of clichésand this is exactly how I would describe Living with Matsunaga. The shy and naive high school student Miko Sonoda is forced for family reasons to live in her uncle’s shared house, surrounded by a strange cast of young people in their twenties, including the temperamental and stoic Ja Matsunaga. While miko As he struggles to adjust to adulthood, he must also wrestle with his growing feelings for Matsunaga.

A well-worn plot, perhaps, but despite being a concept that has been explored countless times, I have enjoyed every minute I have spent reading the first volume. of Living with Matsunaga. And it is that what really makes this manga work is the dynamic between miko and Matsunaga. Even before she realizes that she is in love with him, they feel both comfortable and uncomfortable with each other depending on the situation and the moment. It is clear that he tries his best to forget that miko He’s still a high school student, but that leads him to do thoughtless things that make her uncomfortable, like appearing shirtless at the most unexpected moments (for a cute touch, check out the words on the waistband of his boxers every time that this happens, because they change according to the situation).

© 2017 Keiko Iwashita / KODANSHA LTD. © 2022 Arechi Manga, seal of Yermo Editions and Publications SL

At first, miko she’s not entirely sure what to make of him in general. This happens because, in part, has a childish idea of ​​what an adult is. She doesn’t think of them as “a human being who’s just older than her,” which is much more realistic, at least in the shared house in which he lives. And, in a way, that’s the main lesson that miko she learns throughout this volume: that people are just people, and that adults have as many concerns as she does about whether or not they’re doing things right. That gives her a better perspective on things that helps her feel more comfortable where she is and that makes her fall in love with him. Matsunaga is more substantiated than it might otherwise be.

On the other hand, Living with Matsunaga It has a lot of comedy, based mostly on misunderstandings between its protagonists, who usually put them in compromising situations. This humor features slapstick, but without going overboard with the characters’ expressions. So, the manga is balanced by making sure it has its romantic moments as well as funny ones. It does it so well that it makes its typical premise very enjoyable and not boring.

© 2017 Keiko Iwashita / KODANSHA LTD.
© 2022 Arechi Manga, seal of Yermo Editions and Publications SL

Simplified detailing

Throughout this first volume we know the thoughts of miko with respect to Matsunaga, but what he thinks of her is up in the air. However, we can deduce it both from his actions and from the art of Keiko Iwashita.

Graphically, I really like the designs and the style of drawing by Keiko Iwashita. the pages of Living with Matsunaga distil shojo in each and every one of its vignettes, with fine and highly detailed lines. the mangaka is very good with body language and facial expressions. For example, the fact that the Matsunaga generally have a bit of conflict helps readers get an idea of ​​what he might be thinking and that the characteristic trait of the character is not just yelling.

Also there is a clear difference in the bodies of the characters according to their age, something that seems outstanding in this type of work. We can say that ryo is younger than Matsunaga or what miko is younger than Asako by the way they behave and express themselves bodily, as well as by their words and actions.

© 2017 Keiko Iwashita / KODANSHA LTD.
© 2022 Arechi Manga, seal of Yermo Editions and Publications SL

The edition

Arechi Manga publishes in Spain Living with Matsunaga in a dustjacket tankoubon edition priced at €9 and has released the first two volumes of the 11 that make up the work. For this first volume, the cover respects the Japanese original as much as possible both in the arrangement of the title, whose letters are printed in glossy instead of matte, and in the colors of the illustration. Also, for the most curious, the editorial made available to readers a free preview with the first 12 pages of this romantic comedy from Keiko Iwashita.

On the negative side, the controversy was served with the release of this volume due to the trimming errors. Already read, it is noticeable that there are some poorly cut pages, but, in my opinion, nothing that does not prevent you from enjoying reading.

© 2017 Keiko Iwashita / KODANSHA LTD.
© 2022 Arechi Manga, seal of Yermo Editions and Publications SL


Living with Matsunaga has been a good discovery. It has all the essence of shôjos of romance, but manages to stand out thanks to characters who have just crossed the threshold of adulthood while keeping one foot in adolescence. Although in this first volume, for the moment, the author focuses more on the main duo.

Of Living with Matsunaga I prefer above all its warm atmosphere and its balanced comedy. A highly recommended manga for all those who like tender and cute romances, but without being geeky.

© 2017 Keiko Iwashita / KODANSHA LTD.
© 2022 Arechi Manga, seal of Yermo Editions and Publications SL

The best

  • We quickly get sucked into the story thanks to some excellent characters.
  • Drawing, as well as comedy, make reading very pleasant and enjoyable.


  • The guillotination of the first volume can throw a collector back.

Living with Matsunaga


Authors: Keiko Iwashita

Editorial: Arechi Manga
Format: Paperback with soft cover and dust jacket 12.8 x 18.2 cm
Volumes: 11 (Finished)

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