Nonoka Tatsu’s Nari x Yuki Living, Volume 1 (なり×ゆきリビング 1) is an ant-farm of manga. The entertainment is watching these two go about their lives in which nothing particular happens. It’s not that it’s not entertaining, just that you have to scale down your expectations in order to find it enjoyable.
Shinomine Kanari is a bit helter skelter, while Sato Yuki is very reliable. Sato is the section chief, at Shinomine’s workplace. When Shinomine, after a workplace drinking party suddenly asks Sato if she can live with her, as Sato lives so much closer to the office, Sato says yes. And so Yuki and Nari begin their life as roommates. Their life is predictable and fun in it’s own way. They work, they come home, have dinner, go shopping or go out drinking, rinse repeat. Normal lives lived normally.
The manga is a typical 4-panel strip comic, with occasional bursts of actual humor, almost all of which has to do with the other employees at their mutual workplace. In particular, there is a meaningless gag having to do with the similarity between Shinomine’s family name and another employee named Shinomiya. A mistakenly routed phone call sets off an avalanche gag in which the two become become the “Mine and Miya combo” and ultimately end up as “Shino Red” and “Shino Blue.” The gag has nothing to do with the main story, but still ends up being the funniest bit. Without this gag, we’re left with Sato being blind without her glasses, or their next door neighbor eavesdropping. … Hah.
While there is certainly plenty of set up for Yuri between Yuki and Nari, none manifests, not even with all their drunken evenings. Lots of sloppy hanging on one another and blushing, but they barely know one another at the beginning and by the end have just started becoming friends.
Art – 6 Sloppy, sketchy and lazy, but kind of cute
Story – 6 Same
Characters – 6 Likable, even if they just keep going back and forth along the same tunnels.
Service – 4 Sadly, there is some.
Yuri – 1 Sadly, there really isn’t any.
Overall – 6
It’s not a terrible manga, although it is a bit one-note. But, like an ant farm, I kind of can’t stop watching to see what happens…which is ridiculous, as the answer will be “mostly, nothing.” But still, we watch.