A cute and funny comedy series, My Senpai is Annoying is a must-read for anyone looking for a light-hearted and sweet storyline. The plot, characters, and even the artwork create an engaging and endearing story that continues to satisfy and enrapture readers with each additional volume.
First published in English by Seven Seas Entertainment, LLC in 2020, with a story and art by Shiromanta, My Senpai is Annoying (or Senpai ga Uzai Kouhai no Hanashi in Japan) started as a webcomic in 2018 but was quickly picked up for English publishing. The slice-of-life series follows a few different characters and their relationship adventures, constantly featuring charming and hilarious moments between all involved.
The relationship between Igarashi Futaba, a small and somewhat immature woman, and Takeda Harumi, her very large and very caring senior coworker, is the main focus of the series. Readers can enjoy the sweet, awkward, and hysterical moments between the two as the lines between coworkers blur into something more. But other characters and their stories are developed as well, including the relationship development between two of Futaba’s other coworkers, Sakurai Touko and Kazama Souta.
Character development is a major highlight of the series and always proves to be dynamic and interesting. Each character is unique and layered, with the pieces of their personalities shown in a well-paced and opportunistic way, making character development more realistic. We don’t see too much of a character too fast, as some mangas and animes tend to do to relate to the development more as readers.
Though, the characters aren’t stuck in their set personalities and traits throughout the series. We can see character development in ‘real-time,’ watching them change as relationships develop, events occur, and time passes. This furthers the realistic characterizations in each of the volumes and really heightens the relatability of each person.
The artwork itself adds more to the individual characters as well. Of course, each character has their own design that displays their personalities visually and clearly, but the artwork also does more than that. Many of the displays of emotion or even simple actions within scenes are drawn unique to the character and their type, utilizing popular manga iconography to add to each character.
For example, Kazama is a quiet yet brilliant character with a very discerning and perceptive eye. His eye design alone may not clearly display these traits, with a basic outline and a simple dot as the iris and pupil. But to further his character, Kazama is also often depicted with moments that zoom in on his eyes and enlarge them to suggest his perceptiveness and internalization of details and understanding. Takeda, on the other hand, a character whose eyes are drawn in a very similar way, never has these moments in the series, subtly suggesting his obliviousness and unobservant nature. There are even moments where Kazuma is depicted with his perceptive features right next to Takeda, allowing the characters’ juxtaposition to shine.
All of the work done in this series to highlight character development and unique personalities really pays off in a big way. Readers feel more connected to each character, understanding them in the deeper, more intimate way, much like a real friend would. This allows for more storyline investment and thus a bigger attachment to the series as a whole. Every page can easily leave a smug smile on readers’ faces as the relationships continue to grow in every chapter.
Overall, My Senpai is Annoying is a must-read for anyone looking for a casual but romantic series that leaves lasting happiness. Currently featuring five English volumes, a sixth book is scheduled to publish Nov. 30, 2021. And for those who want more of this storyline, the manga is actually being adapted into a full anime! Produced by Doga Kobo and directed by Ryota Itoh, the series is scheduled to premiere in Japan in October 2021. This reader will for sure be awaiting the anime’s arrival!