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Our Aimless Nights Manga Review

Publisher Summary


Cheerful, energetic high school girl Chika and shy, reserved boy Waya couldn’t be more different. But they have a secret: every Wednesday after 9PM they meet outside the convenience store where Waya works. Bit by bit, under the light of the moon, a unique connection begins to blossom in this enchanting coming-of-age love story!


Author: Koumori

Translation: Jan Mitsuko Cash

Letterer: Barri Shrager


I read Our Aimless Nights Manga through the Azuki Website for free with the intent of writing this review. As of publishing this, there are a total of five chapters available with more releasing on a weekly schedule.


 

Background


The Series originally debuted on Futabasha's Web Action website in July 2022 and is currently ongoing.


Azuki announced at AnimeNYC 2023 that they acquired the license for digital distribution exclusively on their platform .


The series was released on the Azuki Platform on April 4th, 2024 with five chapters available now with new chapters releasing every Thursday,

 

Review



Our story begins with Chika, a first year high school girl whose parents recently divorced. Because of this, she had to move, and her commute time to school is long. While she's bummed about this, we learn that she does not let the negative things in her life bring her down and does her best to find the motivation to cheer herself up and those around her. In this case, once she was done venting to her classmates about the divorce, she offered candy to the whole class. But as she opens the bag, she accidentally spills the candy everywhere, and a quiet boy from the back stands up from his seat, helping Chika pick up the spilled candy. Chika asks if he is interested in one, but then the boy simply hands it back and walks out of the classroom without saying much. The other students note that this is the first time they've seen him actually do something in the classroom, which takes Chika by surprise.



Which brings up the question: who is this mysterious boy who offered to help Chika? Meet Waya; compared to Chika, he is more reserved and keeps to himself in social situations. However, with that said, he is very observant and mindful of those around him and makes an effort to make them feel at ease. After he hands back the piece of candy to Chika, he leaves school to work at a local convenience store. Moments later, Chika shows up to pick up a few things before heading home and notices that Waya works there.



Their conversation starts off awkwardly as Chika begins to ask her barrage of questions while Waya is trying his best to avoid them while working at the same time. But once Chika backs off and begins to purchase her things, Waya speaks up about what he heard in class about her parents and empathizes with Chika's circumstances. He explains that his parents are also divorced and took note of how Chika didn't want anyone to feel weird about the whole situation, so she copes by brightening up the whole room. But doing so is going to create a tough situation where people are going to still worry about her well-being, but Chika herself doesn't know how to process the emotions of her parents  divorce. Realizing what he said, Chika thanks Waya for his reassurance about how she feels and leaves the store. But as the distance grows between them, both Waya and Chika begin to realize that they really enjoy each other's company and eventually start to create a routine of meeting up at the store to talk and vent about their lives. Thus begin the early stages of Waya and Chika's relationship in this story.



The main "loop" of the story is what really drew me into this manga. Our characters go through an event or issue at school, and we get to see how differently Chika and Waya approach the given situation. Then, after it's over, they reflect and open up about what happened in their "third place" at Waya's workplace, and we get to see some character growth between these two. I'm personally a sucker for this narrative loop, and I felt the author did a really great job setting up each scenario, which makes me invested in seeing our two leads grow.



For example, we find Chika and Waya in the middle of the lunch period. For Chika, we see her surrounded by her school friends talking about things such as the up coming sports festival at school. However, Waya, on the other hand, is finding enjoyment in taking a picture of a cherry blossom that flew into the room earlier. Chika notices this and begins to wonder what Waya is going to do with that picture. However, what she doesn't realize is that, as she was wondering what he was going to do, she was staring at him the entire time. Waya notices this, gets embarrassed by the whole ordeal, and shuts down.


Chika, feeling bad, wanted to clear things up with Waya but wasn't able to find him at his work for the next two days. Which leads her to assume she seriously messed up and begin to question why she was even talking to Waya in the first place. Then one day she sees Waya at work, and the two begin to talk it out. On Chika's side, she commented that she didn't know Waya was fond of cherry blossoms and wanted to know if he was going to post it on social media or share it with friends. On Waya's side, we learn that he was sending that photo to his grandma, who recently got a phone, and one of the ways they bond was by sending pictures to each other.


The two eventually work through their misunderstanding, but they both take something away from each other. Chika learns that Waya keeps to himself but finds enjoyment when he's able to communicate with someone in person. Waya learns that while Chika can be a bit nosey, she wants to learn more about him and what his interests are, leading to the tender moment pictured below.


With the slice that we're given, this reminds me a lot of how smoking behind the supermarket with you showcases it's "third place," with our characters using the back of a supermarket to vent their grievances in their day-to-day lives, with character progression sprinkled in to drive the narrative forward.


Some might turn away from the idea of sticking with this one because it's a slow burn. But for me? I felt like Koumori did a pretty good job making Chika and Waya interesting enough to get me invested in their lives and how they tackle the different social situations that they'll find themselves in in high school.

 

Final Thoughts


As a fan of slow-burn stories, I enjoyed what was shown in this one! I like watching the contrast between Chika's bright, cheerful personality and Waya's reserved but mindful attitude and how the two interact with each other. The art style is simple but complements both of the characters as we switch between the convenience store and high school, and I like the idea of exploring their "third place" as a break in-between your typical high school shenanigans.


My only gripe is that I wish we had a bit more substance in the backstory of Chika and Waya. But I'm sure as the story progresses with Chika and Waya interacting more at school, it'll unfold.


Verdict: Read it


Our Aimless Nights Manga Chapters 1-5 is now available to read on Azuki's website with new chapters releasing on a weekly schedule

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