Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live? Volume 2
When I wrote about Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live? volume 1 — the digital-only manga series by MAKIHIROCHI about finding single women the right neighborhood and place in which to live — I found it “formulaic but effective.” However, I had a slight concern that the series might become repetitive as a result.
Volume 2 avoids that problem by expanding what we know about the continuing characters. The first chapter follows the pattern, with the sister real estate agents helping a newly divorced woman accept her interests and find a place to live on her own for the first time. But the second chapter focuses on the twins, who are considering renovating their house. There’s lots of information on how to go about preparing for such a project, including things to consider and how to make plans, as well as instructions on how to hang a shelf.
But there are also more stories about different types of people looking for a home. One chapter shows a woman returning to Tokyo after spending some time in New York City to follow her photography dreams. I was fascinated by another, about living in “stigmatized places”, locations where you might be able to get a good deal because it’s rumored to be haunted or have something else wrong with it. The last covers an aspiring writer who realizes that if she doesn’t change how she lives, her life will continue at a standstill.
As before, every chapter also has a reminder of how tasty local food can be. Since the series is about finding a home, I like the corresponding emphasis on eating together.
Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live? volume 3 continues the renovation storyline, with the twins coming to terms with changing the way their parents had set up the house. The stand-out chapter for me is the one about one of the twins finding a new place to live temporarily. Because of the type of neighborhood she wants, they visit several very cool libraries. It’s a wonderful way to survey an area and determine what you want to live near.