I heard this taboo many times. Women and men should not live together unless they are married or actually in a serious relationship. Furthermore, if you aren’t married, some people may make assumptions that the two of you are sleeping together. For the last two years of university, I lived with guys along with my roommate who is a girl. I was perfectly fine and comfortable with it. Hence, I disagree with this notion that men and women shouldn’t live together unless they are a couple (but this all depends on your own personal tastes and values). Sometimes, it is way more fun to have housemates that are the opposite sex though. It gives you a different perspective on life and you can get away from all the same-sex, girl or guy drama.
Anyways, I’m going to introduce to you three shoujo manga that involves the theme of “living together.” The three shoujo manga are L-DK, Koi no Kaihou, and Ichigo Jikan.
(Manga 2009- ongoing)
By Ayu Watanabe
In L-DK, Aoi Nishimori lives alone, but is forced to live with Shuusei Kugayama after she accidentally starts a kitchen fire in his apartment. While living together, Shuusei becomes friends with her, and Aoi slowly begins falling for him. The two end up trying to keep their living situation a secret from friends, family, and the rest of the school.
L-DK is one of my favorite shoujo manga because of the chemistry between Shuusei Kugayama and Aoi Nishimori. From all the male shoujo protagonists I’ve seen, Shuusei Kugayama isn’t a jerk in my opinion. He seems to enjoy teasing and flirting with Aoi, out of pure amusement. Yet I think his playful teasing is a charming aspect. Shuusei is nonchalant about things, which adds to his awesome persona. Also, I don’t find Aoi annoying in comparison to other shoujo female leads. I think the fact that she lives alone demonstrates her independence and assertiveness, which makes me appreciate her as a female lead.
L-DK has just the right amount of comedy and drama, which I would highly recommend for any shoujo readers.
Koi no Kaihou (恋の飼い方)
By Mahiro Sara
Yurara is a shy high school student. One day, she overhears a fight occurring between her next door neighbor, Oriko, and her classmate, Tsujimachi. Due to unforseen circumstances, Tsujimachi and Yurara end up living together. The two become a couple, and Tsujimachi struggles to withhold his physical desires for Yurara.
Koi no Kaihou is a fun short shoujo manga. It is light-hearted and has a lot of humor for readers. Most of the storyline is a bit generic and dry though. So you won’t find anything unique about it.
Ichigo Jikan (苺時間)
By Kyouko Kumagai
Ichiko planned to move into the dorms at her new school, but she finds out that the dorms are being renovated. She ends up living in a small apartment near-by through the recommendation of a school administrator, but learns that the place is also occupied by an older guy, Ran. Soon after, she learns that her flat-mate is actually the chairman of her school, and they have to keep their cohabitation a secret from everyone.
Ichigo Jikan is a fun manga that fills in all the clichés that occur when a man and woman are living together. It has some hilarious moments, but also gives off an innocent and cutesy atmosphere.
What attracts me to read these type of shoujo manga is the fact that so much drama and awkward situations can occur when living with the opposite sex. The setting brings forth plenty of dramatic and comedic elements that provide pure entertainment for the reader. In addition, I feel like characters put into a situation involving cohabitation can help develop and spark their relationship because they are put into married-related problems and circumstances which allows the couple to grow and become more mature. Furthermore, these type of stories are a lot of fun to read.