One day on her way to school, the chain on Renge Ohyama’s bicycle snaps leaving her stranded by the side of the road, that is until the friendly Sumire Yotsuya offers to help. The only problem is Sumire isn't a normal teenage girl but actually a doll being controlled by a creepy middle aged man! Fleeing for her life, Renge hopes never to see the strange duo again, however when she arrives at her new school she not only learns that Sumire is her new classmate, but also sits right behind her and is intent on becoming friends. Now Renge must deal with the enthusiastic ideals and affections of her new pal as Sumire tries to fix every problem and help every person she encounters - even if no one takes a creepy old guy and his doll all that seriously.
This is a very funny parody of all those slice-of-life manga set in high schools. This one is the sequel to the wonderful Sumire 17-sai - and, although, confusingly, Sumire somehow got a year younger, it will make sense in the end. (You should read the shorter "17" first.) Once again a lifelike doll, who is controlled by an old guy ventrlloquist, is enrolled in a high school class as if she is a normal girl. With her kind, vibrant, optimistic personality, she is able to charm her initially sceptical classmates into accepting her as real. Along the way we are introduced to a range of cute or unusual characters, and all kinds of surprising hilarity ensues, including some unexpected romantic developments. This manga messes with your head a bit, but it somehow also has a lot of heart. Also for me the drawings are perfect. It’s one of the cleverest things I’ve ever read and deserves to be more well known. Finally, importantly, stick with it to the end. The end is perfectly written and very moving.
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