The older you get the more obvious it becomes that amazing sci-fi stuff like aliens will probably never happen to you. Also an alien invasion would be pretty inconvenient if they knocked out the internet and severed your access to pornography and twitter. Kyouichi is a star employee at a software company who manages many projects at once and is beloved by all. Even though he does all the work with a smile he, deep down, isn’t happy with his life. During his college days his girlfriend rejected everything about growing up and wanted to resist living the same dreary working life all the grownups were expecting of them. At the time Kyouichi didn’t agree with her at all and they eventually broke up. Now however he thinks she was right to reject the life he aspired for and is living. He doesn’t know how to contact her since they haven’t kept in touch since their school years, but as it happens they are about to be reunited again under rather extraordinary circumstances (hint, it involves aliens).
I found this series by Hokazono Masaya (who also wrote Emerging and Ruka to Ika Natsu) and Betten Court to be a very nice spin on the old “cute girlfriend comes out of nowhere” style of story that we’ve seen a million times at this point. The realistic and down to earth modern day salary man setting and mature characters worked as a good contrast to the aliens arriving. Kyouichi and his co-workers all had some charm and life to them that I just took a liking to everyone quickly. Throughout the entire series the setting felt realistic, but with an optimistic attitude instead of being dark and gritty. It doesn’t feel nearly as realistic as something like Usagi Drop in tone, but it’s a clear step in that direction at least even if the entire cast feel like comedy characters instead of real people. It just has those small moments now and then where they get to act and think like adults between all the craziness that happens. Those moments did a lot for me.
Compared to Hokazono Masaya’s earlier works I found this to be a huge improvement. It often throws effective cliffhangers at the reader and resolves them in the next chapter in satisfying ways. Using cliffhangers this good can drive the reader nuts but when done well, it’s an effective tool in making you engaged. His earlier works were often lacking in areas that prevented them from being really great and they all just ended up being “alright” or “good”. With Ashita Dorobou, however, there are so many things I like that I don’t hesitate giving it my warmest recommendations. It’s well paced, the characters both look nice and have enough personality to them to not feel bland or stereotypical. Also the mystery of what the aliens are really up to intrigued me and I hope it doesn’t turn out to be something stupid.
The series has not been licensed, but is being translated by scanlators and they’re about halfway through the series right now. It is 4 volumes long so it’s not a super long series or anything but it should hopefully be enough to give it a proper ending. So far I think it’s great and would recommend it to anyone wanting a sci-fi love comedy that doesn’t have high school students in it. There are more than enough of those already.