Mid-last year Yen Press brought us the first volume of matoba’s new series Studio Apartment, Good Lighting, Angel Included which introduced us to high-school student Shintaro and the angel Towa that he finds himself living with. After a long break between releases, Volume 2 is now here and it’s time to see what new problems await our cast.
As we reunite with our cast, we find Shintaro troubled as his childhood friend Tsumugi spotted Towa flying. As Tsumugi saw Towa’s wings, there’s no room for Shintaro to deny that Towa is an angel and our protagonist is forced to come clean about the circumstances that have led to Towa living in his apartment.
Tsumugi has a crush on Shintaro, so she’s devastated to find out that something so major has been happening in his life without her knowing. Then there’s the fact that Towa is beautiful and how is Tsumugi supposed to compete for Shintaro’s affection against an angel? Then things get even worse when she meets Noeru, another attractive woman that Shintaro works with at his part-time job. And she’s a Snow Lady whose emotions can cause blizzards. Competition for Shintaro’s affections is looking fiercer by the minute!
Thankfully Tsumugi agrees to keep Towa’s existence a secret, as well as the fact Noeru is a Snow Lady. She’s just happy that Shintaro is willing to open up to her about his chaotic situation and she realises that if she becomes friends with Towa, she’ll be able to spend more time with her crush.
With one crisis over and Towa having lived with Shintaro for almost a week now, our protagonist is hoping he’ll be able to relax for a bit. That is, until he comes home to find another angel in his apartment! This one is called Shiu and she’s come down to Earth to check on Towa whom she considers her honorary big sister. Shintaro’s troubles are multiplying by the minute…
Even when Shintaro isn’t busy putting out metaphorical fires due to his supernatural friends, he’s struggling with how to balance keeping Towa safe while also letting her have a life outside of the apartment. Tsumugi knowing her secret is a great benefit since the girls can hang out together, but when Shintaro’s not home, he still doesn’t want Towa to go out by herself. But at the same time, he acknowledges that she came down to Earth to learn more about humans, so there has to be a compromise somewhere.
While Volume 1 of the series was more focused on the romantic hijinks between Towa and Shintaro, this one is firmly focused on introducing us to and developing the extended cast. This works in the series’ favour since Tsumugi and Noeru are interesting characters in their own right and it’s fun to watch them interact with Towa.
Author matoba’s previous series As Miss Beelzebub Likes also excelled once it got its principal cast established since it gave us readers more storylines to get invested in. The same is true here with Tsumugi and Noeru having different troubles compared to those of Shintaro and Towa. Certainly, there’s more variation in the situations the cast finds themselves in too, which helps keeps the comedy fresh.
As mentioned earlier, Studio Apartment, Good Lighting, Angel Included Volume 2 comes to the West, thanks to Yen Press. Translation continues to be handled by Kei Coffman with lettering by Katie Blakeslee. The release reads well with no issues to note and there are several insightful translation notes included which cast light on some of the more obscure references being made in some of the jokes. There’s also a colour page at the beginning of the book, which is always nice to see.
Volume 3 of the series is due for an English release in August, so not too long to wait if you’re eager to read more of this one!
Overall, Studio Apartment, Good Lighting, Angel Included continues to be a charming read. With the cast growing and plenty of new faces popping up throughout Volume 2, the series is setting itself up well for the long run and if you enjoyed Volume 1, you’ll certainly be pleased by the developments here.