Book Light Novel Review

The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten: Vol 01 – Light Novel Review

Written by Saekisan and illustrated by Hanekoto, The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten tells a heartwarming story about two teenagers in very different worlds developing together. The light novel has received an anime adaptation, with a few episodes aired at the time of writing. With that, it felt natural to see what the first volume of the source material has to offer.

The Main Plot

Amane Fujimiya is simple, to summarize. He doesn’t care about looks, never aims to be popular, and always scores average on tests. To him, being average is less trouble and attracts less attention than being perfect. His friends Itsuki and Chitose, Itsuki’s girlfriend, annoy him about this outlook but he is content with his simple life with his two friends. There is one tiny detail that is odd about his life: His neighbor is the “Angel”. 

Mahiru, or Angel as she is called, is the perfect idol from school. Whether due to her looks or academic skills, all eyes are on her at school, and most boys are madly in love with her. Despite all the rejections, Mahiru can’t escape from the spotlight.

One rainy day, going home after school, Amane sees Mahiru sitting in a park near their house with a blank stare. Worried about the girl’s health, he leaves his umbrella for her and runs home, letting the girl have her moment alone. Unsurprisingly, getting wet in the cold leaves him with a high fever. Noticing the boy’s condition, Mahiru decides to take care of him as a way to pay him back for the umbrella.

The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten: Vol 01 – Mahiru in the Rain


From that point on, they slowly start to get to know each other. Mahiru is consistently worried about how Amane treats himself, like only eating snacks and pre-made meals. Amane, meanwhile, can’t wrap his head around why such a popular and beautiful girl would ever pay attention to him at all. This leads to Mahiru, after nursing Amane back to full health, cooking for two and bringing portions to him. And as a slob that can’t cook to save his life, that is a lifesaver for him.

As events unfold, their relationship evolves naturally. As a way to pay her back for the meals, Amane starts often going shopping for the ingredients. Then, to make things easier, Mahiru starts cooking directly in Amane’s kitchen so he can help with the dishes later. It develops the situation without rushing through the small steps.

At this point, I felt quite satisfied with the premise. Seeing a slow burn felt quite refreshing, especially as Mahiru trusts Amane because she knows he doesn’t have any romantic intentions with her. It feels really different from the usual content in light novels. Even by the end of the first volume, Amane is still more grateful than infatuated. This truly shines in their chemistry, with the Angel slowly becoming more human-like and Amane starting to look more socially approachable.

Main Characters

As you’ve probably inferred by now, The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten mostly focuses on two main characters:

Starting off with Amane, I quite enjoyed his character because of how normal he is. A guy who isn’t desperate for love, but still appreciates it is not as common as you might think. He is very intelligent socially, treating Mahiru as a normal girl and knowing how to act in his situation. It was weird to cheer for a character to get out of his shell in minor ways, even if it’s just tending to his clothes. His personality also bounces off the seriousness of Mahiru to ground the conversation, which helps with the flow of the dialogue.

Mahiru, on the other hand, is a character that is based on complexity. She is everything that people at school aim for, but it makes her hard to approach. With that said, she feels that if someone does approach her, it’s for social status. Throughout the volume, small facts about her like enjoying sharpening her knives help to make sure that she doesn’t feel static. Overall, I quite liked Mahiru for the fact that from the start of the volume to the end, she feels different but also maintains her essence of a simple girl trying to fit the idol persona given to her.

The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten: Vol 01 – Amane's Friends

Side Characters

Aside from our two main characters, three side characters are important to bring up:

For the side characters, we can bring attention to Itsuki and his girlfriend. They are mostly seen together and are the basis of Amane’s social life. Itsuki is a chill friend that tries to bring out the best of Amane at all times, worrying about him throwing his life away. His girlfriend, Chitose mostly acts as a foil to Amane as someone who speaks her mind and is quite extroverted. I like those two as plot devices for now, but I do hope we get to learn more about them eventually.

Finally, we get a small glimpse into Amane’s mother in the volume. She has all the energy Amane does not, trying to bring him everywhere to do stuff. For now, it feels like she fits the same bill as Itsuki but her role extends to Mahiru. She assumes our two protagonists are dating and, with some hints of a sad past for Mahiru, it’s something that can be a bit irritating but it also helps out.


Overall, I really enjoyed the first volume. The writing is really good, describing everything to make sure you get immersed in their lives. Special props to the food descriptions; they are really good at making you visualize the small convos between characters. Amane’s thoughts sometimes go on for a bit too much, but that could be attributed to making sure you understand his side, that way it’s not as long in other volumes.

There are also some cliche moments here and there, but those are par for the course in light novels in general. From what I’ve seen, they are more of a plot progression mechanism at the start that begin to slow down over time.

The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten: Vol 01 – Color Insert


Though not the focus, I would like to emphasize the art made for The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten. The most important aspect to me is making sure that what I imagined with the descriptions is displayed in the images shown. I can say that was definitely delivered with Mahiru, but Amane was a bit weird. The story describes him as average, slobby, and even malnourished at the start. But once you see a drawing of him, it just looks like a normal high schooler. It felt a bit off, but I can attribute it to simply a different vision of him I had in my mind.


I really enjoyed the first volume of The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten. It got me hooked thanks to a slow-burn relationship being formed, along with good writing and great art. If you are a fan of stories that don’t rush through portions and take some time through the interactions between characters, I would certainly recommend this first volume.

Want to check out the next volume? We’ve written about that too.


Purchase: Amazon, Google Books, BookWalker

Want to read some more light novels? How about checking out the How to Melt the Ice Queen’s Heart which is based on a similar idea? Or our visual novel reviews?

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