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Manga / Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live?

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Let's get out of Kichijoji!

Is Kichijoji the Only Place to Live? (Kichijouji dake ga Sumitai Machi desu ka? i.e. 吉祥寺だけが住みたい街ですか?) is an ongoing Seinen Slice of Life manga written by Makihirochi and first published in 2015. It is serialized in Young Magazine the 3rd and is available in English at comiXology.

The story centers on twin sisters Miyako and Tomiko Shigeta, who work as real estate agents in the Kichijoji neighborhood in Tokyo, an area that is consistently ranked #1 as the place where those already living in Tokyo want to live. The sisters assist women originally searching for an apartment in Kichijoji, but direct them to neighborhoods in Tokyo which are better suited to their individual needs. The story follows the worries of new clients as they move, the everyday life of the twins and showcases the charm of different Tokyo neighborhoods.

The manga provides examples of:

  • Always Identical Twins: Miyako and Tomiko, though Miyako has blonde hair which may be dyed.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: The many men interested in Miyako certainly think so. The cashier at the music store even mentions to one hopeful that she's out of his league as she's plus size.
  • Big Eater: Both the twins. They always order giant portions for themselves when they treat their clients to a bite to eat.
  • Butt-Monkey: Isao, the sisters' put upon cousin and secretary.
  • Celibate Heroine: Both sisters have repeatedly declare that they'll never marry and would die in their parents' home, even though Miyako seemingly has a pretty active sex life.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: The sisters' parents died in a car crash a few years earlier, which lead to them taking over their real estate business and sparking the story.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Miyako and Tomiko to their clients. They drag them (often literally) round neighbourhoods they didn't ask to see, go off on long tangents and stuff themselves with local treats. And so far they've helped every one of their customers find the perfect home.
  • End of an Age: A major theme is how much Kichijoji is changing and being remade into a new town. The sisters often lament all the different things they miss from the old days.
  • Food Porn: All the snacks and dishes the sisters treat their clients to look mouth watering.
  • Gentle Giant: Both the twins but Tomiko in particular. She looks very intimidating thanks to her height, size and blank expression but she wouldn't hurt a fly.
  • My Beloved Smother: The mother in Chapter 21 basically takes over her daughter's search for a new home.
  • My Greatest Failure: Tomiko leaving the family dog indoors on a hot summer day, forgetting the air conditioner was on a timer. By the time she gets back, the poor thing has collapsed from heat stroke and dies shortly after. It haunts her even years later.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: The sisters in demeanor most definitely. Miyako is loud, cheerful and extroverted while Tomiko is a quiet introvert. They do share some things in common though such as their love of heavy metal music.
  • Scenery Porn: The most beautiful areas of Tokyo drawn in painstaking detail from real life.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One client compares the twins to Baymax.
    • Another mentions the last video game she played was Luigi's Mansion.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Idealistic. It doesn't shy away from life's trials and tribulations (e.g. adultery, job loss, loneliness) but shows that each situation can have a happy ending.
  • The Stoic: Tomiko, until someone mentions her late dog...
  • The Voiceless: Isao. He seems only capable of mumbling in a way that only the sisters can decipher.
  • The Workaholic: Many of the clients since this state of being is common in Tokyo. They mention a welcoming home is important to them since they spend so much time working.