Can’t remember the last time I’ve started and read an entire series in one sitting. Close as Neighbors is one I started more than a year ago but never completed. I actually stopped reading webtoons altogether for a while and it just so happened to be one of the casualties. Since regaining my reading libido I had no choice but to return to this exceptional series. It’s an almost by the books girl next door tale with a few unexpected twists tossed in to great effect.
Each page was intoxicatingly provocative in the most salacious of ways. Boasting some impressively well illustrated mostly uncensored character designs. The line-work clean and use of colour could be best defined as modest. Making for an adequate amount of visual stimulus in each panel. Episodes are all consistent in this aspect, with each containing just the right amount of salacious content. The male characters are partially censored using a sort of standard glowing effect while the females feature a mostly minimal effect on their lower region. It’s so brazen in execution that some could consider it straight-up hentai. Whether you wish to label it as such or not is irrelevant. This stuff is not for kids so censorship doesn’t really matter unless used for stylistic effect or temptation.
Personally, I love it.
Close as neighbors plot allows for all this beautifully risqué content thanks to a well written set of characters. At its most basic, it’s a harem but when considering it’s intrinsic complexities one could refer to it as a romantic drama. The main story we are given revolves around a male character, Theo and a group of women living next door to him. Theo’s neighbors include: April (the oldest), May (second oldest) and June (youngest). He’s known them for years and they’re so close that in some ways he sees June and May like his sisters. April however is his love interest so he doesn’t view her in the same light. Unfortunately for him, she isn’t emotionally available. Add to that, he happens to be May’s love interest and well June, June’s a wild card.
Theo is depicted as a large, clueless yet dependable man with broad shoulders and a stocky build. April has a well earned motherly figure with broad hips, noticeable height and ample amounts of bosoms. June however is short with an oversized chest and a damn thicc physique. As for May, well let’s just say May is Goldilux porridge of waifus. She’s Tusnedere (just the way I like em), has an athletic body, a nice perky little chest and just enough plump in the booty to not complain.
Honorable mentions to Nadia – Second Best Girl.
As the story progresses we are introduced to more characters while the main cast is developed before our eyes. Each character gets enough screen time and by the end you’ll more likely than not empathise with most of them. Before long I got the gist of where the main plot was progressing yet the writer still found ways to surprise me. This is a good thing because the most boring romantic plots are the most predictable ones. There were genuine moments when I clenched my fists in frustration when things didn’t progress as I’d expected. I was hooked, gripped by an engrossing web of lewd entanglements. Best of all it didn’t outstay its welcome.
This webtoon is 52 episode of erotic romantic fantasy. Featuring some believably likable characters, settings and depictions. When it strays its usually for comedic effect or emphasis. It’s one I’d easily recommend to anyone who’s interested in exploring the girl next door trope in a somewhat believable setting. If erotica isn’t your thing then this is not for you. If notable amounts of character development isn’t your thing then the same applies. Otherwise grab yourself all the episodes, some clean underwear and binge the entire thing in single sitting.
Close as Neighbors is currently published in English by Toomics with the first two episodes Free.