"Just the fact that I'm eating ice cream with you, Seiji...it really, really does seem like a dream." - Midori
Midori Days is an anime and manga that is way cuter than it has a right to be given its quite unorthodox premise. It follows the story of an extremely shy girl named Midori who fell in love with a boy named Seiji from afar. Though she could never get up the courage to speak with him, she wished so hard to be with him that one day she found that she had been transformed into Seiji's right hand. Neither knows how it happened or how to reverse it, so they have to make due and learn to live with their new situation. As Seiji's hand, Midori gains a lot of confidence and is able to express her feelings uninhibited, and having to protect Midori helps Seiji lose some of his aggression and learn how to connect with others and forge real relationships. As in most cases, the manga is better than the anime just because of all of the additional scenes and characters, but the anime tells a complete and cohesive story without straying from the manga.
The greatest thing about Midori Days is the super sweet relationship between Seiji and Midori as well as all of the well rounded characters. Midori is creepily obsessive about Seiji (she ended up in a coma because she wanted to be with him so bad), but it is very innocent, and Midori is such an interesting character. She's super shy in real life, but so bubbly and outgoing with Seiji. She makes the absolute best out of their situation, and Seiji can't help but fall in love with her optimism and enthusiasm. What's also great is how none of the romantic rivals (and there sure are a lot of them) are painted as a villain. You end up feeling so bad for Takako because she is very much the same as Midori coming out of her comfort zone for Seiji. You know it's not going to work out, and Midori may have her moments of jealousy, but Takako comes out of the whole thing a stronger person, and you can't help but root for her to find happiness. It was the same with Lucy, a very important character that was only in the manga, in that yes, she was a rival for Seiji's affection, but there was so much more to her character than that. Midori's wish was the impetus for Seiji to reach out to those around him and help them to find their way, which in turn leads to them helping Seiji and Midori doing the same.
While I would recommend watching the anime if for nothing else than to hear Midori's adorable voice in the dubbed version, the story in the manga is so much richer. As mentioned above, there are several characters and arcs included in the manga that add so much and actually drive the story to its conclusion. Rin has a boyfriend who doesn't appear in the anime at all, there's an entire overarching plot involving a doctor who wants to expose Seiji and Midori to the world, and the aforementioned Lucy is a major factor in Midori's major decision at the end of the series. The anime gets to the same place in the end, but it's much faster paced. There isn't as much time to spend with those affected by Midori's sudden comatose state or to delve deeper into the psyche of the troubled young girl. There is a lot going on in this series that you wouldn't expect given its description, but it is a story that sticks with you long after it is over.
||Seiji/Midori, Rin/Sakisaka, Seiji and Kouta