Kazama Masamune is a twenty - three year old office worker. Drifting though life aimlessly, he gets by with the idea that one day his first love will return to him. Unfortunately, true love is not meant to be as he receives the news that his love, Tsukamoto Youko, has passed away. Filled with sorrow, he brushes off the news that he may be the father of her child. The next day he runs into a little girl named Koharu on his way home from work. After befriending her, she tells him about her mother who was too scared to tell her father how she feels, so she has come to do so on her behalf. Warmed by her goal, Masamune is soon shocked to learn that he is the father of the young girl. Angry at his reaction, Koharu throws the present she brought for him – unsent letters from Youko. He learns that when Youko found out she was pregnant, she decided to leave because she didn’t want to keep Masamune from fulfilling his dreams. Even though she left, she had never stopped thinking about him and hoped that one day the three of them could be reunited as a family. Comforted by the knowledge that Youko hadn’t truly left him, Masamune tracks down his daughter and offers her the chance to live with him. Thus, the two begin to live with each other – two strangers connected by the loss and grief of the one they loved the most.
Written by Sahara Mizu (also known as Sumono Yumeka) in 2007, My Girl is a heartfelt slice of life about a daughter and father and how they live together. Though there is some slight humor, this story is in no way as humorous as Otaku no Musume-san. My Girl has a more mature tone, tinted with melancholy. Reading this manga gives you a glimpse of how truly hard it is to raise a child by yourself, especially one that you barely know. Seeing Koharu and Masamune not only learn about each other but from each other gives you that warm toasty feeling inside. The interaction between Kazama and Koharu also introduces us to the third character in this tale – Youko. As they grow as a family, we see the type of effect that the deceased had on the two. Witnessing every fond memory helps to flesh out the character that has brought these two together: an individual that is both simple and complex at the same time. In a way, it’s as if she hasn’t actually passed away. Youko is always there in their hearts, a memory of times long past that helps Kazama and Koharu move forward.