Furthermore, they're all really cool: they look cool, they dress cool, they're in cool bands, they drink in cool-looking bars, and so on. The romance follows suit, it's not earth-shatteringly melodramatic, and relationships don't seem like they have to be life-long one true loves. They're just a group of people who fall in and out of love, sometimes at inconvenient times. There is one boring romantic trope that's popular in a lot of Japanese comics and cartoons, but I can't really tell you what it is without spoiling it for you, but nevertheless, it's annoying when it turns up. On the plus side, once it does turn up, it's kind of cast aside and everyone moves on. I really liked this story, it's cool and aspirational without being a total fantasy, and it's realistic without being grim and depressing.
The second story is called Luncheon of Tears Diary, and it details the long string of tragedies that befall a young comic creator after her series gets abruptly cancelled. It's kind of like a more adult version of the girls' comics being printed in Britain in the 1970s and 80s, where the heroines would tumble through hardship after hardship, living lives of constant despair, all while dreaming they might one day be a ballerina. Always a ballerina. But rather than strict boarding schools and servitude as a maid under a sadistic butler, Natsumi's problems include homelessness, gambling, indentured sevitude as a prostitute, and so on.
It never gets depressing, though, for two reasons. The first is that it's so fast paced, you don't really get to "live" each of Natsumi's tragedies before the next one befalls her. The second is that the comic has a very subtle black humour about it and it's very aware of how over-the-top and melodramatic it is. Again I can't really say much more about it without spoiling anything, but Luncheon of Tears Diary is a great read that I shot through in no time.
Finally, there's Kyoto Super Barhopping Journal, a short, autobiographical story about a rain-sodden drinking trip to Kyoto. It's nice I guess, but it's really just filler. Anyway, Ohikkoshi is an excellent book, and I highly recommend reading it.