Kakuritsu Sousakan Mikoshiba Gakuto / Probability Investigator Mikoshiba Gakuto by Kaminaga Gakuto

Normally, I don’t read a lot of shoujo, but… MATH!  Murders! Sexy nerds!

Did I mention: Math!!??!

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I’m really sad to report that the three chapters available for Kakuritsu Sousakan Mikoshiba Gakuto / Probability Investigator Mikoshiba are probably all we’re going to get.  In fact, it doesn’t even look like it’s been licensed in English, and the last time anyone bothered to scanlate it was over four years ago. I mean, it’s basically a rip-off of any number of crime dramas that involve geniuses, but I really liked the heroine, Niizuma.

SPOILERS

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Our heroine, Niizuma Tomoki, has recently been on administrative leave from the police force for brawling with another officer.  Like, she punched the dude OUT.

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She’s a good cop, however.

Thing is, she punched her partner because he was bullying a rape suspect into a confession.  You may not know this, but getting arrested in Japan already sucks.  There’s not nearly as much of this whole ‘you’re innocent until proven guilty’ bulls*t. Even with that, Niizuma decides her partner is crossing the line when basically shoves the pen into the suspect’s hand and forces him to sign.

I pretty much fell for Niizuma at this point.  You don’t see a huge number of female protagonists quite like this–well, almost anywhere, but they seem especially rare in shoujo (please feel free to prove me wrong. I don’t read a ton of shoujo and so I might be missing out on some amazing heroines!) I love that she’s not necessarily any more aggressive than your average manga heroine UNTIL she’s faced with a moral choice. Then she takes her partner f*cking DOWN.

This is normally the sort of attitude you see from heroes, you know?  Guys get to be mousey and proper and yet deeply honorable and willing to fight when push comes to shove.

It’s super-refreshing to see this in a lady.

It’s  even more refreshing that she gets REWARDED for this behavior.  Yeah, sure, she’s been put on leave. She punched a colleague, what are you going to do?  Niizuma is also seriously considering tendering her resignation because she’s uncertain who would be willing to partner with her after such an outburst.

But, she has an ally.  A guy we ever hear from again, who was a friend of her father’s, puts in a good word.  Dad was also a cop and, he, too, was an honorable person.  He’d never give up, says the family friend, and neither should you.  In fact, the family friend has recommended Niizuma to a special division, Special Investigations Counter-Measures Unit.

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She even gets the ‘hero faced with the decision to keep fighting’ shot… standing at your father’s grave, are you as strong a fighter as he was??

She goes for it.

And, maybe this is where other people lose interest, because the ‘love interest’ is the titular math professor, Mikoshiba Gakuto.  He’s a bit of a ‘genius’ stereotype, right down to the mild Asperger’s.

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He doesn’t get metaphors or proverbs, preferring straight-forward, logical thinking. He’s anti-emotions because he thinks they get in the way of clear thinking, and, of course, he mocks Niizuma for being “a biased, emotional woman.”  He’s weird, too. When they first meet, he sniffs Niizuma just to make sure she’s not an alien (even though this is contemporary times and there are, for all I know, no evidence that extra-terrestrials are walking among us in this story’s universe.)

Even though Mikoshiba is a Sherlockesque rip-off, I ended up kind of enjoying their developing relationship, anyway.  Mikoshiba and Niizuma are good foils for each other, and, in the course of the three available chapters, they satisfactorily solve a mysterious case.  I was particularly satisfied because I was able to do that thing you want to be able to do with well-written mysteries, in that I figured out the true guilty party exactly one step ahead of the protagonists. (But, then maybe that just means the mystery was obvious?  I don’t read enough mysteries to know for sure.)

I guess I’m just trying to understand why the scanlators lost interest in this particular manga.  I mean, I realize that often they just can’t get enough volunteers together, etc., but I can’t help wondering if that inability to find people to work on this manga happened because I’m alone in liking a main character like Niizuma. (There’s plenty of material left to translate: there are three full volumes available in Japan. We only got half of the first volume here.)

As someone who has published mainstream romance in America, I do wonder if there are similar biases against certain types in Japan.  Shoujo is it’s own marketing category, of course, being aimed a far different audience then the adult women I was writing for, but there are still these THINGS that romance often conforms to.

Kakuritsu Sousakan Mikoshiba Gakuto / Probability Investigator Mikoshiba does do that whole BUT I HATE HIM! HOW COULD I EVER LOVE HIM?! set-up.  Mikoshiba spends a huge amount of time disrespecting Niizuma’s intelligence, and, just as classically, by the end of the third chapter, they’re well on their way to mutual respect.

CLASSIC.

But, then there’s Niizuma. She’s not overly voluptuous. She’s pretty, but in a very understated way… and what she has as a salient character trait is one that most shounen heroes get to have: honor–honor she’s willing to fight for, physically, if necessary.

She’s also, we discover, a good investigator. Her ability to ‘be emotional’ isn’t a weakness, of course, but a strength.

This is not the sort of stuff that’s kept me away from shoujo titles.  Normally, what I dislike in shoujo is all the heteronormativity–girls being girlish in the most traditional ways and boys getting to have all the fun. Girls blush, boys strut.  Girls swoon, boys carry them off heroically.

In this one, what I love is that it’s not JUST a reversal (though Mikoshiba is definitely the silly one), but that they are both equally interesting and equally STRONG.

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I’m fine, too, especially if you’ll date ME, Niizuma,

Who knows, maybe the pirate translators gave up on it because they read ahead and discovered that all the stuff I love about it gets subverted by the end. (I wouldn’t put it past publishers and editors, honestly.) Maybe I’ve been spared another OMG I HATE THIS F*CKING ENDING IT RUINS EVERYTHING moment.

I guess I’ll tell myself that.

In the meantime, if you’re curious, go for it. It is very short–though, at least, the murder mystery *is* solved in what we have.

If those of you out there that love shoujo know other manga with a heroine like this one, PLEASE recommend it to me.  I’d love to have my knee-jerk biases against this genre go the way that the ones I held against romances did when I started reading more of them.

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Ojisama to Neko by Sakurai Umi

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Something new to fulfill my desire to read heartwarming stories about absolutely NOTHING!!!!

Ojisama to Neko / The Gentleman and the Cat is ridiculously adorable. It’s kind of the manga version of the children’s series, Mr. Putter & Tabby, because you have an older man–a widower, living alone–who wants an older cat, the sort that other people pass by in the shelter because they prefer cute kittens.

This story, unlike some of the other cat stories I’ve reviewed, does give several scenes from the point of view of the cat.  Honestly, in this case, that makes the story that much more heartwarming.  Our ‘neko’ hero, for instance, has never had a name in all his life, having spent most of it in a pet store, waiting to be adopted.  He was happy to be called anything, even ‘Snotty.’

When our ‘oji-sama’ very carefully picks a name, a GOOD name, we get this:

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This whole freaking manga makes me eternally so happy.

It’s just chapter after chapter of these two being adorable and loving… I MEAN WHAT MORE COULD YOU POSSIBLY WANT????

Cat!

Nice old guy!

CAT!

There are, as of the publication of this review, only 5 very short chapters available.  It’s brand-new (2018) and they’re being scanned just about as fast as they’re coming out in Japan.  My son Mason, in fact, first saw this on Tumblr a few months ago, before any of the usual pirate sites had picked it up.  I’m really happy that MangaRock (linked above) and a few other folks are starting to put it in their roster. It’s as useless as it is AWESOME. I mean, by chapter five the most thrilling thing that has happened is that the Gentleman went shopping for cat supplies and the Cat got a name.

AND YET I’M SO SATISFIED I FEEL ‘ETERNALLY SO HAPPY.’

Ore Monogatari!! / My Love Story by Kawahara Kazune / Aruko

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Remember how I told you that I picked up a bunch of manga volumes at my library sale? Because the price was so good (five for a dollar!), I grabbed ANYTHING with a first volume.

ANYTHING.

Any. THING.

My Love Story!! / Ore Monogatari!! is normally the very last thing I would pick up for myself to read.  As you know, loyal reader, comedy is such a tough sell for me that I bounced out of One-Punch Man (I know!  Look, don’t kill me, I ended up loving the anime.)

Shoujo is also a category I can take or leave–though, mostly, I leave it.

I kind of dug My Love Story!! / Ore Monogatari!!

SPOILERS

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The story follows Gouda Takeo, a giant, red oni of a high schooler.  He’s not your typical romance hero in that he kind of looks like a brick wall.  His childhood friend, Sunagawa, is the classic chick-magnet: wispy, floppy-haired, and lanky.  All the girls are into him, but he’s… “meh.”  In fact, he tends to flat-out tell the ladies, “I don’t like you,” and makes them cry.

So, when Takeo ends up saving a girl, Yamato, from a subway groper, he assumes that she’s fallen for Sunagawa, like all the others before her.  Only this time? Cupid’s arrow has struck true and it’s Takeo that Yamato likes.

They actually get together pretty quickly as these things go, because the real conflict of this manga seems to be the odd couple nature of the two of them–actually, three, since it seems kind of obvious to me that Sungawa is ‘meh’ on girls because he’s ‘yatta!’ on Takeo.   Though I could be very wrong about that.  I’m only two volumes in, so Sungawa could get ‘no homo’d at any point.

What I like about this manga (and why I suspect it’s won so many awards*) is because the reader falls for Takeo in the same way the characters do.  His personality really does make him attractive; the more you read of him, the more likable he becomes.  He’s a good-hearted buffoon, but not in an always-the-butt-of-the-joke way, either…

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Except when he is, because this might be the most accurate picture of a cat in the history of all manga:

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But, yeah, maybe I have a type.  I mean, LOOK at those sideburns.

The manga is still being scanlated.  Mangago has five volumes (out of 15 in Japan.) There is not only an anime, available on Crunchyroll, but also, it seems, a live-action film.

Would I recommend it?  Eh, it’s fun and it reads fast, so why not?


 

  •  According to Baka-Updates, My Love Story!! / Ore Monogatari, “Won the award for Best Shōjo Manga at the 37th Kodansha Manga Awards and was nominated for the 6th Manga Taishō in 2013. Was also nominated for the 18th Annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize “Reader Award” in 2014. Won the 61st Shogakukan Manga Award for Shoujo.”

 

Nana by Ai Yazawa

I’ve been away from MangaKast for a little while because I fell into all 21 volumes of Nana, a rock and roll romantic tragedy about two women with the same name.

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Yeah, it’s been over a week and I’m only just now coming up for air.

Wow, what a ride. I went into it happy to have found another mild slice-of-life story, and by the end I was like, “Wā! Such a soap opera! It can’t end like this!!!”

Of course, when I started Nana, I thought it was complete at 21 volumes, (this will teach me to do my research after picking up a series; I should have learned after Kill la Kill!) Instead, the story skids–almost literally–to an end.  According to Wikipedia, Nana went on an ‘indefinite hiatus’ due to Yazawa-sensei’s illness. Wikipedia seems to imply that the story could continue, but there’s been nothing since 2009.

Which is a shame, because I ended up really enjoying this one… despite myself.

I wouldn’t have thought a sappy romance story about a Japanese rock band would be for me, but, what can I say? I’ve been such a sucker for this kind of thing lately.

 

SPOILERS

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The meet-cute for Nana is based on the title: two women with the same name, who meet, by accident (or is it fate?) on the train to Tokyo.  Both of them are headed out to start a new life in the big city.  Nana “Hachi” Komatsu, our main character, is following after a boyfriend… something she does a lot.  Nana Osaki is striking off to start a career in music…sort of also following a boy, but also not.

I shouldn’t like either of these women.  Both of them are really fairly dependent on their men/the men in their lives, but I ended up really liking their friendship… and the resulting emo/drama.

Nana Komatsu gets her nickname from Hachiko–the famously loyal dog.  In the end, she earns that nickname in a powerful way, but initially Hachi is more like the yappy annoying dog that follows Nana around.  Which is weird, since Hachi is the main character. We start the story with her and her love-at-first-sight problems, and she remains the narrator throughout, even when the action is more focused on the rock star drama.

And, OMG, the rock star drama.

Nana Osaki is a troubled woman. Her boyfriend Ren was the bass player in the band she started in high school, “Black Stones” (“Blast,” for short).  She and Ren are very much modeled on the punk rock icons, Sid and Nancy, complete with drug addiction.  Except in this, Ren leaves Nana’s band to become the bassist for a more successful group that already has a record label, “Trapnest.”  Determined to beat “Trapnest” on the charts, Nana moves to Tokyo and reforms “Blast” without Ren.

Hachi’s part in all this is to be an early fan, a supporter through tough times. That is, until she randomly sleeps with the guitar player from Ren’s band, a guy called Takumi… and gets pregnant. Even though, she was kind of seeing someone in Nana’s band, a kid called Nobu.

You see the soap opera drama?

Yeah, and like I said, I totally got addicted to each twist and turn. I can see how this series became a best-selling shoujo title, even though the main character is stuck in kind of an awful situation, since she ends up marrying Takumi, despite him being a womanizer and a cold-fish and Hachi still mostly loving Nobu best. I say “mostly,” because this is josei, so Hachi kind of loves the one she’s with, even though that’s not at all a satisfying story. (This is why josei drives me crazy.)

There’s this huge push-pull between Ren and Nana that’s never resolved.  Speaking of things I hate about ‘josei,’ a random car accident happens and a major character dies and then people disappear and no one is happy, THE END.

To be fair to Yazawa-sensei, she didn’t necessarily intend to leave it where she did.  You could see, however, from the flash-forwards she started giving us several chapters before the hiatus, that she’d planned for the tragedy and its aftermath.  So, it’s safe to say that this josei ended much like the other one that famously burned me, Kids on the Slope.

Yet, I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the ride in both instances.  So, would I recommend it? Yep. Just be prepared to get to the end and have this reaction:

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I literally spent this morning while doing the dishes (a time I usually watch anime), starting out the window with an expression much like the usually unflappable Takumi (the guy with the dark, long hair).  Internally, I had Kobu’s expression, because what happens in this manga is legitimately traumatizing.

Good story, though. Really not my usual, but it was very good none-the-less.

If you prefer to watch rather than read, you have two choices. There was a live-action movie made as well as an anime. (The Hulu link said it was unavailable for me and I didn’t try out the KissAnime link, so I can’t vouch for the quality/availability of either of them.)

Kasumi by Surt Lim / Hirofumi Sugimoto (Vol. 1)

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I don’t know how to feel about things like this.

Like Avatar: The Last Airbender, Kasumi is an English-language original (known to otaku as OEL, “Original English-Language”), published in the U.S. by Del Rey.  Is it really manga? Does having Sugimoto-sensei, in Japan, as a collaborator make it ‘legit’? Does a property have to have a Japanese connection to ‘count’?

Readers must have decided ‘no,’ since this series was cancelled after only two volumes. Of course, that could be Del Rey, because publishers suck.*

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You can see what Del Rey is hoping for with the back cover copy:  “Kasumi is a special girl–not just because she’s a super-cute high schooler with a heart of gold. She has a major secret: she can turn invisible when she holds her breath…”

You can almost see the editorial meeting.  “These mangos all the kids are reading. They’ve got magical girls in them, right?  Let’s do that!  Oh, yeah, and my daughter is into that Host Club show, set it at an elite school and add a bunch of bullies to make her life hard (oh! And be sure her mom is dead! All anime heroes have dead moms!).”

But, maybe that’s just my jaded side coming out, because I didn’t hate this.  I was fairly intrigued by how Kasumi gets her superpowers. I feel like I’ve seen this ‘sacred tree’ motif before, in Kannagi (which I didn’t review here because I only made a few chapters of the first volume before I bailed on it.)  At any rate, she seems to develop her ability to turn invisible after an encounter in the woods with will o’ wisps/fox lights (kitsune-bi).

However, I found the high school drama to be overwrought and uninteresting. For some bizarre reason, Kasumi thinks that it’s a good idea to show off her magic tricks (she’s a burgeoning stage magician) as an intro to her first day of her new high school. She is, of course, mercilessly mocked. There’s also a high school prince, Ryuuki that everyone treats like he’s actually the school’s administration.  These parts ring a little false to the usual Japanese high school slice-of-life stuff.

Would I recommend it? Mmmmm, it’s tough knowing that all you’re going to get is two volumes, with the story incomplete.  It has been scanlated, or, I guess, just pirated, so you can try it for free at places like Mangakalot.

Do I know how I feel about this?  No.  I mean, there’s nothing inherently wrong with OELs. Does this still feel like a try-hard?  Kinda.

 


* I may be jaded. Having had several novel series cancelled by publishers will do that.

Watashi ga Motete Dousunda (Chapter 50) by Junko

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So, yeah, I’m following this pretty religiously now, and I am not sure what to make of that.  If you want to join me, you can read the latest chapter here on MangaHere.com.

SPOILERS

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The chapter opens with the former-harem trying to figure out how to help History Guy (Mutsumi) and the heroine (Serinuma) get back together.  Klutz (Shinomiya) suggests starting a write-in campaign to have the anime kill off Serinuma’s favorite character.  This is quickly squashed by the Prince/Princess (Nishina), who is also a fan of the show.

These wacky hijinx are interrupted by Seinuma, who shows up in tears, claiming that gay boy (Yashiro) has stolen her man, Mutsumi.  When everyone asks what’s wrong she tells them she saw them kissing. As other people are kind of stunned by this sudden queer turn of events, Nishina asks where they were kissing?  When Seinuma says it was the rooftop, Nishina, who reads BL/yaoi, becomes convinced that this is a classic yaoi set-up and they could be “doing it” right now.

Everyone rushes to the roof.

The boys are just coming downstairs.  The confrontation is a cold one. Yashiro is ruthless and reminds Seinuma that she really has no place rushing in, since she still hasn’t answered the question: “who is more important, your RL boyfriend or your anime husbando?”

The “are the boys together” shtick continues, as Shinomiya happens to come across them after a bookcase has been knocked over and it seems like they’re on top of each other. Meanwhile, Yashiro and Mitsumi are  playing a lot of Japanese chess, Shogi. Dark-haired sporty dude (Igarashi) stops by one of their sessions and asks for a quick word with Mitsumi.  He wants to know if he’s done with Serinuma because he’s going after her, if so.  This riles up Mitsumi and tells him nope.  Igarashi says, okay, fine, I’ll stay away for now, because I respect you, man, but get your damn act together.

Mitsumi is so fired up he wins the shogi match in one move.  Yashiro, seeing how upset he is, asks Mitsumi to accompany him on an out-of-town trip to a shogi competition… you know, not to get you away from that girl or anything, just as a change in pace.

….which somehow Mitsumi does not see as the ACTUAL YAOI SET-UP THAT IT IS.

Back to Serinume, who is despondent.  She can NOT pick between IRL boyfriend and anime husbando.  Who could???? Luckily, her oldest friend, Ah-Chan (who is an otaku like her, but who has managed to have a boyfriend this whole time) shows up ready to kick some sense into some nerd butt.

The solution is pretty clever.  Ah-Chan whips Serinume into a frenzy over opposing ships to her anime husbando.  Could you see him with so-and-so?  NO!!! NEVER! Could you see him with this other guy???  ARGH, I WOULD RATHER DIE. MY OTP IS THE ONLY PERFECT MATCH FOR MY ANIME HUSBANDO.

Exactly, Ah-Chan says.  No one should be with your anime husband other than your OTP pairing.

Not. Even. YOU.

The choice is easy.

But, when Serinume goes to call Mutsumi with her answer, Yashiro picks up his phone.  They’re at a ryokan…. out of town…. TOGETHER.

The final scene is Yashiro making his move:

 

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Oh noz!

This is, of course, a huge threat, because, as we all know from our extensive reading of yaoi, if Yashiro gives Mutsumi a taste of Teh Gay, there is literally no way Mutsumi can retain even a shred of Teh Straight. Even a single kiss could potentially awaken Teh Gay in Mutsumi and he might suddenly start to notice how cute Yashiro is and then, literally, there is zero hope of any part of his straightness ever surfacing again.

These are the facts, ma’am.

Except, yeah, I can only hope that Junko-sensei will simply just have Mutsumi look at Yashiro and say, “You’re cute. Kissing you was nice, but I’m in love with someone else.”  A beat later: “Sorry! Also, still straight!”

I mean, as a queer reader, I do love it when people have moments of queerness, but the gay guy as threat to Mutsumi’s virtue is… well, let’s just say, gay predator is not a helpful stereotype–though incredibly common in yaoi.

So, I would rather Yashiro was rebuffed kindly and thoughtfully.

And that he stepped back, kindly and thoughtfully.

Probably it will be played for humor. I could be mad about that, too, but since this manga is literally about girls who love BL/yaoi/slash it’s kind of nice to have an actual gay subplot happening with one of the boys.

There has been decent moments of cleverness and thoughtfulness and kindness in the writing so far, so I’ll hold out a little hope.

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P.S. On a side-note, when I posted my review of this manga on Facebook, I got a couple of people suggesting that if I liked this, I would like Genshiken.  Once again, when I went to Crunchyroll, I accidentally ended up watching the first episode of the second season (although, as it happens, that’s all they HAD.)  I tried to hunt up the first season, but, wow, the art…. I… yeah, I dunno.

I might try reading it, though.  But, I have a bunch of others in my reading queue, so we’ll see. I offer the link here, in case any of you are interested.

 

 

Watashi ga Motete Dousunda / Kiss Him, Not Me (Chapter 49) by Junko

I got a notice that the newest chapter of Kiss Him, Not Me is out.  Apparently, I am now following a monthly shoujo.  Worse, it’s so accurate to my life that I can’t even.

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Just fill in: “Who is more important Renji or me?” and it me.

When last we left our intrepid harem (which has collapsed into a couple), Mutsumi (history guy) has discovered that Serinuma (our heroine) has skipped out on a fairly important date with him–he was taking her to his family’s grave–to go to some fan event or another because Yashiro (white-haired chess player) had an extra ticket.

It had been looking like we were going to be adding a sixth to our harem in previous chapters, but, it turns out, Yashiro only has eyes for Mutsumi.

Ironically, finally, one of the boys ACTUALLY wants to kiss another boy.

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I could not be happier with this turn of events.  The coming full-circle of this is just too, too perfect.

However, the pain Serinuma is experiencing in this chapter is very real… maybe a little too real for some of us.

For the most part, fannish obsessions are treated very kindly in Watashi ga Motete Dousunda, and for his part, Mutsumi seemed like the perfect guy who would understand (or at least deeply tolerate) Serinuma’s otaku heart.  But, Yashiro, did, in fact, blow open the problem with obsessiveness: it’s obsessive.

For some, fannish interests can act like a compulsion or an addiction.  Not just in a “oops, I stayed up until 4 am reading that entire manga!” kind of way, but more of a “I know I promised to do this other thing, but.., but, my anime thing!!!” which… I’m pretty sure we’ve all done both, right?  Blowing of stuff for myself, but also blowing off my friends and responsibilities and family and…. you know?  The stuff that doesn’t just hurt myself, but also other people…?

And I think this is why I find Serinuma’s plight so HARROWING.

It’s a real life problem. There does have to be a balance, and that’s a legitimate struggle in my life.

Serinuma was very seriously schooled in this chapter that her obsessive fannishness is acting like an addiction. She LIED to Mutsumi to get out of their date in order to accept the ticket from Yashiro.  She avoided calls from him because she KNEW she was sneaking around behind his back.  This is a pattern that Junko-sensei has been establishing for some chapters.  There were littler moments, when it was more of, “Oh, I want to do that thing with you, but my show is on,” or, “Oh, I forgot our thing because I was arguing about a plot point on Tumblr for three hours” (oh, wait, that second one might be me.)

We’ve been seeing the toll this has taken on generous, kind-hearted Mutsumi.  We also know from previous chapters where his player-older brother was introduced, that Matsumi isn’t going to push back.  He’ll bend over backwards so far he breaks, if he feels like doing so will make someone ELSE happy.  Mutsumi is making himself sick being so understanding. He’s starting to get nosebleeds. (And not those kinds, either!)

So, Igarashi (dark-haired sporty one) isn’t wrong when he suggests that maybe they aren’t the most ideal couple.

It’s going to be interesting to see where this goes from here.  Junko-sensei has no shame and has been happily playing up the boy’s love part of this.  The ending scene in this chapter is Serinuma walking in on what looks like a kiss between Yashiro and Mutsumi (but is actually Yashiro trying to get something out of Mutsumi’s eye.)

I suspect this ‘gag’ will go on for several more chapters, but how Junko-sensei going to resolve the bigger problem of otaku obsessiveness, I’m not sure.  Mutsumi has always been portrayed as the one who loved Serinuma from the start. He knew her when she was plump and took her transformation into hottie with a shrug and, “So she’s lost some weight, then?” which, of course, instantly endeared him to every human being who has ever struggled with their weight, ever.

However, he’s not a fan.

He’s followed along in the various dates that involved fannish things, and was the first voice to remind the harem that if they’re after Serinuma, they should do what makes her happy.  That being said, he’s never tried reading the manga, like even sporty-this-was-way-out-of-his-comfort-zone Igarashi did.

I have long thought that Nishia (the Black Butler cosplaying prince-girl) was by far the better match.  They get each other on a fandom level. However, as this manga isn’t labeled ‘yuri,’ I don’t think that Junko-sensei is going to go that way, so what Serinuma really needs, actually, is a straight version of Yushiro.  A boy who is actually in the same fandom.

Yeah… I know. Good luck with that.

At this point, presuming straightness on Serinuma’s part, Igarashi actually has my vote.  He has proven willing to try to embrace the fandom…. at least enough to talk plot with Serinuma.

I mean, he also seems to be the one who most clearly just wants to get into her pants, however, so there is that.

My guess–and if I were the Junko writing this, what I would do–is that the Mutsumi/Serinuma couple will collapse and we will all go back to our happy poly drama of the harem.

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No, but seriously, that was part of what was fun about this manga. I adore that the five-some has stayed together, despite the coupling, but they’re going to have to move on at some point if this becomes all about whether or not Serinuma and Mutsumi get back together.

Also? I will feel deeply betrayed if Serinuma gives up her anime-obsession in favor of love. It may happen that she will be shown “growing out of it,” but we will all know that’s a lie.