Series: Otaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii
Published by Ichijinsha (一迅社) on April 30th 2015 - July 26th 2017
Genres: Manga, Josei, Romance
Format: Kindle eBook
After discovering that they work at the same company a gaming crazed otaku and a fujoshi meet each other for the first time since middle school. After some post-work drinking sessions they begin dating, but will it be a perfect relationship for the two?
Narumi and Hirotaka start dating out of convenience; they’re both otaku, they’re both single, and they both enjoy each other’s company. It’s a great idea, and it works well for them. It’s almost as if they’re not dating.
Narumi is adorable and a bit of an all-rounder otaku (games, manga, idols, etc); her main interests are shoujo manga and BL. Hirotaka is dead-set on games, he’ll give other things a chance if you recommend them, but he’s fully focused on games rather than anything else. The series follows both of them and their two colleagues (Kabakura Taro, a gaming and comic otaku, and Koyanagi Hanako, a pretty boy otaku and BL otaku) through their daily lives and through their relationships.
These nerds stole my heart❤︎
There are some really great things about this series, and I’d like to begin with:
♦︎ No Girl Hate – YES! Absolutely no girl hate. Hana and Narumi get along famously, and I swear Narumi is a little half in love with her. Hell, I’m half in love with her. Their only argument has been related to shipping, and there are no underhanded schemes to one up each other.
♦︎ No Love Triangle – No love triangle??? In a romance manga??? What??? I am serious. It looked like there would be for a minute, and the way they resolved it was hilarious.
♦︎ The Memes – A lot of these go over my head, but I get enough of them to enjoy it.
♦︎ The References – There is an entire couple of pages dedicated to ‘Who was your first love’ which turned into ‘Who was your first fictional crush’ when no one wanted to answer the first one. A lot of anime, manga, and games are mentioned in this series (though not always by name), and I grew up with some of the ones referenced so I get a similar feeling of nostalgia from it as well lol
One thing I have mixed feelings about, though, is that there isn’t much to the overarching plot. A lot of the volumes are made up of little one-shots and silly asides, which are enjoyable, but it makes the timing and pacing seem a little all over the place. On the one hand, it means the moments I want to read about go on for a bit longer, but on the other I want to know what happens!
The romance is pretty slow; while Narumi and Hirotaka may be dating they’re not really… dating. They visit each other’s apartment’s (or rather everyone crashes in Hirotaka’s apartment), they go out for drinks, they play games together, they attend conventions together, and go to game centres(/arcades), but neither of them think of those as actual dates. They’re both happy to be called each other’s girlfriend/boyfriend, but they don’t get onto a real date for quite a while. There are more romantic moments between Narumi and Hana than there are Narumi and Hirotaka sometimes.
I love the ways that Narumi and Hirotaka talk to each other though, especially over text message. Hirotaka abuses kaomoji and net slang constantly, and Narumi goes along with it pretty well as well. The relationships between all of the characters are great; Hana and Kabakura argue a lot, but you can clearly see they care about each other, and all of them have a pretty tight-knit friendship throughout the series.
I think part of me mostly likes this series because there’s a lot of nerdy moments I relate to lol Narumi crying over Sailor Moon with Hirotaka being a prime example, and the arguments over ships, etc. Narumi and Hirotaka have a lot of cute moments, and there are a lot of great friendship moments between all four of the main characters. I’d probably read this even without the romance just because seeing them play games or argue over shows or their tastes is a lot of fun.