College student Taiga needs a job, but he wants a girlfriend, specifically an older woman. When he spots a Help Wanted sign on a building and sees the cute woman working inside, his needs and desires seem to be coming together. At first he can’t get Yuiko to notice him that way, but he finally does capture her eye. The problem is that Yuiko says she is a fujoshi and Taiga doesn’t know what that means. It’s just a type of otaku–right?
Once there was a blog and the people saw the blog and thought it was good, so a publisher turned the blog into a novel and the people saw the novel and thought it was good, so the publisher turned the novel into a manga and the people in the United States wanted to read the manga too, so Yen Press picked up My Girlfriend is a Geek–written by Pentabu, with Rize Shinba doing the manga adaptation–and published it here, and it was good. Well, pretty good, though I think it’s going to need more than one volume to get a full head of steam going. Pentabu’s story, told through Taiga, is sweet, but not much happens in volume one. Taiga says what he wants, he finds what he wants, he can’t get what he wants, and then he does, but it doesn’t work quite the way he expects. Overall it reads like fairly typical shojo, which is okay, if a little boring.
One plus for me about My Girlfriend is a Geek is that (at least to me) Yuiko is a much more appealing fujoshi (aka “yaoi fangirl”) character than Rumi in Fujoshi Rumi (by Natsumi Konjoh from Media Blasters). I found Rumi to be air-headed to the point of annoying. Yuiko is more settled. She has a job and is good at it, but her fujoshi hobbies take over her free time. I enjoyed the way she rather obliviously torments Taiga with her “yaoi eyes” and other fujoshi characteristics. You’d better believe that my husband, if I could get him to read this, would completely sympathize with Taiga’s plight.
Another plus was hiring Rize Shinba to craft the manga adaptation. I really enjoyed Shinba’s naughty Mister Mistress series (published by Deux). Unfortunately, My Girlfriend is a Geek is a pretty tame story, so none of the Shinba’s off-color humor shows up here. But Shinba knows yaoi and she knows humor and her art has the right innocent shojo quality to fit the story. Included at the end of volume one of the manga is a sample from the original novel, which Yen Press will be publishing in September. That little sample was intriguing enough that I will definitely be reviewing the novel when it comes out.
NOTE: This review was previously posted at an old blog of mine, Fujoshi Librarian.
My Girlfriend is a Geek , vol. 1 (manga)
Story by Pentabu; Manga by Rize Shinba
Yen Press, 2010