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The Asian ApertureHow To Date An Otaku Girl (2009)
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, August 25, 2013    Share

Hinata is a young college student who falls in love with his co-worker, the lovely Yoriko. One evening, Hinata shyly asks to hold her hand as they walk together and stop to look at the beautiful city lights across the water. Hinata confesses his love for Yoriko and she accepts however she has a big confession of her own. She explains that she is an otaku and also a fujoshi. He promises to love her anyway. So begins How To Date An Otaku Girl.

A little bit of background is necessary. The word fujoshi in Japanese means a “rotten girl,” and is used to describe female fans that are obsessively crazy about anime and manga that feature stories of men involved in romance with each other. It also falls under the category of the boys’ love genre. Fujoshi embraces Yaoi fandom and Yaoi is another term for boys’ love. Yaoi began in the late 70’s with doujinshi, fan created manga, that are usually sold at Comicket, a twice a year huge doujinshi comic con in Tokyo.

Just like Ken Kubo, the main character in Otaku no Video, who is just a normal male who slowly becomes engrossed in otaku culture, so does Hinata entered the fujoshi world. Yoriko takes him to a butler café where handsome young men dress as butlers and meet the needs of their female clientele. Generally going to a butler café offers role playing between the mademoiselle and her servant. She is the master. The butlers pour the tea and coffee and bring out the food and desserts. It is the female version of maid cafes.

As Hinata is sitting down at the table, inside the butler cafe, Yoriko introduces her friends to him. One draws and sells her own boys’ love doujinshi, the other is a full time housewife who loves to cosplay and she also has a daughter. Hinata commits a minor offensive when he attempts to pour his own tea; the butler politely takes the teapot from him and does the pouring.

On another date, Yoriko takes him to Animate, a chain of anime stores throughout Japan. The flagship store is in Ikebukuro, a district in Tokyo, and is located on Otome Road, which means Maiden Road, and is the main shopping street for female fans. The Animate in Ikebukuro has a large selection of boys’ love manga and anime. Yoriko dances around with glee as she changes into a fanatical fan inside the store. She jokes with other women and goes on a shopping spree, buying up manga and DVD box sets. Sometimes she speaks in a guy’s voice because she is so into fandom. Hinata doesn’t know what to do. He tells Yoriko that she is being stared at because in his mind she is talking too loud and going crazy over manga titles, she explains that he is the one being stared at by the women shoppers because most men don’t shop on the Yaoi floor. Animate has multiple floors that carter to otaku interests.

At home inside Hinata’s small apartment, he dresses up as a butler and she dresses up as a cute maid. Their small talk and arguments are that of anime and manga characters. Hinata wishes he could understand her otaku nature but it is baffling to him. He tries to accept it because his love for Yoriko is so strong. How long can they live together speaking as characters? Does this relationship have any chance to grow? Will Hinata’s normal friends still hang out with him as Yoriko changes him into an otaku?

These and many more questions are answered in this humorous romantic comedy about two people in love and the other must accepts his partner’s interest no matter how strange and weird they appear at first glance.

The only problem I had with How To Date An Otaku Girl is that towards the end it shifts into a serious movie and loses its comedy. I don’t mind the dramatic scenes but the funny scenes from the beginning should have continued towards the ending.

Still a quality movie to watch and a brief look at a fascinating Japanese subculture, the fujoshi, that continues to grow as more women enter the workforce and have money to spend on hobbies.

Highly Recommended

4 out of 5 Stars

"The Asian Aperture" is ©2013 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2013 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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