Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Girlfriend's a Geek Volume 2

By Rize Shinba and Pentabu. Released in Japan as "Fujoshi Kanojo" by Enterbrain, serialized in the magazine Comic B's Log. Released in North America by Yen Press.

This series continues to be very good at catering to its very specific audience. I'm not really one of them, but having been in fandom for so long I can definitely appreciate what it's trying to say. The relationship between Taiga and Yuko may be tortuous to read, but it's also very true to life. Taiga is constantly worrying about his relationship, wondering if he's making it all up in his head, wondering if Yuko even likes him for himself, or finds him attractive in ways that don't involve him being with other guys. But he never brings it up to her. Why? SHE MIGHT ANSWER. This is why I don't really have any issues with the abuse heaped on Taiga in this series - he brings much of it on himself.

As for Yuko, she's still a cipher, but is gaining some more good qualities. Good in the sense that they make her more interesting, not necessarily making her a better person. She gains a couple of fujoshi friends, and we see her irritation with a co-worker. The second in particular is amusing, as she dislikes the man intensely, but her reactions convince Taiga that he has a new rival for his love. The closest we get to any confirmation of her feelings for Taiga is in the first chapter, when, after noting she lied about her computer being broken so she could use Taiga's better one, also admits with a blush that she wanted to see his apartment. Little steps.

There's plenty of humor here, of course, mostly dealing with the fujoshi lifestyle. It's still the main reason to read the book. There's never really going to be any BL payoff, and no one is reading this for sexy romantic confessions between the leads, so instead you have the comedy. My favorites in this volume are detailing the proper way to play the galge she's brought over, discussing how she plays fighting games to hear the guys scream as they're punched, her face every time Taiga does something that makes her imagine him in BL situations, and the final gag about Comic B's Log not being a BL magazine (which is true, but that's like saying Wings is not a BL magazine).

Taiga can be very frustrating. He really hasn't made much of an effort to get to know his girlfriend, mostly as he fears what will happen every time he asks her something, thinking it will be devoted to her hobbies. Most likely it will. But that doesn't mean he has to treat her as some sort of blank slate. It's especially annoying as we see that he is able to read her pretty well - one look at the cast of the galge and he can guess who her favorite characters are. If he wants to get any further in this relationship than 'chew toy', he should really be more proactive.

In nay case, I do recommend this to fans of character-based comedy, especially if you're a yaoi fangirl, or know someone who is. Seeing Taiga suffer is just fun.

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