What do you do if your girlfriend’s a geek? And not just any kind of geek—a fujoshi geek?
If you’re Pentabu, you write a blog about it.
My Girlfriend’s a Geek is a manga series, but it’s also a novel series. Both are released by Yen Press, and just to be clear from the beginning, this review deals with the first novel in the series. You can read about the manga series, illustrated by Rize Shinba, here and here.
One might think the novel and manga would be too similar, except for the obvious differences between comics and prose. Actually, while the basic idea is the same, and a few little stories carry over, quite a bit of the novel is unique.
Pentabu is dating a girl he calls Y-ko and is recording his various agonies on a blog. Some of the blog is written out like a script, while other parts almost look like prose poetry because of how the lines cut off at different lengths. Whenever he really needs to make his point (like when his girlfriend is SUPER EMBARRASSING) the font suddenly gets really big and bold. Some pages have small, boxed-in pictures at the bottom.
There’s not much of a beginning, middle and end. Instead, it’s composed of diary-like entries with Pentabu talking about Y-ko’s latest craziness. Now and then he expresses his love for her, or admits being lonely when she’s not around. Nevertheless, for the most part he complains about her so much you can’t help but wonder why they’re together.
Y-ko’s antics can be quite funny. I think non-otaku can enjoy this series, but its main fans will be otaku who are familiar with the lingo and culture. For instance, it’ll be an otaku who appreciates the humor of Y-ko marching into Otome Road with a two-wheeled cart because of how much BL she’s going to seize. She’s personally mortified that her boyfriend finds real girls more attractive than anime girls (how could he?!) and obsesses over what’s moe and what’s not.
Fans of the manga would probably enjoy the novel, and vice versa. I actually think the manga feels a bit tighter than the novel. The novel feels a little more scattered, whereas the manga feels as if it’s more planned out, and I think you get a feel of the characters better in the manga. In the novel, it’s all from Pentabu’s point-of-view, so it automatically has his bias. Still, the novel is a light and silly read.
Publisher: Yen Press