My Girlfriend's a Geek, Vol. 1
written by Pentabu
illustrated by Rize Shinba
College student Taiga Mutou’s lifelong ambition is to date an older woman. So when he sees the adorable Yuiko Ameya through a shop window advertising for a part-time employee, he jumps at the opportunity. Yuiko seems like the perfect girl—pretty, smart, and industrious—a dream come true, in short. And although it’s a bit slow going at first, sooner rather than later Taiga has befriended Yuiko. However, when he finally works up the courage to confess his feelings to her, she confesses something to him in turn: Yuiko is an otaku. More specifically, she is a fujoshi. Taiga doesn’t know what that means, and it doesn’t deter him from becoming her boyfriend. Little does he know that the fun has just begun.
Now that Yuiko is not afraid to show Taiga her true nature, it’s as if he’s dating a completely different person. She talks about her favorite manga series constantly, but Taiga, who reads the same series, can hardly understand what she is going on about. She also has bizarre flights of fancy, imagining Taiga desperately in love with his best (male) friend. And when she learns about his interest in writing, she begs him to write her some yaoi. What is yaoi, you ask? Well, it’s the meat and potatoes of the fujoshi lifestyle…and it’s all about boys having intimate relations with other boys. What in the world has Taiga gotten himself into?!
Based upon a light novel of the same name, itself in turn based upon a supposedly true blog by Pentabu, My Girlfriend’s a Geek is a laugh out loud funny romantic comedy for the fujoshi set. As the manga was originally serialized in the boy’s love (BL) magazine B’s LOG Comics, it’s clear that this story was intended for geeky girls like Yuiko, not ordinary guys like Taiga desperately trying to untangle the myriad mysteries of their one and only. Of course, that doesn’t mean that this series is “fujoshi-only”—quite the contrary—but it helps if you know that the first volume is a smart exercise in dramatic irony.
In other words, while Yuiko’s fantasizing is funny, Taiga’s horrified reactions are even funnier, and the pleasure is in seeing how Taiga reacts to his new girlfriend’s “rotten” thoughts. From Taiga’s (and Pentabu’s) point of view, the story is about mapping out the unknown terrain of the fujoshi who is his girlfriend, but from the point of view of this manga, the story is about the boy who stays—even when his girlfriend is trying to decide whether or not he’s the “seme” (top) or the “uke” (bottom) in hypothetical homoerotic relationships.
Rize Shinba’s art is the buttercream icing on this fujoshi confectionary. A veteran BL artist herself with a penchant for a distinctive brand of sarcastic humor, she and the My Girlfriend’s a Geek franchise is a match made in manga heaven. Shinba provides the story with pitch-perfect shoujo stylings and a trendy BL sensibility. All in all, the series is so good that you hope that Taiga and Yuiko will be together forever—if only so that their romantic hijinks never end. Highly recommended.