Manga-ka: Rize Shinba
Publisher: Yen Press
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: May 2011
Synopsis: “Lady Luck may have smiled upon fresh-faced college student Taiga Mutou in the form of his cute coworker Yuiko agreeing to go out with him. But little did he know that this particular lady was rotten through and through! When the couple’s first Christmas rolls around, Taiga decides to tutor a schoolboy for some extra cash. Only Yuiko’s fujoshi filter seems to have rubbed off on Taiga more than he ever anticipated, and now he’s seeing his new part-time gig in a whole new light?! Can Taiga hang on to the job, or will his Christmas plans be thwarted by his own fully ripe and rotten tendencies — not to mention Mr. Perfect, Kashiwabari, who still wants Yuiko for himself?!”
Yuiko is still a geek, specifically a huge boys’ love geek. The facets of her and Taiga’s individual personalities haven’t changed much since the beginning which makes the frustrating nature of their relationship a continued fault. Seeing as how the book is based almost entirely around this, you can see the problem. Some quirks are still entertaining though, and some occasional circumstances sweet, but they only just manage to balance out the moments that just painful – or as in this volume, even a little creepy.
One of my favourite parts of this third volume was also the one that left me feeling a bit uneasy. Having now spent a fair while as Yuiko’s boyfriend, Taiga has learned more than he’d ever want to know about the genre of boys’ love. From ukes to semes and all their more cliched interactions, like it or not (and it’s obviously not), he’s got these notions constantly in his mind. So, when he takes a job tutoring a junior high student, ‘Sebas-chan’ – Taiga’s nickname thanks to Yukio – sees his adorable bright-eyed and polite young student, and instantly knows that he’s the seme and the kid’s the uke. He’s even awkward because of it, even going so far as to imagine a scenario: “Sensei, will you teach me physical education?”. He never envisions anything past an opening line like this, but it did rub me the wrong way that he’d think it of such a young boy because of the yaoi-loving nature of his girlfriend.
At the same time, I completely understand it. You can’t control what you think, only what you act upon and he definitely has no thought or desire to act upon these ideas. They come to him almost like an action comes to a trained dog. It brings another level of realism to the story that I think many, myself included, could relate to and not simply on the topic of boys’ love. I also like that Taiga knew well enough to keep his job a secret from Yuiko so as to avoid the inappropriate badgering that would definitely come of her finding out.
Thankfully this volume offers up a new character to provide a little distraction from Yuiko. Previously we’d been introduced to Taiga’s best friend, Kouji, and here in the third book we learn he has a little sister. Small world as it is, his sister, Kaoru, is good friends with Yuiko. After being introduced by Yuiko herself as her girlfriend, the two hit up the huge doujinshi event Comiket together while Taiga and his friends work on filming. The most satisfying part of the book without question was seeing Taiga put his foot down and refuse to go to the event despite his girlfriend’s pleading. It proves again that the parts of the series I enjoy most are when things aren’t going Yuiko’s way, such as how I don’t mind her as much when she’s awkwardly trying to escape her bosses’ determined advances.
All said and done though, I still like reading My Girlfriend’s A Geek for the same reason I have since the beginning. I really like how Taiga is written for; he feels like a believable guy that you can sympathize with if you’ve ever dealt with someone who takes their hobbies too far. He’s got the patience of a God and he needs it for Yuiko who is relentless in her obsession. It’s all she ever seems to want to talk about and everything leads back to it, completely oblivious of the feelings of those around her. She drives me nuts and I’m constantly left wondering why Taiga is still with her, even when she does cater to his fetishes for once. It’s still fun reading a story full of in-jokes about fandom and boys’ love but Yuiko’s pushiness is a continued reminder of what you look like when you don’t take care to respect those around you, and though perhaps educational, it doesn’t always end up being the best entertainment.
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Book bought from Strange Adventures