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My Girlfriend is a Geek by Pentabu [novel]


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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
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Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City

PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:02 pm Reply with quote
Recently I picked this novel up, partially, I'll admit, because I want to support the publication of light novels. (Or heck, any novels.) As I read it, I found myself getting more and more annoyed. The format didn't bother me, really. If you haven't read it, the novel is written as if it were a blog, with time and date stamps and varying font size. The characters' names are never used - the heroine is "Y-ko," for example - and overall it tries to give the impression of nonfiction. I don't know how true that is or if Pentabu is just trying to cash in on the Train Man thing. In any event, while the format took some getting used to, that wasn't my real issue. My problem was that

the heroine really annoyed me.

(And that's how it would be written in the book, not me being obnoxious.) (Ok, maybe a little obnoxious.)

As the story went on, I found Y-ko's total disregard for her boyfriend's feelings more and more off--putting. She calls him "Sebas" against his wishes (in reference to a butler), she categorizes him as an uke or a seme, which I have to think would make a straight guy uncomfortable (and the text implies that it does), and generally makes herself unlikable. The hero (nominally Pentabu) puts up with it while voicing his concerns to the Internet, which I have to say didn't endear him to me either. Basically I felt like I was reading supposed comedy about an abusive relationship between annoying people.

So, my question is - am I alone here? Has anyone else read this and do you have an opinion? (And is the manga any better?)
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lys



Joined: 24 Jun 2004
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Location: mitten-state

PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:41 pm Reply with quote
I've only seen a preview of the novel, but I read v1 of the manga and found it hilarious. However, I've seen at least one review of the manga with the same opinion as you on the main characters, here (the discussion in the comments there is interesting too). So it's not just you, anyway.

(also, the way you copied the book's formatting for your post made me laugh :D)
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:15 pm Reply with quote
Thanks for the review link! That reviewer pretty much expressed how I felt - which, I suppose, answers the question of whether the manga is different from the novel. So now I'm curious, Lys - have you read Fujoshi Rumi? (I think the original title was Mousou Shoujo Otaku Kei.) What did you think of that one? The first volume I got a lot of chuckles out of, but by midway through the second Rumi and Yoko were starting to grate on me.

(And I'm glad you liked my format joke!)
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lys



Joined: 24 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:33 pm Reply with quote
I haven't read Fujoshi Rumi (outside of maybe a chapter online, years ago), but the comparisons between the titles make me curious. I think I was more interested in Geek because I had the impression it was aimed at female readers more than Rumi—both are narrated by guys (right?) but Geek seems like it's got an "inside [fandom]" perspective rather than "outside." I wonder if that's just because of Rize Shinba's shoujo-y artwork and experience as a BL mangaka?
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dormcat
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:09 pm Reply with quote
I own both volumes of the novel, all five volumes of the manga, as well as all published volumes of Fujoshi Rumi. Annoying and bossy heroines are very common in East Asian romantic comedies (see Haruhi Suzumiya and My Sassy Girl), and in most families the wife has the control of household income and expenses, so we are pretty used to it.

By the way, I'm probably the only straight male I know in person who don't mind girls fantasizing me as a BL manga/novel character. Cool
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
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Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City

PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:59 pm Reply with quote
Lys: Yes, both series are narrated by a male, but Rumi is more open - you get some of everyone's thoughts and it's a generally lighter tone with more erection and boob jokes. If I had to guess, I'd say it was skewed younger than Girlfriend. I don't know that I'd call one inside and the other outside (wow, that could be weird new fujoshi terminology...), though. I think it may just be a case of different audiences.

Dormcat: Ok, I can buy cultural differences, but I'm not sure that's the only reason. I mean, isn't there a line between "annoying and bossy" and "total bitch?" (I couldn't finish the second Haruhi novel because of her treatment of Mikuru.) Maybe I'm just being too sensitive. After all, there are plenty of Western heroines who also fit the annoying and bossy role - Carla from "Scrubs," Freya from Slightly Scandalous, and Emma from Jane Austen's novel of the same name all come to mind, and at least two of the three I thoroughly dislike. So maybe the line I mentioned is more one of perception than anything else and I'm just rambling because I don't want to grade any more papers.

And you must be the most secure man on the planet. Wink
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Nothing Noble



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:12 pm Reply with quote
Oh I'm kinda sad that people might not like it! I wanted to read this and I think I still might. Isn't her personality supposed to be overbearing? I don't know but I like characters like Emma so maybe this will be right up my alley?
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Princess_Irene



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:26 pm Reply with quote
I'd say so. Smile Personally (and as I'm going to guess you figured out), I can't stand Emma-the-character, though the novel is good. (Jane Austen herself doubted whether anyone would like her, although most people assume she's talking about Fanny Price from Mansfield Park when they read the quote out of context.*) Y-ko IS supposed to be overbearing, and if you don't find that as obnoxious as I do (and I really suspect I'm in the minority here), then I think you should give the book a try.


*Defend Fanny Price and Mansfield Park! Annoying Literature Rant Here!
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Nothing Noble



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:52 pm Reply with quote
I think I'll try it but I like Fanny Price as well. I guess if I don't like I just won't read any more of it? I'm just starting to read the novels and I'm so glad they are coming to the US Smile
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dormcat
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:53 am Reply with quote
Princess_Irene wrote:
I mean, isn't there a line between "annoying and bossy" and "total bitch?"

IIRC Y-ko spoiler[dressed herself in pink nurse uniform, with mini skirt and cat ears, to celebrate Christmas with Pentabu.] Not many men would complain, would they? Wink

Princess_Irene wrote:
And you must be the most secure man on the planet. Wink

That's hardly a compliment... Anime catgrin + sweatdrop
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Princess_Irene



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:54 am Reply with quote
dormcat wrote:

That's hardly a compliment... Anime catgrin + sweatdrop


It's not? It was intended to be! I meant that you were secure enough in your masculinity that you didn't feel emasculated by homoerotic fantasies, something that most men of my acquaintance would shrivel up about. Sorry!!

Nothing Noble: Another Fanny Price fan! That makes me so happy...
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dormcat
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:11 pm Reply with quote
Princess_Irene wrote:
dormcat wrote:

That's hardly a compliment... Anime catgrin + sweatdrop

It's not? It was intended to be! I meant that you were secure enough in your masculinity that you didn't feel emasculated by homoerotic fantasies, something that most men of my acquaintance would shrivel up about. Sorry!!

Oh, I see. The word "secure" has more than one meaning. Anime smile + sweatdrop

I'm probably one of those "herbivore men" (not the same of vegetarian) in Japanese media: heterosexual but not as predatory ("carnivore") in romantic relationships as traditional societies expect men to behave.
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poonk



Joined: 05 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:35 am Reply with quote
While I've not read the light novel, I did pick up v01 of the manga and nothing about it inspired me to continue with the series in either form. I bought it on impulse after reading a positive review and thought that maybe, being a fujoshi-type myself, I'd be able to relate to the character and enjoy the humor. But the titular character just isn't my type of fangirl. Besides mainly slashing shonen heroes (not my thing as I see it as too much work for too little return; I like the BL to be the focal point, not in the subtext) she also has similar tendencies about acquaintances in her real life, including her poor would-be boyfriend. That's just too obnoxious and unrealistic for me. Seriously, I don't know any fans who fantasize about pairing up people they actually know. If I were the protagonist I'd seriously question whether or not she really liked me romantically or was just using me as fantasy fodder. She seems a bit out of touch with reality, frankly.

dormcat wrote:
I'm probably one of those "herbivore men" (not the same of vegetarian) in Japanese media: heterosexual but not as predatory ("carnivore") in romantic relationships as traditional societies expect men to behave.
Good for you. I'm really tired of seeing the term being used disparagingly, especially as a reason for Japan's low birthrate. The way I see it, the so-called herbivore men know they don't need to "hunt"; the ladies will find them instead. Anime catgrin
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dormcat
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:49 pm Reply with quote
poonk wrote:
Good for you. I'm really tired of seeing the term being used disparagingly, especially as a reason for Japan's low birthrate. The way I see it, the so-called herbivore men know they don't need to "hunt"; the ladies will find them instead. Anime catgrin

Thanks. I've seen similar accusations outside Japan as well. You know what's the real cause of Japan's low birthrate? Women who have oxymoronic demands: they want their men work around the clock to buy them new Louis Vuitton bags every birthday, have sweet tongues (including lies) to please them ("carnivore" traits), AND share house chores, respect their opinions, with no ex-marital affairs, etc. ("herbivore" traits). Many men know they can never achieve those standards so they turn themselves to LovePlus+.
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:40 pm Reply with quote
Not to pick a fight, but don't you think that the oxymoronic demands might stem from the changes in what's socially acceptable/available for women? I mean, within a relatively short amount of time, women have gone from having to marry and have babies to having the option to marry and have babies. I realize the option is more accepted in the west, but it regardless it makes for a lot of mixed messages that we (women) pass on to men, whether it's intentional or inadvertent.
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