I, Otaku Volume 1
That is the rallying cry on the fresh back cover of Seven Seas’ newest manga, I, Otaku (Struggle in Akihabara). Great and all if you are a fan of, say, Comic Party. If not… well… somehow I don’t think you’re suddenly going to become an instant convert if you aren’t already a fan, especially if I were to use this title as the litmus test of your future interest in the genre. Of course if you don’t mind walking the wild side, and want to read something whose humor is like a sharp curved blade of Kratos’ tride and true people openers to your gut then you might find I, Otaku to be the fresh new your collection needs.
Sota had a bad experience in his past with his obsession over dog eared female anime cutie “Papico”, and it totally drove him away from the disturbing art of fandom ever since… well, at least as far as him becoming a secretive “fan” while trying to be ultra cool on the outside.
Yeah, if you see the coming context of the volume before I say it to you, and the sound I’m hearing IS the sound of the enamel in your head grinding so tightly I swear sparks are coming out of your ears… yeah, maybe that is a good sign that this isn’t for you. However if you feel all giddy about the possibilities I am about to lay out to you then stop reading this and buy now. You’re ready for this is just hinting at the madness to comes excites you.
During a “fateful” trip to Akihabara, Sota finds himself walking into a strange shop he never seen before (often a trademark of series like this, followed by the fact that said “owner” of mysteriously appearing shop always has some venomously psycho quirk about him/her that should require a restraining order to straighten out, or at least keep said person suitably away from you) he runs into a person who is seven crystals short a light saber, who seems to be downright insulted that Sota isn’t the crazed fan(atic) he seems to be, and makes it his life ambition to lure Sota to the Otaku Side (a side that even gives Emperor Palpatine the shivers and shakes)!
Oh, and the psycho store owner seems a few steps shy of being Law & Order : Special Victims Unit pervo as he seems to have this fit over Sota having a girlfriend (or once if he didn’t manage to drive her away during this whole volume), and that Otaku can only love 2-dimensional women… (amongst the many other disturbing things he does in his first so many pages of intro including kissing a TV, fighting for Sota with Sota’s soon to be ex-girlfriend, and -- yeah… I can almost hear the ridicule as Richard Belzer and Ice-T talk… oh, wait, scratch that. Back to the review.
(Law & Order dramatic sound effect)
Yeah. Fine. Talk about a nitche audience title that I don’t seem to fall into.
I’m sure if I fostered and actual sense of humor in myself, or could enjoy titles like Comic Party (which I don’t) I would actually like this title… but does it make it a bad title?
No. No it doesn’t.
If you are a fan of such titles like Comic Party and need a fresh new fix to go with your usual Comic Party fix then you’ll be adding this title to your arsenal of reads. As far as the genre goes it looks like it is a solid addition to the whole genre set, and I’m sure it’ll be that fresh new read you’ve been waiting for to get you going between readings of Comic Party.
Stand alone? Hmm… actually I don’t see why not.
Does Comic Party have a strong female cast? That is probably the only thing I, Otaku lacks (female cast strength). Also at times the title just seems to have issues over the “burden” carried by the modern day Otaku for his “sin” of being a tride and true fan of his favorite series. I mean, well, really… get over it already! The lack of ability to accept ridicule from peers, the madness to get every last piece of merchandise for your “Goddess” (whatever character she may be), the strangely obese large fat store patrons who seem to creep you out with their attitude and personal belief system… yeah, this isn’t a mayo coat of fan boy Kryptonite, it’s enough to choke Comet the Super Horse! (And to think I didn’t mention the most disturbing parts of the first volume yet!)
Yeah, looking for some different read that isn’t afraid to really test your gut reflex and acceptance of all things extreme and a tad bit disturbing? Yeah, here you go, a title that takes you to the farthest reaches of what it means to be blooded Otaku, and then refuses to give you the bus fare back home.
Of course if you are allergic to things like Comic Party, or lack a really good sense of humor then you probably won’t like this. Your (and apparently my) lost it seems. Potential it should fill your need for hardcore fan boy antics in the worst way, but it’s not completely winning me over.
Still it gets it’s score and gets it well.
I, Otaku may have a Struggle on Akihabara, but it won’t here. It gets 4 Ultra Limited Edition Papico 1/6th vinyl figures (exclusive to the release of Papico the DVD Series Ultra Box Set) out of 5 willing Otaku ready to fight Russell Crowe in Gladiator style over the boxed sets.
Are you not pleased, Akihabara!! ARE YOU NOT PLEASED!!
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