My Lovesick Life as a 90s Otaku Volume 2: More To It



The cover for the second volume of My Lovesick Life as a 90s Otaku

When I first picked up My Lovesick Life as a 90s Otaku, I genuinely expected something that was more about a comical depiction of the struggles of Otaku and the world around them. This second volume has done a lot to flip the script on that initial perception, and proves itself a very worthwhile read. Of course, it still sticks close to that light nature, and loves to make references and revel in the enjoyment of self-purported otakudom still, so it’s not like it’s suddenly a doom and gloom series by any means.

Anyways, enough waffling around. This second volume is very enjoyable, and solves the question of longevity between our ever lovable otaku Meggers, and the yankii-slash-school president Masamune. It brings a surprising degree of drama and challenge into the volume that I at the very least didn’t expect. With how much focus Memui (aka Meggers) got in the first volume, I wasn’t really expecting to see both potential romances in Masamune and Itokichi see such progression. Of course, though the manga might be titled My Lovesick Life as a 90s Otaku, it doesn’t meant that it’s impossible to develop characters. I suppose to make a long story short, Memui’s character was incredibly strong in the first volume so I was really expecting to see such strong development from the supporting characters so quickly.

That said, the source of that development is very interesting. I really love how Nicholson is playing Masamune and Itokichi off of one another, and how vague it’s been left as to which (if either) became Memui’s husband for a time. Both have their shortcomings and challenges, which alongside Memui’s own, would make a committed relationship a real challenge on both ends, and those traits are displayed very well. Masamune has had to fend for himself for a very long time, so the idea of depending on another appears as a real challenge for him, and the ability to desire things for his own isn’t something that really occurs to him. Conversely, Itokichi has led a much more sheltered life, and while he’s happy to depend on and understand another, his world is noticeably warped in a way that would challenge Memui. Together, the pair of boys occupy two sides of the same coin, which Memui is in turn flipping to see who she ends up with.

Though that’s enough about love, right? After all Otaku is also part of My Lovesick Life as a 90s Otaku, so let’s go there next. I think the idea of what an Otaku really is, is something that remains foreign to a lot of Western fans, especially those that have only been engaging with recent material. I’m incredibly tempted to launch into how Otaku came to be perceived in the sort of light that Memui alludes to, thanks to things like the Otaku Killer, as well as the emergence of the concept of lolicon, but I’ll save that for later. The point is that the concept of being an otaku is a gradient, and is typically reflected through traditional social and beauty standards- but as Nicholson depicts, is not always the case.

Getting to the heart of it, Masamune’s mother is shown to be an incredible degree of Otaku, to the point that she’s all but forsaken her family. It adds a great deal to Masamune’s character motivations, making them much more believable, and leaving Memui in a far tougher position. Associate with otaku and be likened to Masamune’s mother, or attempt to destroy a facet of her existence for a singular boy. Because of that, you can really feel Nicholson setting up for Itokichi’s interjection into the status quo that’s slowly been forming with this second volume. The idea of otaku in the minds of characters like Masamune is beginning to shift, and by throwing an Itokichi-shaped wrench into the equation, we’ll get to see moments that more directly challenge Memui and her love of anime and manga.

So at the end of the day, I’m very comfortable in say that it’s a very engaging read, and that it aims far deeper than I had originally expected it to (as I said above). There’s a lot more than meets the eye with the story, and the use of the present day to both contextualize and obfuscate the past is really intelligently used. I think the story might be a touch too grating for those that don’t quite have the… “experience”, to match Memui’s tale, but for those that have a better understanding of Otaku and their lives, it’s an impressively worthwhile read that I didn’t think I’d be getting. Also, I didn’t really mention it, but the art is very fun and expressive. It’s an all around good read, but of course that’s why I’d want to talk about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.