Publisher: Yen Pres
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Volume 2 explores the different relationships our game creator has with his peers. Tomoya finally gets his game off the ground but ends up making his friendships quite complicated. It also goes without saying that his game has a long way to go before it begins to shape up into anything more than a vision. As Tomoya attempts to make Megumi more moe, he begins to fall for her in the toughest way. He hates her but likes her all at the same time. In the meanwhile, as Megumi begins to take her role as the dating sim heroine more seriously, the rest of the team feels fired up and joins in on her efforts. Tomoya’s lead writer, Utaha exhausts herself physically and mentally to write the story. Unfortunately, the vision she has for the game is far different from what Tomoya had in mind, causing both of them to lose their cool. Can Tomoya get his vision back on track?
While very little happens in way of creating the dating sim, we have the opportunity to learn a lot about dynamics between the small cast of characters. We already know Tomoya is a total Otaku with all of the socially awkward behaviors you would expect. In this volume he attempts to understand Megumi and even ventures out of the safety of his world to go to the mall. While going to the mall may not seem like a big deal, it’s a very big issue for someone who isn’t around a lot of people who don’t care about anime and manga. To put it more frankly, Tomoya doesn’t know how to interact with normal people.
That brings me to Megumi, who seems to be a huge problem for Tomoya and his game crew because she’s not moe enough nor does she share the same conviction for the game that everyone else does. This makes sense, of course, because Megumi was pulled into the project by Tomoya because he believed she would make the perfect heroine for a dating sim. This also ties into the title of the series, How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend, because in a sense, Tomoya is trying to mold the boring Megumi according to his ideas of what a girlfriend should be. I’m fairly confident that there isn’t anything wrong with Megumi – I think Tomoya never noticed her simply because he is a self-absorbed Otaku. He wouldn’t have reason to notice someone who doesn’t share his interests. Megumi is as ordinary as they come and I don’t mean ordinary as in boring. I simply mean she has normal interests (going to the mall, for example) as opposed to having Otaku hobbies. Tomoya has issues interacting with her because she isn’t an Otaku. We know he can interact with girls because his lead writer is female.
Utaha is an interesting character – she’s already established as a novelist and can crank out stories very easily. While we aren’t let on too much about the quality of her work (except through the eyes of Tomoya), we know that she can’t confirm to the standards of others. She writes a story for Tomoya’s dating sim that doesn’t at all seem like it could work for any simulation game. It’s outrageous and would be more suited to a JRPG. What makes Utaha interesting is that she’s described as quiet and sharp, but she’s far from silent. She’s vocal and knows how to use a pen. She also understands that Megumi needs to take the dating sim more seriously if they’re ever going to use her as the model for the game.
I feel that this series has too much in common with Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-kun. Since I am following both of these series at the same time, I actually have some difficulty distinguishing them in my brain when I don’t have the volumes in front of me. I think enough development happened in this volume that I can finally get a feel for the characters and where the story is going. Since this is only the second volume in the series, I definitely think there is a lot of potential for this series. I am glad the author isn’t rushing the story or bombarding the reader with tons of characters. I can focus on a few people at a time and really get to know them, which is a huge bonus during a time when many writers are cramming a lot into their chapters.
Definitely jump into this series if you haven’t already.
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**This item was provided for review.