You Should Read “Shinozaki-san”

shinozaki1Shinozaki-san Ki wo OTAshika ni! (literally “Be Careful, You Might Become an Otaku, Shinozaki!”) is a manga by Shou Hikawa (better known as Saku Saku Tei in doujin circles) running in the magazine Comic Meteor. It tells the story of the titular character Akina Shinozaki as she struggles to get her cute otaku friend, Kaede Sasamura, out of her “unproductive” hobby. The catch is that Akina’s plan to get Kaede out of her obsession involves getting into the otaku culture herself, leading to a massive culture shock on Akina’s part. As Akina explores the unique world of otaku subculture, she finds herself slowly getting more and more obsessed with getting on Kaede’s good side rather than setting her on “the proper path.”

shinozaki2What makes Shinozaki-san a good read, at least so far, is that it’s somewhat similar to OreImo, minus the incest and the annoying plot progression. If there was one thing OreImo got right, it’s how it handled otaku. They’re no longer depicted as no-good scumbags who live in basements, but actual human beings. Shinozaki-san is no different. It doesn’t put otaku on a high pedestal, nor does it relagate them to be simply comic relief. They are characterized rather well, with actual personalities that make them deviate from your usual otaku stereotypes, and I’m not just talking about the main girl trio.There’s also an enjoyable amount of anime, manga and game references aboard, especially PreCure.

Another thing to like about it is the art. Of course, as with all things subject to perception, take this with a grain of salt. What I like about the art in this manga is that it’s generally pleasing to look at. It’s polished and well-drawn overall. The character designs are very nice and cute too, to put it lightly. What I’m trying to tell you is that the art of Shinozaki-san is one of my all-time favorites.

shinozaki3And of course, the most important part: the yuri. Shinozaki-san is by all means, a yuri manga. Akina’s almost unhealthy obsession with Kaede shows that much. One-sided it may seem to be, the yuri elements are tasteful for the most part, showing how Akina’s thoughts move from “how to get Kaede out of an otaku life” to “how to get Kaede to fall for me.” Of course, only time will tell if Kaede reciprocates, but I’m willing to go all in on a satisfying yuri ending.

So all in all, Shinozaki-san Ki wo OTAshika ni! is a very enjoyable manga about otaku life. Its lighthearted approach to how otaku are depicted in its story sheds more light into what really make otaku tick. Not to mention all those wonderful yuri moments and cute clothes (yes, I’m a sucker for that stuff). It should be a beneficial read, provided that you like yuri.

Note: As of this writing, seven chapters of Shinozaki-san are available to be read in English, plus one short bonus chapter. Shinozaki-san may change in a way that does not reflect the information in this post. Take that as you will.
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4 thoughts on “You Should Read “Shinozaki-san”

  1. *whistle* So I am not the only one who thinks that this is a good yuri manga. It’s very comedic (some part of it made me laugh so much I almost fell off my chair!) but at the same time,it’s not idiotic. I love how easily it is for Akina to switch from planning to “set Kaede on the right path” to “love-struck maiden mode”, she even got a whole new computer (with a top graphic card to boost) just to have the chance to get some physical contacts with Kaede! And of course, I Akina’s yuri-ish illusions are very tasteful too.
    All in all, this has been a good read so far. I hope that Akina will be able to accomplish her true objective in the end.

  2. You’re right in persisting me to read this one. It’s hilarious. I kinda feel bad for onii-chan. Poor guy can’t catch a break (Chapter 2 as of this reply). Seeing Akina’s descent into madness for the sake of her crush is most amusing so far. Both her dedication and her eyes being oepened to the magical world of anime, gaming and other stuff is glorious.

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