I watch and read a lot of Shounen manga and anime. I love them, they are action packed and sometimes aren’t too bad with characters and plot so they keep my attention. That being said, I’m not against Shoujo anime/manga, but after a while they all start blending together. Girl A is in love with Boy A, but due to unusual circumstances they can’t be together (probably cause she’s disguised, in a different social class, tsundere, or a cat or something.)
Then you add support characters and an extra guy or girl to give the main character competition and >BAM< you got a Shoujo. I can’t relate to these high school girls dressing up like guys, or worrying about makeup and senpai!! You know what I can relate to though? Jellyfish.
Perhaps I should elaborate, if you couldn’t tell already, I’m a nerd. I’m also a female. This is something mangakas have a hard time illustrating without applying heavy makeup and little clothes so the average female protagonist is going to be a normal girl (most likely in school uniform) or a really sexy, cool chick who can kick ass. And I guess those archetypes are fine, but I’m not that type of person. While I do worry about how I look or what people think of me it’s not the thought at the forefront of my mind 24/7, I worry about whether Nintendo Power is really going to shut down or how downhill the Metal Gear Saga is going. So when I started watching Kuragehime I immediately loved the characters.
Kuragehime is about the Amars, a group of NEET women who practically live life like a nunnery and have nothing in common other than the fact that they are all obsessive nerds. Older men, trains, kimonos, and jellyfish are just a few of the obsessions, but practically every character has their own little quirks that make them unique and fun to watch.
These are people that I can relate to! People who love something so much that they devote a great chunk of their time to it. That burning devotion and aspiration to become or do something is what makes this manga so good. When you feel that burning fire in your soul and know that another person has felt the same way a bond is made even if the passion isn’t for the same activity!
Although the story is about the same as a family movie ( The Amars have to raise money or else their home will be destroyed to make room for a luxury hotel) The characters are what really make this anime. I’m not saying it makes any radical changes to the Shoujo formula, but for once I see actual nerd girls and I don’t think they’re posing hipsters. It’s a refreshing breath of air from Skip Doki High School or whatever bland Shoujo is out there right now.
-Karinacus is tired of wondering if senpai will ever notice her
P.S. I’m not going to go into the story cause it’s not done yet, but I really hope it doesn’t destroy my respect for the female characters