My Lovesick Life as a ‘90s Otaku, Vol. 1

­Kodansha. (My Lovesick Life as a ‘90s Otaku). Nov. 2023. 176p. tr. from Japanese by Matt Treyvaud . pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781646518814.
Gr 7 Up–When Megumi starts at a new school, she’s determined to begin her new life on her own terms, and in the 1990s, that means having to hide her shameful otaku ways. In 2021, Megumi can’t believe her teenage daughter can hang out with a popular-looking friend and leave the house wearing anime merch! While readers see pieces of Megumi’s present-day life, the majority of the story follows her teenage self as she navigates high school, trying not to be a shoujo manga heroine. Of course, she still finds herself crushing on the basketball-playing, handsome class president; hiding her artistic skills from her classmates; and having a lack of fashion sense. Nicholson adds plenty of hilarious, cartoony details to help readers see and feel Megumi’s constant struggle. Interesting font choices spark occasional confusion between what is inner dialogue and Megumi’s outer confessions, but it’s nothing readers won’t be able to navigate overall.
VERDICT This fun title may inspire conversation between current teens who openly love anime and manga, and their otaku parents who had similar journeys to Megumi's.

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