I Fell for a Fujoshi
腐ってても君が好き (Kusattetemo Kimi ga Suki)
Shoujo – Comedy, romance
1 Volume of 2 Volumes (ongoing)
Ichirou has noticed his childhood friend Tae has been acting differently around him. So what else could it be but blossoming feelings just like in romance manga for girls? Well, Tae is shy all right — shy about her newfound love for boys’ love comics! And now Tae has mistaken Ichirou for a fellow fan!
Fujoshi may literally mean “rotten girl”, but this manga certainly isn’t rotten.
Ichirou (aka Ichi) loves shoujo manga. He also has a female childhood friend named Tae. Now that they’re in high school, surely it’s time for their relationship to turn romantic. He as the male lead, she as the female lead, what could be more perfect than that?
However, Ichirou seems to have forgotten that every would-be couple in manga must first face challenges. For Ichirou, it’s getting Tae to realize his feelings — not just his feelings that he’s in love with her but also his feelings toward boys’ love manga. Which are, in fact, nonexistent, but Tae has misunderstood his confession to her as a confession of being a fudanshi (a male BL fan).
Well, fortunately, Ichirou has a wealth of knowledge to draw from in his battle for Tae’s heart. Unfortunately, all that knowledge is from shoujo manga.
I Fell for a Fujoshi‘s title pretty much explains it all — Ichirou is in love with a girl who has only BL on the brain. Tae, like Ichirou, has been a manga fan for a long time, but she’s recently fell down the BL wormhole. Ichirou doesn’t get her shipping characters and people in real life, but he’s liked her for so long that he doesn’t want to correct or question her. Instead, he decides to actually study up on the subject for Tae. But for one reason or another, Ichirou is often left disappointed or bewildered by her.
To his credit, Tae does make some suggestive or misleading statements. Who would drag someone away during breaktime just to ask which (real) person would be, shall we say, the more aggressive one in the relationship? And then the number of misunderstandings pile up even further.
However, Tae isn’t the only secret BL fan around. Aya, the aloof daughter of a rich family, is also in that club. Like Tae, Aya thinks their homeroom teacher (who loves video games in his off-time) and Yuu, Ichirou’s flirtatious best friend, are or should be in a relationship. Fellow classmate Momona is more into fashion and cute things.
The first volume ends just as the manga really establishes the expanded cast. Each chapter is 12-ish pages long, so neither super short nor super long. The manga starts off more episodic, and it will be interesting to see if continues to trend toward mini-arcs like the cafe outing and the upcoming class sports competition. It’s the cafe outing that provides the greatest evidence there is an actual story here in I Fell for a Fujoshi beyond just Ichirou getting yanked around. Aya, who claims she is satisfied with just online friends/fans thanks to the drawings she posts, starts to come out of her shell thanks to Tae and company. She looks as if she’ll be the most significant of the friend group beyond just being a fellow BL fan.
On the other hand, the teacher hasn’t done much besides trigger fujoshi imagination with the super friendly Yuu, but judging from where the volume ends, we might start seeing more of him and his love of gaming. I’m also interested to find out more about Yuu — does he just have fun playing into people’s fantasies? Just super outgoing? Clueless? Does he actually have a torch for Aya, or is treating her kindly because he noticed she was a loner? Lots of ways he could go.
No matter who he has feelings for, will have feelings for, or will never have feelings for, I do hope the BL fans like Tae and Aya move on from being a bit too interested in Yuu and the teacher. Yes, who is the bottom and who is the top is a common debate topic for fujoshi (at least in manga like this one), but the comedy is less funny when you realize they’re discussing hypotheticals about someone they know quite well or creating no-so-subtle OCs based on Yuu et al. Ichirou has a manga character he’s fond of (as his shoujo manga male lead inspiration), and I wish I Fell for a Fujoshi would either bring in another fake manga for shipping wars purposes or have Tae/Aya have their own BL alternative to Ryouma x the heroine. Yeah, this series is a comedy, and you’re not supposed to take it seriously, but for being manga fans, I would have expected Tae to share more of her favorite titles with Ichirou and collect more merchandise and stuff.
I do like how Ichirou is an actual shoujo manga fan though. Lots of romance titles featuring an otaku have their (prospective) partner having little interest in media, so this is a refreshing change. Tae being a recent BL addict is also on the unusual side, so we’ll just have to see if she morphs more into the stereotypical creepy girl for laughs or not. Right now, most of the comedy comes from Ichirou in mental turmoil, and I hope I Fell for a Fujoshi doesn’t wander too far away from its core setup. And despite his love for these innocent romance stories, he, as a self-proclaimed healthy teen, isn’t adverse to his life taking a spicier turn.
Still, neither the story nor the art looks like it’s going to get racy — well, maybe except for whatever manga and doujin the gang reads. But anyway, since there’s a bit of a parody nature to the story, it’s little surprise the character designs lean toward the standard. Ichirou tries to keep a cool face, but he often ends up staring into space from shock. Aya has that bossy class president look with her long black hair and stern expression. And so on. As a result of this and Ichirou’s wanting to imagine himself and Tae as romance protagonists, the in-universe manga characters don’t look a whole lot different from Ichirou and company. Not a huge issue. My biggest disappointment in the art comes from the gag expressions when characters are more to distance and in the background. They tend to look a bit stiff and wooden, which is especially noticeable in a bright, often flowery title like this one. But I do like the narrative asides that often poke fun at the characters, like one that says to skip some speech bubbles unless you care about shipping wars and another that reminds readers another misunderstanding is happening. But this is much like a 4-koma in full manga format with the jokes and tempo.
Honorifics are used. Western name order is used in the rest. A few footnotes are included. And though “fudanshi” for instance is explained, the manga assumes readers know some of the culture, from what BL is to only briefly covering top/bottom. I must have read an older version, as there were some differences between my review copy and the current online version. For instance, in the colored character intros, I saw some missing spaces and Japanese name order was used. The online version has been updated to remove the errors and switch to Western name order for consistency. The quick summaries behind the characters (like “gyaru”/”gal” for Momona) are skipped though. Otherwise, I don’t have much to say, as I’m sure there are other corrections in the story.
Cross Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun with Kiss Him, Not Me!, and you get I Fell for a Fujoshi. Between the two, it’s closer to Nozaki-kun in terms of atmosphere and with its romantic misunderstandings and fun friends, so if you enjoyed that series, read this one and vice versa. I just wish the in-universe fiction would be brought to the forefront a little more instead of the biggest ship for the BL fans so far in the story is between a (friend/acquaintance) student and teacher.
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