Not quite what people may expect from the title but it’s a cute movie anyway. ? Will
This is the story of how one man learns to deal with his new girlfriends interest in yaoi and butler cafes.
Starring ? Shunsuke Daito, Yuta Furukawa, Satoshi Hino, Wakana Matsumoto
Everything I had read about this movie before watching wasn’t exactly flattering. Most people seemed put off by it and complained that it wasn’t what they were expecting although I don’t recall reading what they were expecting. I had assumed that a film with a title like this would involve watching an actual otaku girl. Someone of the fairer sex who had a possibly unhealthy interest in all things anime (or video games, manga and so on). That’s really only partly true for the movie and a good portion of it is dedicated to the actual relationship between the two lead characters and not the girls otaku tendencies.
I haven’t gotten caught up on my teachings of the Japanese language so trying to decipher just who was playing the leads wasn’t working. I know someone out there could let me in on it so I’ll wait patiently to find out. In the meantime I can at least offer up a synopsis. Hinata is a young man who has started dating Yoriko but before they can get things going she warns him that she’s a ‘fujoshi’. Basically she’s a very big fan of boy-love manga and butler cafes. Hinata doesn’t really understand but is quickly caught up in her world. At first he’s a little embarrassed by it all but soon begins to accept, and even embrace, Yoriko’s interests. Just as things are getting comfortable for the two lovers, Yoriko has an opportunity to move to England for her job and she’s now caught between her dreams and her new love.
Hinata isn't sure what Yoriko's interests are really all about just yet.
I haven’t seen a lot of Asian romance films before and I tend to stick to the more bloody flicks coming out of Japan. This comes not only from my love of everything gory but the fact that every time I hear about a romance film out of Japan it always seems to involve some terrible disease or death that just sounds really depressing. How To Date An Otaku Girl is certainly a lot lighter in that area than anything I’ve heard of before and I don’t think anyone will be left crying like a baby by the end. It’s fun and lighthearted and has enough anime references to fulfill the otaku part of its title.
The first half of the film would be in the comedy category as Hinata tries to deal with Yoriko and her strange obsessions like yaoi comics or butler cafes. There’s also plenty of scenes with Yoriko staring wide-eyed, heart fluttering, as she dreams of weird boy-love moments involving Hinata or my favorite one when she dreams of Char from the Gundam series. The second half of the film is the straight up romantic part as anything involving otaku culture seems to be forgotten in exchange for the story of Yoriko deciding whether to leave her new love for her dream job.
Hinata eventually shares Yoriko's otaku interests.
Maybe it’s the second half that is throwing people off. I expected a little more in the otaku department for the story so it can be a bit odd when it’s basically forgotten in the second half. The story is very sweet though so I’m not sure why anyone would be put off of the film. There are a few problems though and I always wonder if something is lost in translation when I’m watching an Asian flick. We learn that the couple has been together for around 2 years but I never would have imagined that. To me it seemed more like a few months at the most. This makes the decision for Yoriko a little confusing. I thought it wasn’t much of a decision for a couple of only a few months. Knowing they have been together for 2 years changes that though. Of course I didn’t realize that until well after she must choose to stay or leave.
The fact that it’s a very light romance film may also be turning people off of the story. I wasn’t looking for something super sappy or mushy so it was just the right amount of romance for me. Instead of leaving the audience swooning for such an exotic romance you’ll probably be more in the ‘AWWWWW’ category. It’s more a romance for the teeny bopper set and not the adults. That’s a little more in my territory as it’s more of an innocent love story instead of a passionate (and usually sweaty) one. Overall it’s a nice, sweet story with a few anime references thrown in for the geeks like me out there.