I can’t really remember how I stumbled onto this manga, but I don’t regret it! For those not in the know, fujioshi is the Japanese word for female geeks, strutting around at home in bare essentials with mussed hair, possibly glasses and zero sense of hygiene. <Who me? No way!>
Switch Girl!! is a story about such a girl. The official mangafox.me summary reads:
“TAMIYA Nika is a beautiful, outgoing, popular high school girl. She has just the right look, just the right fashions, and is everyone’s friend. What everyone at school does not know is how hard Nika works to keep up this perfect image, and what she is REALLY like at home. When not at school, Nika is a scary, sloppy, tight-fisted girl who wears glasses, an ugly sweatsuit, and has her hair pulled back into unattractive buns. She lays around playing video games and reading manga. Her attitude is bossy and cranky, and she travels far out of her way to shop where she won’t be recognized.
Every day, Nika “Switches On” with a strict regimen of beautification that involves primping and plucking and careful dressing. The only person who knows about Nika’s Switched On/Off modes is her best friend, who is also aware of the reasons behind the changes.
However, soon a second person finds about about Nika’s personalities – someone who has his own On/Off switch, but in reverse! His name is KAMIYAMA Arata, and he is a recent transfer student. He meets Nika when she is in OFF Mode, and then again at school when she is ON. However Nika can see that he has his little secret. At school, Arata wears thick swirly-eyed glasses and messy hair that make some bullies think he is an otaku. However, at home, he ditches the glasses and is downright gorgeous! He is just the opposite of Nika, but why?”
In most ways you might think that this will turn out to be a typical romance. Obviously the guy and the girl are gonna click and obviously there will be issues preventing them from getting there, but tada! They’re there in the end!
It’s not for the romance that I fell in love with this manga, it’s for the way Nika Tamiya is portrayed. Truth be told, us girl geeks have it bad. People tend to think that it’s acceptable only if men don’t shower because there’s a Star Wars marathon on the telly, never mind the fact that you must have watched the whole lot a total of, gee I dunno, 10 million times since you were six! Women on the other hand, must look pretty! Yes all those protests and women’s rights and bra-burning may look like it helped, but at the end of the day, a dorky chick is a massive no-no!
Nika is dorkiness at its peak. She’s over the limit, she’s downright disgusting and I adore her for it. Plus the art by Aida Natsumi is gorgeous and Nika’s leading man, Arata is such a sweetie, I mean, who wouldn’t want a tall, brooding, yummy young man who isn’t fazzled by your nerdy tendencies right? That’s like, my dream man…
So with a big sister group hug out to all geek sisters in the blogverse, I will return to my manga. (^_^)