It’s really weird for me to do a review with just 1 volume out. But seeing the Big Boss’s previous review of 僕の妹は漢字が読める (My Little Sister Can Read Kanji), I thought I should do the same for おまえをオタクにしてやるから、俺をリア充にしてくれ！(I’ll Make You into an Otaku, so Make Me into a Riajuu!) (also a title released in July 2011, authored by Murakami Rin, illustrated by Anapon, published by Fujimi Shobou), especially since I just finished it last night, in merely one night. (0_0)”
Before I start the review proper, everyone knows what an Otaku (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otaku) is, but what on earth is a Riajuu? In the most simplistic sense, Riajuu can be taken to be the opposite of Otaku, and has yet to be clearly defined in the Western otaku culture’s lexicon. In summary from the Japanese wiki, the word Riajuu (リア充, made up of a combination of the word ‘real life’, and ‘fulfilling’), which can be used as both a noun or na-adjective, generally refers to a person who is leading a fulfilling real life, very much different from an Otaku, who spends most, if not all, of his time in the 2D world. The definition is pretty wide by itself and it can be taken to mean that a person has a social life, hangs out with people who do normal things like karaoke and movies, participating in club activities, listen to Jpop rather than anison (anime songs), capable of communicating with members of the opposite gender (maybe even to the extent of having a girl/boyfriend), etc. In my personal opinion, I think both the words Otaku and Riajuu take things to the extreme, and I believe most of us who are interested in the Japanese otaku and moe culture fall somewhere in between, rather than on the edges of the classification. To help you determine how much of an Otaku, and how much of a Riajuu you are, Fujimi Shobou has actually a checklist posted on their promotional site for this novel:
1. You have friends who engage in Otaku talk in school.
2. You have bought galge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bish%C5%8Djo_game) before.
3. You have a wife (2D).
4. You go to Akihabara during vacation.
5. You’ve told people to “Go Explode!”
1. Sensitive to latest trends
2. Conscious of what you wear.
3. You’ve been confessed to.
4. You go on dates during vacation.
5. You’ve been asked to “Go Explode!”
So, how much did you score? 😛
And now, to begin the review, or rather, introduction of the series proper, with minimum spoilers.