Watashi Ga Motete Dousunda: Serinuma Is The Most Authentic Fujoshi?

When defining ‘Fujoshi’ not as a general female otaku but specific female fan of yaoi, BL, and/or shounen-ai, there really aren’t that many anime or manga with fujoshi characters in prominent roles. Genshiken and Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu are the only anime that immediately come to mind, though I’m aware there are fujoshi side-characters in Barakamon,  Nichijou, OreImo, Durarara, and more. There’s definitely more variety in the manga world: Fudanshism, Fujoshi Kanojo, Mousou Shoujo Otaku-kei, Tonari no 801-chan, Ruriro no Yume… you get the point.

However, what I notice when considering these series is that they are overwhelmingly male-oriented. I love Genshiken to death, but I’m also keenly aware that many of the fujoshi-focused scenes in Nidaime have a strong appeal to men as well. And most of these manga that I’ve mentioned —Fudanshism, Tonari no 801-chan, the sort— are male-oriented. In fact, I feel like there’s a disappointing absence in strictly female-oriented anime and manga featuring fujoshi character as someone relatable rather than an “other” to the protagonist of a male-oriented series.

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Until Watashi Ga Motete Dousunda, that is!

Here we have a clearly female-oriented genre— reverse harem. And our star which we are intended to relate to (and believe me, I do) is a legitimate fujoshi. Not only is a fujoshi, but her being a fujoshi-ness isn’t just a one-off gag or side-point. It affects the plot. She has her harem of males, but she doesn’t want them for herself. True to her otome nature, Serinuma prefers seeing her attractive males in love with each other rather than with her. She feels flustered and embarrassed whenever they make advances on her, and that embarrassment is intensified because she struggles with wanting to see them with one another and wanting to actually be a “regular girl.”Image result for watashi ga motete

Denying a romantic life in favor of one’s fantasies is hardly atypical of fujoshi character in other shows, but contextualizing it in a reverse-harem show actually makes for a pretty cool story. My problem when watching Amnesia, Kamigami no Asobi, or Diabolik Lovers is that the girl characters are just as flat as possible. They literally exist purely as a blank slate for the audience stand-in. I want someone relatable rather than just bland. And then the bigger problem is that they’re so indecisive. I know there are lots of hot guys around you, but stop being so coy! They’re hot! Get some action with them. Serinuma, conversely, has good reason to not want to get some action with the boys. It’s so she can see them getting action with each other.
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I would definitely posit that Watashi Ga Motete… WataMote 2.0… is far from perfect in most ways, but to see a legitimate reason why the reverse harem might continue to exist is novel if nothing else. Having a fujoshi-made (actually I don’t know if Junko is a guy or girl; it could be fudanshi-made), female-oriented series with a fujoshi protagonist is refreshing. Self-aware content such as Genshiken or Otaku no Video with their portrayals of male otaku is fun to watch. However, I think there’s a clear distinction between fujoshi and otaku, so while having fujoshi appear in these narratives is interesting, it doesn’t feel as authentic as Watashi ga Motete Dousunda does.

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