Takahashi is a 25-year-old workaholic who’s never had a girlfriend. And he’s not even a workaholic because he enjoys his work — he’s stuck doing it to pay the bills and help his parents, and he’s miserable. His coworkers sign up him on a dating app against his will. Looking at the girls on the app, he bemoans how he wants to die, and then realizes that he accidentally messaged one of the girls, saying this. He insists he doesn’t really want to die. The girl, Nanase, asks him if he’s okay and says she wants to see him the next day.
He agrees, though he’s nervous. Nanase is a cute college student three years younger than him, and he thinks she’s like a beauty queen. He also thinks she’s too good for him, so he’s surprised when she wants to see him again after their first date.
At first she seems too good to be true. Then Nanase goes from just being nice to being something of a stalker, knowing where he lives, inviting him over to her place so he can see all the photos of him she keeps on the ceiling. Oh, and then he ends up moving in with her, and things reach a new level of obsession. While in real life these things would be concerning, this manga is a comedy, not anything suspenseful. It’s the ridiculousness of the situation — Takahashi finally seems to have his girl dream, who says and does all the right things, but then she also says and does all the wrong things, and she’s completely obsessed with him. Will they eventually be able to work it out, or will Nanase drive Takahashi over the edge? Either way, there’s bound to be plenty of comedic misunderstandings in the meantime.
Takahashi is relatable in his issues of anxiety and overwork, and Nanase is . . . well, we’re still figuring that out. And while the manga does feel it’s aimed more for a male audience than a female one, seeing as how it’s all from Takahashi’s perspective, that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable to a general audience as well. It looks like it’s setting itself up to be a warped and silly comedy.
The English translation of Nanase-san’s Crazy Love Obsession is available digitally only on the Mangamo app, and it debuts January 5.
Story & Art: Shinonome Tomu
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.