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Great and often below average action based manga adaptations getting their breaks in films I have seen plenty of times, but a story claiming to equally deal with romance and the art of manga making I had to witness with my own eyes.
After recently watching Cutie Honey, which provided little consideration to the realism of our everyday world, I was wondering how much fantasy this film was going to surround itself with. Fortunately this movie burrowed more from life than I could ever expect from the initial look and subject matter.
As we meet the two leading characters, at first they seem to have few things in common, but the problems which arise between them share similarities with many newly formed real life relationships. Although these issues are layered behind the oddball characters and extreme desires of cosplay, for the most part they feel authentic. I'm sure many of us have encountered a situation where the person we were attracted to didn't share the same interest in things we had a strong sentiment for, whether it was religion, politics, music or art (as it is in this case).
With such premises set up, these two characters go through various shake ups that test their feelings for one another, as well as their identities as manga artists. Keep in mind that the first half of the film is heavier on comedy than the second half. While that sometimes signals for a downfall in Asian comedies, Otakus In Love manages to avoid the lethal dosage of post comedy melodrama by preserving the humor and at the same time offering romantic symbolisms and benevolent dramatic sequences.
All in all this film was a nice surprise, as it is becoming hard to find quality films in the ever growing pool of Asian comedies, which for the most part just settle with providing formulaic experiences.
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