Saturday, April 8, 2017

How To Raise A Boring Girlfriend Vol. #05 Manga Review

I believe that within games and games alone, there is a certain reality...a certain passion.

Creative Staff:
Original Story: Fumiaki Maruto
Art: Takeshi Moriki
Character Design: Kurehito Misaki
Translation: Kumar Sivasubramanian
Translation Consultant: Chitoku Teshima
Lettering: Phil Christie

What They Say:
Utaha's scenario for Tomoya's game is finally complete! Since such an achievement is cause for celebration, Tomoya joins his senpai for a shopping date. But what awaits him isn't fitting rooms and food courts. Instead, Utaha drops a bombshell on him--"I want you to choose, Rinri-kun which do you like better?" What could she possibly mean?! And the shocks don't stop there! When the devious Iori confronts the team with a declaration of war, Tomoya learns that someone he cares about is working for the enemy?!

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
As Winter Comiket inches closer and closer, the burden placed on Blessing Software grows larger than ever before. With the deadline for their game only being a month away, Tomoya's circle must kick it into overdrive if they plan on finishing in time for Winter's largest doujinshi event. Fortunately, Utaha Kasumigaoka has managed to finish the scenario a bit ahead of schedule. Actually, she didn't just finish the scenario -- she finished a second one as well. So now, on top of the already hefty workload on his desk, Tomoya must decide on which story he wants to use for the final game. While the first one seems like the safe choice, the story in Utaha's second scenario is just too good to overlook. However, choosing that would mean a slew of new artwork for Eriri and even more rushed programming from an already novice development team. Ahh, the life of a game developer.

The deadline isn't the only issue faced in this volume, however. Now that Utaha has completed her assigned work, she must shift focus back to her novels and what she wants to do with her life as a whole. After talking with Tomoya, it is made clear that she plans on going off to college soon. The dilemma, as far as this is concerned, is which college she ultimately winds up attending. Should she stay close to home and attend a less prestigious school -- or should she move to Kansai and enroll at a university with an acclaimed literature program? As if this onslaught of dilemmas wasn't enough to sidetrack our protagonist, Izumi comes back into the picture and announces a game of her own with Rouge en Rogue (That evil dude Iori's circle from a few volumes ago).

Apparently, Izumi was tired of living in Eriri's shadow and wants to compete with her for the affection of her senpai. If you didn't get the hint when she was first introduced, Izumi also has a thing for Tomoya. So now that our harem is complete, Tomoya must take Katou and hide from the rest of the girls as he attempts to sort through both scenarios and finish development on the alpha. Stricken with a new sense of motivation when she sees just how much effort Tomoya is putting in, Katou volunteers [for the first time ever] to stay over Aki's and push through programming as a duo. And just when all hope is lost, Michiru comes barging in and Tomoya has one of his greatest ideas yet -- enlisting the help of her band to finish programming and playtesting the game.

Michiru reluctantly invites over the girls and, within hours, the game is completed. So despite this remarkable turn of events, there is still one issue -- the game sucks. Now, Blessing Software must find a way to make it great with less than a month remaining on their countdown to Comiket.

In Summary:
Now that the manga has finally pushed past where the first season of the anime left off, I am in uncharted water. That being said, volume five is packed with plot advancement aplenty and an all new subplot in a competition between Blessing Software and Rogue en Rogue. And while I loved where this series would be going even without a competitor, I doubt the addition of one will work against it. We still have three volumes left with this loveable and unique cast and, with the amount of text pushed into each volume, I'm sure we'll enjoy every last chapter. How To Raise A Boring Girlfriend remains just as strong as always in its fifth installment and continues to be one of the most well-made manga series currently publishing. Kudos, Yen Press. Keep it coming.

Content Grade: A
Art Grade: A+
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A+

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: March 21, 2017
MSRP: $12.99

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