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Manga / Otaku no Musume-san

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Kouta was your average otaku, living alone in his apartment, surrounded by his figurines and anime body pillows; until Kanau came long. All of a sudden, Kouta has a daughter he never knew existed. Not only that, she is going to live with him, with no support from the mother who suddenly left her in his care. Now Kouta has to learn to be a father, all the while dealing with the rest of the crazy otaku of the Higansou.

Otaku no Musume-san ("The Otaku's Daughter") is a Seinen comedy manga by Stuhiro that centers primarily around the life of Kouta and Kanau, father and daughter. It ran in Dragon Age from 2006 to 2011.

This manga provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: The reason Taeko's mother didn't want to take care of her; she thought she would abuse Taeko.
  • A-Cup Angst: Haruka. Particularly in a Beach Episode scene where she realizes that some pre-teen girls have bigger breasts than her.
  • Alpha Bitch: Reika Misono. Her father is a politician and her mother is an actress. However, Reika isn't all that bad and her parents are fairly decent people, even if her mother is a bit snooty.
  • Anime Hair: Averted, as most of the characters sport normal hairstyles. Played straight with a flashback arc involving Taeko's grandfather, who sports a Heihachi haircut (he says it's James Dean).
  • Babies Ever After: In an omake at the end of the last chapter Haruka is seen with her young son just learning to walk. The kid's eyebrows give away who the father is immediately. Taeko also has a set of twin girls of her own with Sensei in the last chapter.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Subverted as Kanau's friend Riko loves bears.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Runs in Kouta's family, starting with his mother. Even baby Saori has them.
  • Broken Bird: Taeko as a child, particularly after the death of her grandfather.
  • Brutal Honesty: Kouta's parents(especially his mother) are rather frank about what they think of his lifestyle.
    • Also done by Nozomi Yukimura, telling Kouta point blank that she never loved him.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Niichi has an English mother.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Kouta, in his feelings for Taeko. At least when addressing Taeko directly.
    • Also with a male classmate of Kanau, who always comes close but is either too nervous or his friends come in at the wrong time.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In chapter 13, Kouta gets Member of Parliament Misono's business card. Forty-nine chapters later, he uses it to help convince Takurou and Nozomi to give Kanau back to him.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Nicchi, during Kouta and Nozomi's first time in the art room. He can be spotted in the corner of the panel in Chapter 3, but his presence is either missable or to be assumed as inconsequential. Chapter 58 changes that when we see Nozomi's recollection of the same event, where Nicchi's presence is much more pronounced.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Nozomi made one with Niichi, but he turned out to be a paedophile and she aged past ten. The fallout from this include Kanau's conception and Nozomi's disappearance.
  • Children Raise You: Having Kanau in his life drives Kouta towards maturity and adulthood, even getting him to tone down some of his otaku hobbies.
  • Comedic Lolicon: Nicchi is an open and unrepentant lolicon. It's played for laughs and Squick value. However, this turns out to be a huge plot point in chapter 58. It's him being a lolicon that lead to the subsequent events of Kanau being born. Nozomi had feelings for him back in high school (and still does), and only used Kouta and Maesawa as ways just to get Nicchi to look at her.
  • Cool Big Sis: Inverted. Mami is much cooler than Kouta, and more down-to-earth, but she is his younger sister (imouto), not older.
  • Date Peepers: Kanau, Mami, and Kimiko spy on Kouta and Taeko's date.
  • Did You Just Have Sex?: A Freeze-Frame Bonus with Haruka wearing dark black stockings before she kisses the Broken Bird Kouta and she is showing her bare legs after. This also could explain how she gets his child in the end.
  • Distant Finale: The final chapter opens with Kanau's elementary school graduation two years later.
  • Fan Disservice: Sousuke cosplaying Lum at Comiket. CANNOT UNSEE!
  • Festival Episode: Kanau and Kouta go to a festival together, much ado is made about kimonos yukatas.
  • Fish out of Water: Kanau being thrust into a group she knows nothing about and Kouta being thrust into a role he knows nothing about.
  • Formally-Named Pet: When Higansou acquires a dog, the tenants name him Soichiro-san, just like in Maison Ikkoku
  • Gag Nose: Nicchi's nose, although it wasn't so when he was younger. It grows longer when the worst of his paedophiliac tendencies begin to show. The second-to-last chapter reveals that the nose is fake.
  • Genki Girl: Kanau's best friend in school, on top of being an otaku, is constantly energetic.
  • Genre Savvy: Being an Otaku and all, Kouta (and no doubt the other otaku in the apartment) knows a thing or two about the terminology and such, like how he pointed out that Haruka looked like a Tsundere with her Girlish Pigtails after her Important Haircut. Unfortunately, he's blind to the fact that her Tsundere-ness is aimed towards him.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Along with her Meaningful Name, Haruka often wears headphones, if for no other reason to emphasize her distant nature.
  • Heroic BSoD: Kouta falls into one after learning Taeko is married, and to Sousuke no less. Nicchi reveals Kouta fell into one for about six months after Kanau's mother up and disappeared almost ten years ago, and came out of it the otaku he is now. Kanau pulls him out after only a few days, this time.
    • Runs into an even worse one after the Wham Episode (you know, the whole deal with Nozomi never loving him in the first place). To the point where he's represented by a skeleton for the better part of an entire chapter. Then Haruka gets serious. It works.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Lampshaded at the end of Chapter 49 when Taeko breaks up a fight. Taeko's intentions seem pure enough, but that doesn't stop Kanau from analyzing the situation as such.
  • Important Haircut: Haruka cuts off her bangs to emphasise to her elder sister how serious she is about following her own path.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: Between Kouta and Haruka, perhaps to represent how her motivations to express her feelings were "tainted," in a sense by Nozomi. The omake in the last chapter and the disappearance of her leggings after the fade to black seem to say a lot more than a kiss occurred in that scene.
  • Lame Comeback: When Kouta is yelling at Mami for taking Kanau to spy on his date with Taeko, she responds "What would you do if I suddenly had to give birth!?", which Kouta immediately lampshades. At that point, Mami goes into labor.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • When Sousuke begins telling Kouta (both of them are manga artists, mind) about Taeko's history.
      Kouta: A story about the landlady from 10 years ago...
      Sousuke: It's a bit long, but I want you to listen.
      Kouta: Uh, just how long is it?
      Sousuke: Hmm. If I only had about 32 pages a month... I'd say four to five months' worth.
      Kouta: I-I see. That is long...
      Sousuke: ...yeah. If it was my own work, I'd worry about getting tired of it.
    • It is employed when Serio remarks on the marriage between Sousuke and Taeko. It isn't as subtle since it makes a pot shot at a particular group of his readers. It could also be a reference to how certain Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens fans reacted when they learned that one of the characters had an ex-boyfriend, implying she might not be a virgin.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Almost everybody at some point, but Kouta all the time. Hilariously though Niichi also seems to be in the know for everything that is going on but just can't be assed to tell anybody. Especially the fact that Nozomi never loved Kohta at all.
  • Love Makes You Evil: What Kouta felt, after his first experience. He couldn't forgive himself for taking the purity of Kanau's mother, even though she was the one that jumped him. Turns out that Kanau's mother jumped him just so she could get Nicchi to look at her.
  • Missing Mom: The launching point for the manga is that Kanau's mother is gone The mother has returned to take her kids away from their fathers in what could be considered the most Jerkass way possible.
  • Mistaken for Servant: Taeko gets mistaken for a waitress in an Akihabara Maid Cafe, because on the one hand all waitresses on that day were dressed up in school uniforms (and Taeko was wearing one) and, on the other hand, she looks older than her actual age. A completely reverse case (mistaken for a schoolgirl) happens once to her mother who looks younger than her actual age, and is actually a waitress in a Cosplay Café.
  • Mood Whiplash: Sometimes the transitions are smooth, other times you're jerked from farce to drama.
    • This is especially true during the Wham Episode. Revealing that the main character's primary love interest is not only married, but has been for three years, to one of his close friends even and then trying to play it off as comedy is a big reason why some fans dislike it.
  • Nosebleed: Haruka gets a small one at the end of chapter 44, when Kouta comes out of his room in the morning in a suit and glasses.
  • Oblivious to Love:
    • Taeko to Kouta's crush.
    • Kouta to Haruka's crush (and to Nozomi's returned interest in him ten years ago, which led ultimately to the events that kicked off the manga when she finally got sick of his obliviousness).
      • Subverted: Nozomi never loved Kouta in the first place; she only used him to get her real love interest, Chihiro (Nicchi) to look at her, as she still hasn't given up on him.
  • Only Sane Man: Considering the residents of the apartment complex, her friends, her own father, and her mother, Kanau comes across as the most reasonable, at least to herself.
  • Operation: Jealousy: By Nozomi Yukimura. Gone horribly wrong and the cause for the majority of the plot because she went as far as having sex and getting pregnant to make it work.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Taeko's mother, explicitly. Her father isn't present either.
    • Kanau herself counts, since her mother just sent her off to the father she'd never met to concentrate on work. She's returned, and intend(ed) to take her kids back without being found. She ultimately gets away too.
  • Parental Favoritism:
    • Haruka is the least favored of her siblings, at least according to her.
    • Grandparental favoritism also plays a prominent role here, as Mami doesn't want her (and Kouta's) parents to find out that Kanau (and not her own child) is their actual first grandchild.
  • Pedophile Priest: Nicchi becomes one by the time of the epilogue. The priest who ran the orphanage he grew up in was also a lolicon.
  • Porn Stash: To the occasional disgust of Kanau and mortification of Kouta.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Takurou is this, of a sort, for Nozomi. His slight resemblance to Nicchi (primarily their hairstyles and the shape of their jaw) isn't made obvious until the two meet face-to-face during Kanau's birthday party.
  • Running Gag: Several. Nicchi's loli tendencies, and his pacification when fed sweets. Kouta's total inability to be badass, even when doing something badass. Kimiko always showing up in cosplay outfits. Also, Nozomi's jobs get increasingly ridiculous.
  • Scenery Porn: Plenty of detailed backgrounds.
  • Secret Relationship: Sousuke and Taeko. They're married to each other.
  • Selective Obliviousness: One of the side characters displays this towards Nicchi or everybody failing to notice the Nagato family.
  • Serious Business: Mami's quest to keep the "first grandchild fever" focused on Saori.
  • Ship Tease: Haruka and Kouta's budding relationship is constantly coming up.
  • Shout-Out: To plenty of anime and manga series, but the Maison Ikkoku-referencing gags are the best.
    • The closing statement by Kouta in chapter 58 might be shout-out to Osamu Dazai's No Longer Human.
    • They even manage to have a blatant Touhou Project (technically IOSYS) Shout-Out in an otherwise serious scene.
    • Haruko's Old Shame may be one to Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito.
    • Chapter 61 has Kouta breaking down Kaiji-style (his nose even turns knife point sharp!)
    • Another chapter has Nicchi transform into Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star when talking to Kouta about letting Kanau stay with him.
    • In the penultimate chapter, Kanau remembers watching Puella Magi Madoka Magica with Kouta.
  • Show Within a Show: Given that one of the main characters is an otaku, another show is going to play some role in the story.
  • Slasher Smile: Nozomi in the heartrending antepenultimate panel of chapter 61.
  • Sliding Scale: Kanau hilariously uses one of these to judge Kouta's actions. The scale ranges from pervert to otaku to father to papa.
  • Social Services Does Not Exist: Averted and played straight. They exist and are referred to in the manga, but they never take an active role in the story. Even when they should.
  • Take That!: You can't help but think that Serio's dialogue in the second panel was a deliberate shot at those who were upset about the Wham Episode.
  • Title Drop: At the second Comiket of the series, one of Kouta's friends came by with a game of this name. It was translated... somewhat differently.
  • Tsundere: Haruka towards Kouta. Interestingly, Kouta, being an otaku, is aware that she is one and what it means but he's oblivious to its relevance, i.e. she has a crush on him.
  • Tyke Bomb: Nicchi's uncle likes to train the children at his orphanage in various forms of combat. Mostly for his amusement.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Nozomi in the second-to-last chapter when she and Kouta are arguing over Kanau's custody, to the point where she completely puts down Kouta's (and indirectly her new husband's) otaku habits. Kouta's nonplussed response makes the scene all the more gratifying.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The revelation that Sousuke and Taeko are married definitely qualifies for one of these. While unexpected, subtle hints were dropped, and completely tosses out the possible Kouta/Taeko relationship.
    • The reveal that Kanau has a younger brother.
    • The chapter that reveals that Nozomi never loved Kouta from the start, and her real love interest is Nicchi. To top it off, she's come to take Kanau and Tsukamu away from their fathers, with Nicchi helping her.
  • Wife Husbandry: Used to prevent an attempt to seize property from Taeko.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Kanae tries to be, needing her dad to tell her she's 9 and gets to be a little selfish sometimes.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Haruka and her friend Rika, who Squee when viewing Kouta and Nicchi as something more.
  • Younger Than They Look:
    • Taeko. Taken together with Taeko's mother being older than she looks, it makes most people think when they're together that they're friends or siblings. In one extreme stretch early on, that the roles were reversed and Taeko was the mother of a teenager.
    • If you want to stretch it, Kanae. She was born on Feb 29 so she is technically the age of 2.