I can’t really say for certain how hot my take is for this manga. If I am basing it off of the average rating for both AniList and MyAnimeList, one might consider it to be somewhat unusual. With the mean rating for Oogami-san, Dadamore desu. coming in at just under a 7 (6.99 on MAL; 6.7-6.9 on AL), my 8 for the manga would literally be above average. Although I didn’t have as many issues with the manga as others seemed to have, there were some things that irked me at times. Putting that aside, I will hold fast to my conviction that this is a genuinely decent manga and a damned fine romantic comedy.
I have read a decent amount of romantic comedies. It wouldn’t be out of line for me to claim that I have a grasp on the basic concepts and tropes that are so often employed in romcom manga. The world of romcoms is one that tends to be filled with bland cliches and dense protagonists. Although I do not think it is necessarily unique in every respect, I found Oogami-San Dadamore desu. to be a compelling read from start to finish–with a few minor exceptions. There were some personal issues I had with the direction of the plot, but it was a solid read nonetheless.
Let’s begin with the story itself. The female protagonist, Oogami is a bit of a social caterpillar. As a young JK girl, she’s socially awkward. She has always found it difficult to befriend or get close to others. A lot of this has to do with the fact that she’s typically viewed as a pervert by her peers; this stems from her fascination with the male body and sexual topics from a young age. As she always tends to keep to herself, Oogami begins to notice some things about one of her fellow classmates: Yaginuma. Yaginuma seems to be a bit of an introvert as well, always keeping to himself. Through a string of events, the two of them interact with one another (in a bathroom, no less) for the first time. This meet cute proves to be the beginning of something special.
Not long after the aforementioned fateful bathroom encounter, Oogami goes out of her way to return Yaginuma’s handkerchief to him. The latter loaned it to her when he happened to notice that she was caught in her feelings, shedding tears. Upon seeing him leaving school, she approaches him to give back the handkerchief. Her hand clips his, and she yells, “Show me your dick!”
Needless to say, this proves to be the catalyst for their mutual relationship. The two of them become fast friends, and gradually begin to open up to one another. Yaginuma tells Oogami about his “ability” that he’s had since childhood. Anyone who touches him, involuntarily verbalizes their own innermost feelings. No restraint. No exceptions. Prior to telling her, no one but his closest family has any idea. This shared knowledge between the two characters sparks the beginning of an incredible relationship dynamic.
Superpower elements aren’t exactly uncommon when it comes to the genre. I’m rather fond of stories that implement this extra layer to something that may otherwise be nothing more than a stereotypical slice of life romance. It’s fun to be able to read something that uses this method effectively. I think finding balance in the blend of the supernatural & natural elements is a difficult process. The mangaka executed well; nothing felt forced or out of place when it comes to Yaginuma and his abilities.
I tend to read some stuff with the “ecchi” tag relatively often; in my eyes, there are two applications of ecchi manga. This first aim of usage boils down to the mangaka being lewd for the sake of being lewd. This includes but is not limited to: lots of fanservice, oppai, panty shots, compromising positions, etc. Essentially, it tends to be a means of arousal or stimulation–as opposed to it being used as a literary device of any sort. Oogami-san, Dadamore desu. is the opposite. Its ecchi isn’t ecchi for its own sake; rather, it is an effective means of advancing the story and capturing some of the issues that teenagers deal with on a daily basis.
I know that there are those that have read the manga who may tend to disagree with me, but I found this to be well-written as a romance. The relationship between Oogami and Yaginuma isn’t meant to be an elaborate love tale. The two of them are socially awkward teenagers. Adults don’t even know what they’re doing the majority of the time, so I wouldn’t expect these two kids to know how to navigate a committed relationship. There are times when their lack of communication, along with their inability to grasp this fundamental aspect of the relationship, grows annoying for sure. I don’t expect anything less though.
This was honestly one of the better depictions of a high school romance that I’ve seen. The reasons for this can be reduced to the fact that the two of them are immature and have no idea what they are doing. It’s not some complex, intricately-woven love story. No. It is a portrait of the mundane; the two of them are just young teenagers that have feelings for each other during some of the most important times in their lives. The anxieties and stresses of high school living take a toll on them, and they find comfort in one another. They are able to grow both as a couple and as individuals–thanks to them ending up with one another.
For anyone who has read Mousou Telepathy, the similarities will become blatantly obvious. Although the nature of the abilities differ, there is still the habitual thoughts of the MCs and their personalities. In my eyes, Oogami-San Dadamore desu. accomplishes what Mousou Telepathy could not. The various issues that came with the latter can be attributed to the fact that the manga was limited by its nature as a 4-koma webcomic. I liked Mousou Telepathy, but I felt that the enjoyment of my reading experience was reduced as a result of its plot dragging on without any palpable advancement. Oogami-San Dadamore desu. does not go this route; instead, it recognizes its place and does not drag on. The build-up begins relatively quickly. It goes the opposite route of Mousou Telepathy with the dating relationship taking place early on while using the rest of the manga to allow it to blossom and grow.
Something that really stood out to me with the manga was the likeability of nearly every character that shows up. There are a couple exceptions when it comes to this, but for the most part, they remain likeable. Every individual that shows up is clearly illustrated with flaws, yet those flaws are outshined when their backstory is made known to the reader. I loved how the side characters were able to remain steadfast in supporting Oogami and Yaginuma’s relationship. It was pretty unusual to see love rivals flip the switch like that so quickly; it also didn’t seem forced or anything like a deus ex machina. It was organic and flowed with the nature of the story.
My criticism of the manga might be viewed as petty, as they are mostly emotional preferences. It relates to the direction that the plot takes in certain instances, particularly later on in the manga. Throughout the entire story, the couple develops a dynamic within their relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend. They begin dating each other in the early chapters, so they are dating one another for basically the entire story. Understandably, the main plot of the manga is their ever-changing and growing relationship, how it begins and continues to blossom throughout their daily lives. There’s bound to be external conflict when it comes to their relationship, but some of the factors that come to do that bidding seem really out of place.
What I fail to understand was the way petty drama was initiated. Although I cannot state the proper way to go about writing it, I feel like it wouldn’t have been the most difficult thing in the world to write chapter 15 differently. It seemed forced and incredibly unnecessary. Another issue of mine I had was with the initial direction of the final two chapters (37 & 38). I have to say that I wasn’t very fond of the way things began to take a turn for the worst. I won’t delve into it specifically, but it kind of interrupted the fluidity of the manga. Kind of left a bad aftertaste.
In spite of the negative aspects of the plotline, Oogami-san, Dadamore desu. solidified itself in my mind as genuinely good story. I’d say that the ending of the first chapter would be enough to convince many people to continue reading. The general premise is enough to draw people into the story. I don’t feel the need to elaborate on the art, but I will say that it’s very good.
All in all, this is definitely worth reading.
If nothing else, knowing that this manga is one of Detective Watson’s favorites should be enough to convince readers to give it a shot.
That’s all I got to say…about that…