- Mangaka : Rainbow Rowell, Sam Maggs, Gabi Nam
- Publisher : Viz Media
- Genre : Comedy, Drama, Romance
- Published : October 2020
As avid readers of manga and light novels, there are more than a few handful of times wherein we tried creating spin-off stories of our favorite series. Different people have different reasons for writing their own fanfiction, but for us, we do it for the sheer love of the series. Of course, the feeling of not wanting the series to end or not being satisfied by the ending is also there. Nevertheless, the world of fanfiction is definitely alive and well.
Fanfiction is a manga that is based on a novel by Rainbow Rowell, a best selling author. Unlike most manga that is adapted from a book, Fangirl is not a Japanese light novel, so the story may not necessarily be similar to our typical manga. The series follows Cath, an introverted college freshman. Unlike her coy and bashful personality, however, a new identity lingers in the depths of the internet. She’s also known as Magicath, a well known author in the world of fanfiction. Her own fanfiction based on The Simon Snow series hits tens of thousands of views per chapter.
1. Beautifully Illustrated Story
As we’ve said prior, Fangirl is an adapted manga based on Rainbow Rowell’s novel of the same name. That said, the storyline is different from what most otakus are familiar with. Despite the shift and difference, however, the new form made the new series shine in a new light. The illustrations accurately gave the visuals we see while reading the original book, which is the first step of creating a successful manga adaptation. But instead of saying that the manga gave justice to the book, it’s more appropriate to say that it did more than that.
2. A Story Most of Us Can Relate To
Being an introverted freshman exploring an entirely new galaxy known as college is something a lot of us can relate to. The feeling of being the center of attention, avoiding everybody’s gazes, as well as feeling the natural pressure to be social with a whole church of strangers. All of these are beautifully shown in the manga. It felt so real that we caught ourselves breathing a sigh of relief after seeing Cath enter the comfort and isolation of her own room. Heck, even the way Cath can’t pick up social hints felt awkwardly familiar. This adaptation doesn’t just tell us the story, it makes us empathize with the protagonist.
3. Simon and Baz Illustrations
Yes, Cath is the protagonist of the series, but two other big stars featured here are Simon and Baz. In fact, they were so famous that the Fangirl fans convinced Rainbow Rowell to create a separate book chronicling the story of Simon and Baz. That said, we are gratefully treated to occasional illustrations of both Simon and Baz. When we say illustrations, it’s not just the casual sketch or a shoddy corner, but an entire page.
1. A Manga That’s Read Left to Right
One of the very basic things an otaku must know is that manga is read from right to left. Mistake that and you’ll have to get your otaku card revoked. This series, however, is drawn the other way around. Perhaps that is intentionally done to imitate the format of western comics -- from where most of the novel’s fans reside. Nevertheless, those who are more familiar with traditional manga may find it confusing and even annoying.
At the very least, Fangirl, the manga adaptation, gave more than enough justice to the novel. It beautifully and skillfully illustrated the story that most of us loved. It gives us, the fans of the original book, a pleasant surprise to look forward to. Unfortunately, this is still only the first of four installations. On the brighter side, that means we have three more volumes to look forward to!