Sunday, July 24, 2022


Maybe I should shift my focus away from more old-school notions of otaku-dom to more modern concepts like this one.

MY DAD'S THE QUEEN OF ALL VTUBERS?! (Oyaji ga Bishojo ni Nanetta Hanashi?!), by Wataru Akashingo.  First published in 2019 and first published in North America in 2020.


Of all the VTubers out there, none of them are more popular than Kisuke Yae.  To an ordinary teen boy like Takashi, she's a dream come true.  That dream is shattered when he learns that the person behid Yae is his own father.  He's quite happy in his new job, but he doesn't want his wife to learn the truth.  That's probably for the best considering that she also is a secret VTuber who is struggling to find an audience.  Can Takashi juggle both of his parents' secret lives without the other finding out?  And can he avoid falling into the VTuber lifestyle himself?


I'm going to be honest here, even if makes me sound like an old woman: I don't get VTubers.  Maybe it's because I don't really watch Twitch streamers in general, so the appeal of someone doing that while basically wearing the digital skin of an anime girl and adopting a persona was always going to be lost on me.  Luckily, that doesn't really matter here because this manga is mostly about one teen boy screaming all the time about his parents.

The main joke here is that Takashi's parents don't necessarily stick to their usual gender roles.  His father finds not only success but personal satisfaction in playing the role of Yae.  Meanwhile, his mother is a harsh-talking, beer-chugging judoka who has a hard time finding an audience as a VTuber (and an even harder one having them believe that she isn't an old man in reality).  I feel like there's almost a joke here about audiences preferring the dad's shallow, giddy performances of femininity versus the rougher, more complex version of the real deal, but Akashingo is simply not capable of teasing it out.  Instead he throws the otherwise nondescript Takashi into a farce where he is forced to keep both his parents' secrets while they navigate both their everyday and online lives.  I just wish this farce had better or more interesting jokes to offer.


 Akashingo has only one visual joke to offer, and that is mugging.  Half of this manga is just Takashi making the wildest expressions of panic, and every time it gets less and less amusing.  Indeed, most of this manga is just talking heads in plain rooms.  The only difference is whether is some goofy adult in VTuber gear or their online personas.  


There's a side story where we see how Takeshi's parents met in college.  While once again the gags come down to how the two don't fit their respective gender roles, but there is a genuine sweetness between them that this manga could have used more of.

More notably, this might be the first time I've seen a manga where the translator is not only credited on the front cover but gets a complete afterword to themselves.  This seems to be something unique to Kaiten Books.


Even putting aside my own ignorance of VTubers, My Dad's the Queen of All VTubers?! just doesn't have much to offer other than an outlandish premise, a half-baked farce, and lousy gender jokes and wild takes.  You'd probably get more laughs from watching an actual VTuber.

This series is published by Kaiten Books.  This series is complete with 3 volumes available.  2 volumes are currently in print; all 3 volumes are available digitally.

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