26-year-old Nagisa Kataura has a secret. By all appearances, she's an average temp-worker, but beneath her business-casual exterior she's a devoted cosplayer. Transforming into her favorite anime and manga characters is her passion in life, and her hard work and creativity has earned Nagisa respect amongst her cosplay cohorts. But to the rest of society, her hobby is a silly fantasy, so she has to keep her two worlds separate. However, as demands from both sides of her life begin to increase, she may one day have to make a tough choice—what's more important to her, cosplay or being "normal"
I have to say I'm rather surprised by the low score this manga has. I understand that mileage may vary/different strokes for different folks and all that, but I can't help but feel this deserves far better than an 6.85! (Its current score as of my writing this review.)
Story & Art - 8/10
Character, Enjoyment & Overall - 9/10
(Firstly I'll start off by making a comment about the printing quality, as I bought all six volumes as they were being released in English. I'm not sure what the quality of Kodansha's manga is usually like, but for this release at least they did a really nice
job! It's actually one of my favourite manga I own on presentation alone just because the paper is nice and thick and the cover has a really nice and satisfying to hold matte finish. As for translations, I'm no expert but the language always felt very natural so from a casual reader's standpoint, they also did very well on that front!)
Now, as for the series itself, I have to say I have a big appreciation for how this topic was handled. Works that revolve around adult women AND is taken seriously/isn't just comedy are hard to come by, let alone finding any that are of legitimate quality...
As a woman in her early-to-mid 20s a lot about this manga hit close to home. I don't cosplay nor have I ever actually been to an event (sadly, I live in the countryside so all the good stuff happens too far away...) but I often feel the disapproval of those around me for my interest in anime and manga and so I try as hard as possible to hide these interests, just like the MC does. The issue of finance is also brought up rather frequently, a struggle I can relate to all too well... these are expensive hobbies, y'all!
I won't talk too much in this review, I'll just say that this story has a wonderful cast of characters, and the story is very grounded and realistic. The art is really pretty (a little janky at times probably from deadline rushes but it's forgivable since it doesn't happen often) and on top of that you can TELL this is a story really close to the author's heart. She even went as far as to create an entire magical girl franchise to serve as the backdrop of the series! You even get character sheets for their personalities and how to make their costumes etc. A lot of love went into this series.
The manga has a really satisfying conclusion, which in part contributes to my high score since no matter the genre or medium (manga, tv, film...) I'm rarely satisfied by an ending, so I have to give Sakuma massive props in that department.
Overall, I would suggest at least picking up the first volume to give it a try. I'm going to be suggesting this series to all my friends because I feel like this really is a hidden gem!