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Are You Okay With a (Slightly) Older Girlfriend volume 1 worth reading feature

Are You Okay With a (Slightly) Older Girlfriend? volume 1 review

Can age stand in the way of love?

Are You Okay With a (Slightly) Older Girlfriend volume 1 cover
Release Date
February 7, 2021
Publisher
J-Novel Club LLC
Story
Kota Nozomi
Nanasemeruchi
Nanasemeruchi
Translator
Sean Orth
Editor
Zubonjin

How far would you go to be with someone you love? Could you deal with an obstacle that could not be overcome? That is the question facing the two main characters of this book, and the answer is hilarious and heartwarming, all at the same time. Released in English by J-Novel Club on the 7th February 2021, this light novel weighs in at 185 pages. Volume 2 releases in April, but is, Are You Okay With a (Slightly) Older Girlfriend? volume 1 worth reading?

The couple

Kaoru and Hime Are You Okay With a (Slightly) Older Girlfriend? volume 1

Kaoru Momota (left)

A fifteen year old first-year high school student who is inexperienced in the ways of love.

Hime Orihara (right)

A woman who definitely doesn’t look her age. Her first name means “princess”.

Story

Kaoru is riding the train to school, trying to wake himself up after a marathon manga reading session the previous night. His sleepiness quickly goes away when a gorgeous high school girl (with an enormous bust) boards the train. He is quickly smitten, then confused, then alarmed.

First, Kaoru is struck by her beauty. For a few minutes, it seems like no one else on the train exists. Then, he’s confused. Her school uniform indicates that she goes to a famous all-girls high school, but the train they’re on is heading in the opposite direction of that school. Finally, he’s alarmed because as he’s looking, he realizes that she’s getting molested by a middle-aged pervert.

“Guy saving girl from getting groped on the train” is a widespread trope in anime and manga, but the way Kaoru intervenes is so unique that I won’t spoil it here. It’s enough to say that he saves her, they exchange contact info, wind up spending time together, and everything seems like it’s going smoothly, until…

Are You Okay With a (Slightly) Older Girlfriend? volume 1 spoilers

Are You Okay With a (Slightly) Older Girlfriend? volume 1 spoilers

The title of the book makes it clear that Hime is older (she’s twenty-seven). What it doesn’t say is she spends the beginning of their relationship pretending to be a teenager. It’s a little white lie at first but quickly spins out of control when Kaoru confesses his feelings to her on their official first date. Shocked by the confession and ashamed of her lying, she runs away. A few days later, she tells him her real age, explaining why she was pretending (I won’t spoil why – you’ll have to find out for yourself) and decides to break it off. 

Kaoru, however, is determined to win her over, and convinces her to give their relationship a chance with an incredibly romantic gesture. Again, I won’t reveal, except to say that it involves video games and a sandcastle!

The end?

Most romcoms would end right there, but for this book, it’s just the beginning. The twelve-year gap between Kaoru and Hime means there are massive differences between them. She’s a well-paid office worker who lives by herself; he’s a broke teenager who lives with his parents. But they do have two essential things in common. 

  1. Kaoru and Hime are both nerds. Good-looking nerds for sure. Both are heavily into video games, anime, manga and the like – which helps them form a connection. 
  2. Kaoru and Hime are very inexperienced when it comes to love.

This is Kaoru’s first relationship, which isn’t surprising, given that he’s fifteen. But it’s also the first relationship for Hime, which is shocking, given both her age and her beauty. We learn that she was an overweight ugly ducking in school, which, when combined with her less-than-feminine hobbies, caused her to become an introvert. Once she blossomed as an adult, her introvert ways were already set in stone, and her office (which is mostly staffed by women) kept her away from meaningful male contact. In other words, this is a story about two clueless virgins – and it is a blast to read. 

Writing style

This book is exceptionally well-written and translated. Sentences and paragraphs fly by as you devour each new part of the story, and you quickly get lost in the story as the characters leap off the page. The only problem is the dialogue breaks. The quote indents are often in the wrong place, which can make it hard to tell at a glance who is talking. It’s not a major issue, but it does break the flow at times.

Art 

The art is lovely, and there is a lot of it for a light novel. Every significant moment is accompanied by art, and Kaoru and Hime are both well-drawn and look good together. Special kudos goes to the artist for making Hime look like a high school girl in some illustrations and a mature office lady in others. An amazing feat as she still looks like the same person.

Is “Are You Okay With a (Slightly) Older Girlfriend” volume 1 worth Reading?

Yes, and more than once as it’s so easy to read. The characters are fun, and rooting for these two to succeed is a blast. I for one, can’t wait until the next novel, but until then, I’ll be happy to read this one again.

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