Books / Reviews

Insufficient Direction

by Andrew Lee

Staff Writer

Moyoco Anno’s manga “Insufficient Direction” is the, perhaps, inevitable result of what happens when a legendary anime director marries a well-known manga artist.

Insufficient Direction, by Moyoco Anno.
Vertical, Manga.

Hideaki Anno is, as any otaku (geek) will know, the creator of the seminal anime series “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” and his wife, Moyoco, is the author and artist of the highly acclaimed manga “Sakuran.” Together they make up Japan’s most famous otaku couple and their domestic life together is the source material for this highly amusing manga.

Rompers is married to Director-kun and has to come to terms with the fact that life with him means embracing a fully otaku lifestyle — complete with anime-song sing-a-longs, sentai (costumed superhero) TV-show binges and a constant stream of pop-cultural references that only a truly enlightened otaku would understand.

Anno helpfully supplies copious footnotes at the back of the manga for all the couple’s geeky references, making the book a fun reference guide for readers making their own journey to otakudom. But as Rompers points out: “Otaku is contagious … Which means … stupid might be contagious too.” To which Director-kun answers ” I don’t think so. You are an otaku to begin with, just as you are stupid to begin with. Now sing!”