Chapter 11:

The Otaku Cosplays To Save The World

Love, Manga & Blackmail: A Secret Otaku's Countdown To Romance!

As I burst into the tent like a criminal on the loose, I started scanning my surroundings. Amongst the number of people milling about, browsing costumes and engaging in idle chatter, I spotted the person I was looking for, Ichika, as she spoke to a young woman.

Walking up to her with long hurried strides, I seize her shoulder.

“We need two costumes!” I say, my face as straight as it can probably get.

“Eh?” Ichika uttered, confused at my sudden entrance.

“Oh, my…” The young woman, probably an attendant, raised a brow at my stern expression “Is that your boyfriend?”

“U-uuuh…” After a very painfully long exclamation that made her sound like a broken speaker, Ichika finally managed to nod.

“Y-yes… He is.”

“Oh, isn’t that just wonderful!” The cheery girl before us clapped her hands mischievously as she spun on her heel, retrieving what seemed to be a catalogue.

’What’s got you so worked up, Boyfriend-san?”

But before moving along the process of us actually renting the suits and going about our day, the attendant smirked back at me as she posed that question.

“Actually, there's a comet hurtling towards Earth, and unless we can cosplay, the fate of the world hangs in the balance…” I retort, spawning a story right out of my backside.

Woman, if we don’t get those suits a lot more than the world is doomed! It’s my damn reputation we’re talking about here!

“Haha…” The attendant laughed awkwardly, before thrusting the roster of costumes our way.

“Have your pick! Both of you have fairly standard body types, so almost anything will fit!”

Narrowing my eyes, I leaned over Ichika's shoulder to look.

“Shall I give you some couple suggestions?”


I nodded, as the woman flipped through the pages, giving me a quick tour.

“Eh?” Ichika once again turned to me, a question mark visible over her head. “But, who said I’m cosplaying?”

“Oh, you totally are!” I scoffed.

Imagine the scenes if the others recognized her! I mean, she may seem like a background character, but she’s still our classmate.

“What in the heavens is going on?” Endo stomped her way towards us, dressed like a fine gentleman in a sharp suit. A tall magician hat rested on her head, and she seemed to spin a candy cane on her hand as she talked. “Mistah Uke, you cosplaying?”

“Totally. Ichika is too.”

“Eh?! B-But—“

“No buts.” I shushed her.

“But you said that… eeeeh?” Still unable to comprehend my sudden mood change, Ichika turned to stare at the roster absentmindedly.

After perusing the remaining options, my gaze fixated on one in particular.


“We’ll have this set!” I pointed with renowned vigor.



Despite Ichika's clear protest, the unlikely ally I had found in the young attendant supported me throughout my scheme.

And now it was time for some real cosplay.


“Why did I even agree to this…?” Ichika murmured, hugging herself tightly as she gazed into the mirror with a mix of embarrassment and dismay.

She donned a tight fitted pink dress, with a puffy skirt, a pink wig and all her ornaments played off the same hue. Not to mention the very professional looking wand she had strapped along her back.

"Fret not…" I struck a chuuni pose, appearing in the mirror beside her. Ichika was no longer Ichika. "You are now Lilia-chan!"

“And you’re what, a fat ass penguin?”


I hissed angrily at Endo’s remark.

Engulfing my whole figure from my neck all the way to my feet was a big suit that looked exactly like the body of Pingin, Lilia-chan’s assistant.

That was the perfect cover up for someone as unique as myself! Now I’m just some generic purple penguin!

Sadly, the storage was sort of Pingin head masks, so all I got was a simple purple persona mask instead.

“Wow…” Ichika looked at me in horror as I stood next to the reflection of herself, she so desperately wanted to look away from. “And I thought my disguise looked ridiculous.”

“I’m not ridiculous! I’m Pingin!”

With an exasperated sigh, Ichika turned away from the mirror. “You owe me a big, fat explanation later.” With her usual fiery glare, my fake girlfriend once again made her intentions perfectly clear.

For now though, I didn’t mind. All I wanted was to get through this scot-free!

“Not as big and fat as Mistah Uke’s costume though, that’s for sure!” Endo snickered, spinning round her cane like a fairy. A trash-talking, annoying fairy.

“Pingin is not fat! He’s just slightly plump!”

“Hey, kiddos!” The young attendant from earlier suddenly stuck her head through the curtain of our fitting area, as she smiled merrily. “There’s a cosplay competition at the XX building, should I sign you up?”

Endo, ever the opportunist, answered without hesitation. “Sure, count them in!”

“Kirara?!” Reverting back to self-conscious mode, Ichika hugged herself tight again, a mixture of horror and embarrassment flashing across her face in quick succession.

I of course didn’t mind at all. In fact…

“Brilliant idea, Endo-chan!” I nodded several times at that wonderful idea.

Attending a competition in a cramped space? With costumes on to boot? Not in a million years would we be in danger of being found out!

“Huh, what’s up with him?” Endo muttered, turning to her still embarrassed friend.

“Don’t know… Don’t care…” Ichika's words hung lifelessly in the air, as if drained of all will to live.

“What name shall I register you under?”

“Hmmm” Racking my brain for a unique and spirited moniker, inspiration struck me like a bolt of lightning “The ultimate Otaku Maku Couple!”



Ichika and Endo fired their remarks at me in quick succession.

“Ah, I have already registered another couple under that name…” the attendant chimed in with a wry smile.

What?! I thought it was unique!

“Just put, HaruIchi.” The green-haired devil in our midst snickered, “That’s their ship name after all.”



Ichika and I exchanged a brief glance of confusion.


Despite our very clear infighting and the utter turmoil we had caused, our adventure through the cosplay tent ended without a hitch, and it was now time for the real deal!

While I say the real deal, all that I mean is we had to attend that competition and just smile awkwardly though an appraisal. As we made our way to the venue though, I had to find an explanation for all this as Morishita stared back at us in shock.

“…And so we decided to enter the competition.”

“So, Ichika agreed on joining a cosplay competition? While dressed as Lilia-chan? Of her own accord?”


While Morishita looked pretty skeptical about it, I nodded in response.

Kill me. Kill me. Somebody kill me. Somebody please. Somebody. Kill. Destroy.

On the other hand though, Ichika’s death chanting as we walked down towards the instructed building didn’t exactly help my chances of passing on a believable story.

“Uhm, I think Ichika-chan’s broken.”

“She doesn’t seem to be taking it well…”

Endo and then Morishita hit me with a one-two.

“Haha, guys chill! It’s just second-hand embarrassment…” I chuckled animatedly, as I jogged my way to her like the best fake boyfriend there is.

I then proceeded to ask.

“What is wrong with you?”

“This costume is wrong with me, you dumbass!” Ichika barked back, almost like she had that insult rehearsed for quite some time.

“Shh!” I tried to get her to lower the volume, “What’s wrong with it?!”

“Everything!” She whisper-shouted back, scratching at her head nervously. “It’s too tight around the waist! Too short around the thighs! Too stuffy on my chest and this wig is itching the hell out of my head!”

Despite her complaints I gave her a quick once over.

“I think you look cute, though.”

“Wha?!” She flinched beneath my gaze momentarily, before shooting back her usual glare. “Who asked for your opinion?! Hmph!”

With a dismissive pout, she turned away in a huff.

It was true though, Ichika had the perfect figure for a dress as tight as Lilia-chan’s. The way it revealed some parts of her body more than others too, only added to her charm.

Ichika was actually pretty cute if she dressed up.

Now that I think about it, back at the dinner with her family, she did seem pretty embarrassed at first, too. She really must have a complex about dressing fancy.

“If I have to endure this torture every time I dress in cute clothes, then damn cuteness to oblivion!”

With a slight chuckle, I followed closely behind her as she stomped her way to the venue, almost too furious to realize how much she resembled a gorilla with the way she walked.

A cute gorilla. But a gorilla nonetheless.

I definitely need to make this up to her somehow later.

Taylor J
Mario Nakano 64