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A story set in the near future, about a middle-aged loser whose only refuge is a virtual bishoujo game.
Takuro, the main character, is a stereotyped, low self esteem, adult male in a dead end job. Because he feels he has nothing to live for, he let himself go, becoming fat, miserable, and lonely. The only shining thing he lives for is the occasional visit to a brothel where his savings will allow him to at least not be completely sexless. This is when, through a real life friend of his, he is introduced to the virtual reality world of "The Unreal". Where, after spending $6000+ on equipment, you can purchase a virtual girlfriend who only thinks of you. Only the girl, Tsukiko, that Takuro purchases, seems to have come with a few defects.


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Associated Names

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Latest Release(s)
v.4 c.48-49 (end) by Mangascreener & Kotonoha over 7 years ago
v.4 c.46-47 by Mangascreener & Kotonoha over 7 years ago
v.4 c.45 by Mangascreener & Kotonoha over 7 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
4 Volumes (Complete)
2 Volumes (Shinsoban, 2012)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 7.5 / 10.0 (276 votes)
Bayesian Average: 7.41 / 10.0
 17% (47 votes)
 15% (42 votes)
 24% (66 votes)
 21% (59 votes)
 8% (22 votes)
 5% (13 votes)
 3% (7 votes)
 2% (6 votes)
 1% (4 votes)
 4% (10 votes)

Last Updated
January 21st 2018, 5:58am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher
Shogakukan (2004; 2012)

Serialized In (magazine)
Big Comic Spirits (Shogakukan)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #567 increased(+151)
Monthly Pos #1021 increased(+346)
3 Month Pos #1806 increased(+475)
6 Month Pos #2582 increased(+250)
Year Pos #2805 increased(+281)

List Stats
On 527 reading lists
On 607 wish lists
On 582 completed lists
On 52 unfinished lists
On 193 custom lists

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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Great read   
Rating: N/A
by o0James0o
March 25th, 2012, 9:54pm
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
finished this all a couple of hours, have to say I do not understand why Maria will fall for this fat ugly arse dude (yes im a dude). Nor could I understand why this fat dude would chose unreal over real. However, what I get off this manga is the epicness of Reinhart. Dude is a hero! Sacrificed his life to save Karen.
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teh meat   
Rating: N/A
by smapple
February 25th, 2012, 4:55pm
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
For those confused with ending a bit and how it's an upper, downer, or loose end here's some things to keep in mind.

1) The protagonist is a loser with almost no redeeming qualities. The proof? He chooses Tsukiko, who has death planned for him, over Nagao, who was authentically giving him a chance at happiness irl. One could compare Takuro and Tsukiko as star crossed lovers who are fated to never be together, but lets be "real" would we want Takuro to become like his friend Reinhardt when he has a real chance at a normal love life? I pitied Nagao throughout the whole story. While Tuskiko forced Takuro to meet her on her terms, Nagao was the one who accepted Takuro for who he was. Imagine your irl partner dumping you for a dating sim. Or if you're not in a relationship, imagine your dating sim parter dumping you for another char in the dating sim. Yeah, it's that bad. I was hoping Takuro would eat dirt and he did eventually.

3) Tsukiko I was rooting for her until she decided killing Takuro irl for the virtual would be the better alternative. If she had compromised for the real life fat, ugly, sweaty, balding, smelly, disgusting Takuro I might have felt a more angst about her inevitable end.

4) The monkey. He wants to send nuke flying but is killed instead. For intending to nuke people? No, but because the people preferred virtual zoo animals rather than the real thing and he wasn't bringing in enough money. That's just pitiful. Honestly, after that revelation I couldn't bring myself to hate the Ehara character. His should have been a death by necessity, but instead became a simple convenience.

5) Nagao. I consider her to be the only true redeemable character. She accepts Takuro and he dumps her for Tsukiko. Then she saves Tsukiko to be reborn to not make the same mistake of falling for someone like Takuro. Would you want your daughter dating him? And she didn't make that choice for Tsukiko because she still loves Takuro or something, but because I think she understood how bad life could get by getting involved with someone like him. In other words, she accepted Tsukiko like she accepted Takuro even with their faults. Plus, at the end Nagao brings her new daughter to where Takuro works. There's no evidence as to whether or not she knew Takuro was there, but I'd like to think she knew. She basically just swings by one day to let him have some relief from the consequences of his decisions. I don't think she's forgiven him, but at least she understood him.

If you think Takuro has a pitiful ending that's true, he does. However, don't get that confused with a bad ending. Takuro was pitiful at the start and he didn't learn his lesson so what could be expected? A bad ending would have been he and Tsukiko someone continue their relationship and sometime in the future he ends up like Reinhart who, if i'm not mistaken, is dead alone in his empty room i.e. dead chasing an illusion. Takuro is alive and he gets to see his long lost love leading a normal life with normal interests without all the bad influences, including himself, that led up to the mess in the first place. True happiness from the heart. I'd say that's a pretty good ending.
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Rating: 3.9 / 10.0
by AndyProk
February 8th, 2012, 11:03pm
This is the first time I felt that just labelling a comment as useful/true isn't quite doing it justice. astrosis' comment hits the mark dead-on.

Oh and as to why my rating is significantly lower than his: For one I am quite harsh (out of 600+ completed mangas, none has a 10 and only 15 have 9 or higher). Secondly, endings and how I feel after completeing a manga have a huge influence on how much I like/dislike them, and the ending of this one... yeah...
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so bad...   
Rating: 4.0 / 10.0
by zensc
October 17th, 2011, 4:06am
I think I missed something in the plot, it suppose to be a romance...well i haven't seen any. I was sure he the man character will change himself, the girl will some kind of miraculously get to real world and they will live happy ever after, When I read the last chapter I was really disappointed. What was the meaning of showing the guy who only becomes more miserable. Ehh i think i read to much shojo.
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Intriguing, but the Ending is Lacking   
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by astroasis
September 14th, 2011, 8:07pm
If you came away from this manga thinking it had anything to do with pedophilia, you missed the idea entirely. I'd tell you to re-read it, but you've missed the boat so entirely, you're probably better off putting this title aside and going back to whatever it is you usually read. This is not for you.

This is a gritty, dark manga about escapism, alienation and technology itself - and how these three things combine to present pitfalls and dangers beyond most people's imaginations.

Many people would admit that they would prefer a world like "Unreal" to their day-to-day existence. Just look at how many people engage in roleplaying, MMOs, fanfiction, The Sims, etc. The problem is, it's not a one-or-the-other issue. The further you venture into the "Unreal" or the escapist behaviors that bring you comfort, the further alienated you get from the real world.

This story presents us with 2 extremes in the characters of Reinhardt and Maria. Reinhardt (I forgot the characters real name lol) is so deeply buried in the world of Unreal that there's little left for him in the real world. On the other hand, Maria is determined to find meaning and point in the real world and refuses to even look at what the "Unreal" has to offer. Between the two of them, you have Takuro - who just wants something, anything, to make him feel alive and loved.

I wish the mangaka hadn't drawn Takuro to be SO disgusting. I think the constant snot strings and creepy smiles took away from the meaning of the story. It would've been far better to present him as a loser, yes, but a normal one. I mean, most people don't have 3 inch strings of snot coming out of their nose all the time. No one else in the manga even does. Why does he?

But I digress. Ultimately, Takuro ends up having to make a choice: Real World or Unreal World? The consequences of this decision are rather unexpected - and the end of the manga ends up feeling a bit "WTF" as a result. The ending is truly a bit over-the-top and out of left field, which ended up making the manga a bit less enjoyable overall for me.

I think a better "moral" could've been presented... but then again, is there really a solution to the issues brought up here? There will always be those who prefer to live in the real world and those who prefer their fantasies. Who's to say which is better or worse than the other? That's something everyone needs to decide for themselves.

As for this manga, I'd recommend it to anyone who likes a title meant to make you think. If you just take things at face value and don't like using your brain a bit, you're likely to think this is just about gross guys jerking off to futuristic dating sims. And in a way, it is. But it's also a lot more than that.
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Occasionally uncomfortable, but overall a very interesting read   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by Akukame
February 2nd, 2011, 7:01pm
Hanazawa Kengo takes a very a more realistic, satirical approach to otaku culture with a bit of dark comedy mixed in. Theres a definite underlying theme of wanting to escape reality and escape responsibility. It also focuses on the extreme measures people will go through to do this, and people's attachment to virtual persona's they've created. Its not a perfect manga, but assuming the low self esteem and sexual themes don't hit too close to home and aren't too objectionable to you, should keep you glued to the manga.

Takuro, the main character, is a stereotyped, low self esteem, adult male in a dead end job. Because he feels he has nothing to live for, hes let himself go, becoming fat, miserable, and lonely. The only shining thing he lives for is the occasional visit to a brothel where his savings will allow him to atleast not be completely sexless. This is when, through a real life friend of his, he is introduced to the virtual reality world of "The Unreal". Where, after spending $6000+ on equipment, you can purchase a virtual girlfriend who only thinks of you. Only the girl, Tsukiko, that Takuro purchases, seems to have come with a few defects.

The manga is a bit slow to start, much like Hanazawa's other manga. Not developing a clear vision of where the manga is headed until atleast the 2nd volume. And the section it leads into is a definite low in the manga. This "brothel" section has some choices that have questionable taste, such as a very literal metaphor involving Tsukiko's hymen needing to be broken and heavy themes of virtual reality sex trade (and the often underage, idealized girls involved in it).

But even as low as it goes, it never gets too heavy. Though it does get almost uncomfortable to read, the dark comedy thrown in usually keeps it from going too far. It all comes together rather nicely in the end, leaving most questions answered, and a few questions for the reader to decide on their own. Its definitely not an idealistic ending, but a satisfying one. And I'd recommend it to fans of his other works, aswell as fans of authors such as Yamamoto Naoki.

... Last updated on February 2nd, 2011, 7:06pm
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A great start   
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by revilenigma
January 31st, 2011, 3:18pm
An amazing(especially considering it's Hanazawa's debut work) cyber-punk satire on the creepier side of Japan's otaku culture.
Don't listen to any of the nay-sayers, to miss the point of a manga so hard and believe it actually promotes pedophilia must be the result of some heavy autism.
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a real turd of a manga   
Rating: 1.0 / 10.0
by takitogr
January 29th, 2011, 2:48pm
this is as low as it gets....i wanted to finish this manga because the mangaka has also made the "i am a hero" manga that i'm currently reading but this title is seriously horrible

now i'm not a prude and i have read edgy material but let me explain myself a bit

the art is disgustingly bad....the story is more horrible than the doesn't have any purpose or value's only real purpose is externalising the mangaka's insane perverse fantasies while trying to make sexual intercourse seem perfectly natural and appropriate for elementary school kids (confusedconfusedconfusedconfusedconfused).....i stopped reading some chapters after the brothel arc because it was making me sick to my stomach as well as raping my mind when it was so shamelessly trying to promote sex as something like an everyday situation for any kidconfusedconfusedconfusedconfused

ban this filth i say....seriously i was against the whole ban art issue but ppl have to realise (as i realised) that ppl who want to groom children can use stuff like this to show to their victims that this is a perfectly acceptable behaviour....uuggghhhhh....i'm sorry but im going to go puke

any person here who thinks this is quality stuff or rated high this filth needs to have their brain checked
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Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by yuno19
November 15th, 2010, 6:13pm
amusing. there is 30 years old guy acts like a child.

this manga is amusing in its own way. page turner yes, and gives off familiar atmosphere. ways different than other online game manga which only put weight on realism and messed up anywhere else; this one got the future well thought! although some strange element present (like the old guy's job, if technology is already that advanced, simple work should be done by less people), but they don't hurt the whole build. enjoyable, and still be at the latter chapters.

my notes:
ignore the comment who accuse this as a pedo material, they just don't know.
i won't give high score, i have taste to mood raising manga, not (even a bit) depressing ones. besides, i'm just stingy.
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wth..... why is no one picking this back up?   
Rating: N/A
by kuraien
September 24th, 2010, 4:04pm
This is the best manga running nowadays HANDS DOWN.

How come no one is picking it up? i cant stand this, its gone so far, too far not to know how to end, and I got no friggin idea how to read japanese, so please someone pick this up "yo" D:
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