Jaku-chara Tomozaki-kun


Links are NOT allowed. Format your description nicely so people can easily read them. Please use proper spacing and paragraphs.

This stands at the forefront of strategy guides to Life (a shitty video game)!

Life is a bad video game. This commonplace phrase is, unfortunate as it might be, the truth.

After all, Life has no simple, easy rules. The rules it does have are nothing but irrational and unfair. The strong claim that Life has a high level of freedom, but the weak have no choice but to cope with an overwhelmingly disadvantageous design.

That’s why it’s a sh*t game.

Since I, Japan’s leading gamer who has experienced and mastered a multitude of games, say so, there can be no mistake.

— However, that person, on top of having mastered gaming to about the same level as I, declared to me that Life is a god-tier game.

Destined to be a top-tier character, that person is the school’s perfect heroine, Hinami Aoi. And to top it off, she even says she will teach me the rules of Life?

…… Normally, I wouldn’t believe such a thing. However, Hinami Aoi is someone who does not fit into a frame like ‘normal’ at all!

From the winner of the 10th Shogakukan Light Novel Award for Excellence. A low-tier character takes on life’s strategy guide, but with instruction from a pretty girl!

Associated Names
One entry per line
Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki
The Low Tier Character "Tomozaki-kun"
Yowa-chara Tomozaki-kun
Related Series
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatte Iru (4)
Boku no Bungeibu ni B*tch ga Irunante Arienai (2)
Ordinary I and Extraordinary Them (2)
Omae wo Onii-chan ni Shite Yarouka!? (1)
The Elf Is a Freeloader (1)
Chitose-kun wa Ramune Bin no Naka (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. enjoyed my time
  2. Anime 2024
  3. My absolute favourites | Ranked
  4. Sugar + Little Salt
  5. favorite LNs (PEAK!)

Latest Release

Date Group Release
01/14/22 learning… please... v7 ss
09/26/21 learning… please... bd ss1
08/17/21 learning… please... v6.5 ss
03/26/21 learning… please... v6 ss 2
03/23/21 learning… please... v6 ss 1
11/17/20 learning… please... v4 ss part1
11/24/19 learning… please... v2 extra
04/26/19 learning… please... v2c3 part6-7
03/23/19 learning… please... v2c3 part5
03/10/19 learning… please... v2c3 part4
02/02/19 learning… please... v2c3 part3
01/27/19 learning… please... v2c3 part1-2
12/31/18 learning… please... v2c2 part8
12/16/18 learning… please... v2c2 part4-7
10/10/18 learning… please... v2c2 part1-3
Go to Page...
Go to Page...
Write a Review
23 Reviews sorted by

Pixeldrum rated it
March 18, 2021
Status: v2
The question you have been waiting for: is it cringe? Absolutely. I am the only contrarian amongst all reviews, I guess.

I really like how every reviewer is saying that it's "super realistic, " and how "it's not cringe at all." Yeah, throw that out the window. Just the concept of how a top pro level gamer is getting coached by a hot girl is not what I'd call a "realistic normal scenario." That's straight out of a romance novel. Oh yeah, as a loser and loner, being able to interact... more>> with a cute girl all the time is what I'd call "realistic."

But the coaching... this is really what gets me. Doing exercises to change your facial expressions? Are you kidding me? This doesn't exist. You don't just simply "change" your resting facial expression. Sure, your smiles, other gestures, etc can be practiced and improved upon, but if I'm being honest here, that's not really an important factor when it comes to how good you look. Working out, exercising, fashion sense, good grooming, hairstyle, etc affect how you look to other poeple. Postures, too, of course, and that's mentioned in the novel. Point taken. Facial expressions though? Hmm... not really getting it. It's possible to look better when smiling, but who goes smiling all day?

Sure, our MC goes through some actual coaching sessions on "conversational topics, " and admittedly, social interactions are a skill: you can easily train in them given practice. But, it's like, is training conversational topics really going to get rid of social awkwardness? Social anxiety? If so, then why are there so many people who have it?

I'll admit, some of these things can definitely improve yourself, but let's not kid ourselves: these are not "life hacks." These are basic tips that you need to expand upon yourself. If you really want to improve yourself, pick up a self improvement book. If cutting your hair, smiling better, and knowing conversation starters made you turn popular, everyone would be popular.

Anyways, it's pretty pathetic how much of an inferiority complex our MC has, and this story's "redemption" is just as cringe and unrealistic. March Comes in Like a Lion is very similar to this novel in terms of, it's a loner that's a top player in shogi (instead of this game), that's trying to self improve himself. That story feels more genuine to me, however, than this novel ever did, and I didn't even think March comes in like a lion was that good. The journey of self improvement in this novel feels fake, artificial, and rushed, and that's really what it is. Every single step of the way Tomozaki goes in is almost too good to be true. <<less
39 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Pendragon05 rated it
November 28, 2017
Status: v5c2
This is a masterpiece Romcom Light Novel, I remember last 2016, I was really hyped to buy the volume 1 because of the good premise and illustration, turns out it was really a masterpiece for my taste. And see now it is on the top 10 list of Kono Light Novel ga sugoi 2018. I can't wait for the volume 6. In terms of romance I think it's still early to say that this is a harem, because as of volume 5, I think this novel will likely be the... more>> same as Yahari Ore no Seishun and Saekano. But who knows. <<less
32 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
denverdrage rated it
June 7, 2018
Status: v8.5
Do not be fooled, this is not a light novel. It's a walkthrough of how to become a riajuu, disguised as the average rom-com light novel. At times a bit idealistic and everything goes according to plan, at other times, very grounded in the problems faced by students at school every day.

So I had a friend who said to me: "Try reading Jyaku, it's what Oregairu would have been without the melodrama". Sure why not? So after catching up there is one thing he was wrong about: This is what... more>> Oregairu would have been, had it been a how-to guide.

Behind the scenes, there is the usual analysis between the main character and his teacher where we see a through analysis on fashion, speech pattern, voice intonation, body posture, conversation topics, how to feel and change the flow of conversations etc which feels like a how-to. The main character uses the "skills" to level up in the real life, like he would have done in a game.

On the stage we have Tomozaki, who is socially awkward and thinks life is a shitty game. We see him develop, step by step, as we see him find friends, problems, and his own way of life. Despite the cliches in the first few chapters which may stop people from reading more, this is a really good series that gets better for each volume.

You want smart main character? Check. You don't want wimpy characters? Check. You want good female characters? Check. You want fantastic male characters? Check. You want romantic subplots? Check. You want pairings besides the main character? Check. Some melodrama? Check. You want a good rom-com? Check!

This is a must read. <<less
25 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
MinosML rated it
October 29, 2021
Status: v5
Not like Oregairu at all, so Idk about all the recs up there and the reviews...

Think of it as a how-to guide of normies and written in a totally condescending and shallow way while trying to appear deep and complex while at the same time making total fun of its intended audience. Totally cringe, totally shallow, and every good teaching you could get out of this is overshadowed by all the cringe and bad overlying messages this leaves with every single volume. Weird how it has such positive reviews, huh.
15 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
xenocross rated it
July 21, 2018
Status: v1c6 part3
This is good good novel.

Most of light novel tend to fall into two broad categories.

1. Delusional unrealistic.

... more>> Where ordinary guy or even otaku got a harem due to ridiculous scenario. Oregairu, haganai, oreimo.

2. Escapism dream

The isekai genre where the otaku got new body and start over. Or getting superpowers.

This novel actually avoid the trapping of those two categories.

The protagonist is a gaming otaku with low social skill. He met a teacher who taught him life skills.

It is realistic that he raise his skills, improve himself, expand social circle, and got girls, because he spend effort on it.

Much different than just reincarnated and start over. Or wishing a girl just fall from the sky <<less
11 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
StazDespond rated it
January 11, 2019
Status: v1c1 part5
Kind of annoying might comeback to read rest of it but right now it is far too see through in its message and gives a long ass lecture by a unlikable character
9 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
mjtonoy rated it
May 31, 2021
Status: --
It's realistic?! The heck it is. The things he's doing to improve his social position is super unrealistic

I don't get why you have to work this hard to make friends. I think friends made like that aren't real at all.

And memorizing conversation topic, huh? Seriously?!!! You have that much free time?!

People are comparing it with Oregairu. Just how could they insult Oregairu like that!

Life strategy guide....... How funny.
8 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
exkinkin rated it
December 13, 2020
Status: v5 epilouge
I'm utterly amazed by this series. By far, it's the best and most realistic loner-protagonist-slice-of-life I have ever read.

Some other reviews already mentioned this, but I do think that MC of this novel (Tomozaki) is Hachiman, but actually tries to change towards a better self.

And as someone who's changed and still trying to change, I do think that this novel is quite spot-on, even though I also knew that this is a fictional work, and yes not all of them are realistic.

I'm happy that I read this and this fuel... more>> myself further to change towards a better self. Some of you might think that it's cringe but this is what I truly felt when reading this series, and I know 1-2 years from now when I read this review again, I would absolutely prove myself that i'll become a better person.

I hope you guys also give this a try.

PS : I've talked about the story and plot, basically. Other than that, I'm quite disappointed in the romance aspect, or more exactly, frustrated. I have no idea what's on his (and Aoi's) mind, hope that'll get clearer on the next volumes. <<less
8 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Tenku_kun rated it
January 30, 2018
Status: --
well too quick to review it but, since there's a lack of reviews in total I'd like to say that I very much like how the LN is. It's a lot different than the normal romcoms imo. With the otaku MC actually trying to become a normie by overcoming the anxieties normally faced by an otaku in general.
8 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Kalor rated it
August 16, 2021
Status: v6
Tomozaki has it easy: his lives in very cushioned environment, everybody is so nice to him that it seems unrealistic.

Book takes on self-improvent, but how could you talk about self-improvement when there are no real obstacles? Every stunt is forgiven, friends are gained with few learned topics, affection without effort. Classic self-insert masked as couching book.

Using this as walkthrough may hurt you - putting effort into something often don't yield results, don't be mistaken. There are some useful tips, ... more>>

although MC himself realized its sociopath approach

but overall I think it gives false hope. He often balances on verge of being ostracized saved by plot armor disguised as main heroine.

While reading this book, I often put it away in anticipation of incoming drama when someone will call out his stunts and also from second hand embarrassment from his actions. <<less
7 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
manamono rated it
August 4, 2018
Status: v1 completed
Great novel with appealing and realistic characters tackling self-improvement. The story is enjoyable even on the 2nd read. And if you are interested in self improvement, this novel could even serve as a guide (or at least an inspiration).

Last but not least, Hinami is the best girl. Look at her thighs in the cover. We can probably build a religion around those. If you read the afterword you will also see that the author is also a man of culture as well :D
7 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Rampage Debut
Rampage Debut rated it
October 20, 2021
Status: v1 epilogue
Warning: If you have come reading this novel in the hopes of finding another novel like Oregairu, then I am sorry to say this but better give up. This Oregairu wannabe story gives the illusion of being as deep as Oregairu but it's basically an improvised version of 'loser, unsocial MC who becomes popular and gets a harem' story that you can find anywhere.

That said, I will admit that it is better than the rest of the novels of 'unpopular MC becoming popular with girls' genre. Some of the tips... more>> given here can be applied IRL but some are exaggerated to the extent that no layman can benefit from it.

For instance, Hinami tells MC to cram everyday conversational topics. Seriously? To start a conversation you need to remember only few points, the basics being go with the flow if you can't start a new topic (main thing here is trying again and again; you'll eventually be able to fit in before you know it) but she tells Tomozaki to learn the entire conversation topics of all classmates discussed in school every day, a thing only studious of studious students with very high cramming capacity and can devote all their time to this, ignoring studying and playing time can do. Unless you're one of the rarest of rarest people possessing photographic memory which means this gruesome routine might be a good fit for you. Unfortunately this idealistic cramming routine is unsuitable for a layman like me who has yet to put that kind of effort in my exams (lol). If you want tips for convo, better read Chitose-kun wa Ramune Bin no Naka or novels like that instead.

To conclude: Is this story good? Yes, if you haven't read stories like this before. Is it realistic? No, the real life problems aren't that easy and there is no plot armor IRL like FL saving MC's bu*t everytime before he gets burned in this story. Does it offer a good life strategy guide? Absolutely NOT. Author's advice to tackle every problem is: Copy others, cram and repeat till it become a muscle memory. Goes on to show that author himself had never overcome any of the problems mentioned in novel in his highschool days. Is it comparable to Oregairu? The answer is NO and DEFINITELY NO. Neither the MC has deep thoughts like 8man (in fact he is straight up anti-social, loser wimp who does nothing but whine) nor is FL as good as Yukino. As such I would rate it 2 stars; and it is possible that it might get better later but currently I have no intention to continue reading this series when it failed in both aspects: being as good as Oregairu and being able to give realistic 'life hacks'. <<less
5 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Kamii0909 rated it
January 8, 2020
Status: v2
This novel is cursed and blessed at the same time, or one may say, blursed. It feels like a collection of LifeProTips for high school students. The MC is ignorant of these things because of his usual lifestyle, but seriously these tips are really helpful, you may call me a nerd but there're parts that I also learned from these useful life haxs.

Well those things are cool, but what surprised me the most reading Jaku chara is the logical and detailed heroine's guide to become a riajuu. I mean, the... more>> author probably put lots of his effort into this part, but it is really amusing to see the actual big picture and the principals of a riajuu's path.

On the other hand, I really like this writing style. It's wholesome, and it's motivating. It exploit the use of psychological definitions through the talks of heroine well enough to make you find it naturally. Also, from the carefully observation and quite a dedication from MC, those together release a half joking, half serious atmosphere that make you relax but also wonder about stuffs at the same time.

The most interesting part might be whenever a game reference comes up. As the MC always takes Life as a game, regularly the author will manage to point out reasonable resemblances between both.

The LN starts with a kinda blatant opening but gets better and better the longer you read. Imo, whenever the author tried to make the characters do something too serious (vol 1 MC-heroine quarrel, vol 2 Hinami's representation), it turned out to be a little bit unrealistic, repetitive and cringy. Maybe I'm just a picky reader, it's not even considered a writing mistake, some people may like it this way. Aside of that, the story is smoothly executed. With especially experienced reader, the novel maybe even more promising, as it makes use of an innovative idea on the field of SoL, so you probably won't get tired of it. Not to mention, the comedy parts are often handled well, as expected from an award-winning writer.

Overally, this will definitely worth your time. Story that involves games but not focus on games (i.e Gamers!) is rare but whenever it is, it is absolutely a Kamige. <<less
5 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Timewinders rated it
December 22, 2021
Status: --
This story starts off with a kinda cringey premise and some of the life advice in the first volume is a bit sketchy, but the story gets better and better as it goes on. All the characters are interesting and well-developed. I can't say I agree with all the lessons Tomozaki gets from Hinami and (later on) Mizusawa, but he does develop from a very cynical loner to a more outgoing person, while still remaining sincere and likeable. It's easy to root for him.
2 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
LightNovelsAreWorseThanHeroin rated it
January 1, 2021
Status: --
Everyone's already said what there is to be said about this novel. One of the most brilliant rom-coms I've read in a while. I hadn't found anything that really scratched that itch in a while but this might just be the best rom-com light novel I've read, highly recommend buying the series.
2 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
jedluffy rated it
June 2, 2018
Status: v1
Basically this is a good read and the one you will have your thoughts run while reading it. You will not waste your time reading this and I have fun reading this novel.

Finding a good novel is really hard sometimes and finding a good romantic comedy novel is harder. When I read/watch novel, manga and anime' s tend to stay on the genre so I tend to check recommendation, comments, tag and genre. But basically I stick to romance, comedy, school and slice of life altogether and only watch harem... more>> and fantasy if I want to have a change of mood or something.

So basically this is a really good choice for a rom-com, if you want me to compare this to a novel as a reference then I can only say (Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatte Iru).

This novel was also adapted to manga so if you want to have more visual about this novel you can check out the manga. <<less
2 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Syrcan rated it
July 23, 2023
Status: v10
A 2023 review after having read volume 10 (translated by Yenpress).

I love character development in stories, and I absolutely love this novel.

The protagonist seems like your average gamer loser, but he is convinced to try and socialize to find out if "life is a fun game". The narration and expansive monologues describing his state of mind are a treat for me. There are constant comparisons between life and games, I find these fun.

Note that yes, this is wish fulfillment, and yes it starts off rather cringe (do not treat this... more>> as a life strategy guide, this is a story!). However as the story progresses, it becomes more and more realistic and authentic.

The characters are well written, all with distinctive and likeable personalities.

And finally another reason why I love this novel: the author really shows that a story can be great and long lasting without relying on common tropes, such as harem or repeating misunderstanding one after another. More about this point in mild spoilers:


The main heroine Aoi Hinami is NOT the love interest. This sounds unbelievable for a rom-com, and yet it just works!

She's also an excellent character. She is a mystery throughout the entire story. One of the main driving forces in this novel is to discover who this girl truly is.

The protagonist is also a great character. At some point in the story he switches the gears on his own, to follow his own beliefs. He questions what he wants, how to get what he wants, and takes the initiative in order to reach his goals.

1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
lokq rated it
October 7, 2022
Status: v9
Nothing much to say, it's great

I know this story is fiction, there is no way a situation where a pretty girl teaches a nerdy gamer how to enjoy life in real world will ever happen.

but even though it's a fiction, for all of the characters that live in that world, their struggle and worries is real for them, and that's what makes it interesting to read.

at the beginning tomozaki is a nerdy cringe boy, slowly and step by step he tried to improve himself, you can see a little bit... more>> of improvement every volume, the cringe starts to decrease, he starts to gain confidence, etc, and his struggle to achieve that is quite enjoyable to see.

i really like the part where the author clearly describes the struggle and feeling of those characters, not just tomozaki, all of the characters in that novel feels alive, changing yourself is hard, not everyone can do it, even if you change yourself, it doesn't mean that change will be good, and the author beautifully incorporating that to the stories, so you can see how those character perceive their world.

those subtle message makes you want to keep reading the novel, makes you love the character, and this kind of stuff what makes me love this novel.

for me in term of romcom light novel, this novel is great, and I can proudly recommend it if you like romcom genre <<less
1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Chu2 rated it
August 23, 2020
Status: v2c3
This is a great story. It's well-paced, and the characters seem like actual people, and not just objects written just to serve as comedy or plot advances. The main character shows actual growth as the story progresses. Unfortunately, at the time of this review, it's been licensed so it cuts off in the middle of the second arc, but it's still a really good read. As other reviews have said, it has a lot of monologuing and can be a bit slow-paced for some, but there exists a manga version... more>> which is much faster-paced, though the LN is more thorough and detailed in laying the groundwork for establishing a person's characterization. <<less
1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
fireutsie rated it
January 18, 2020
Status: v2
This is a good novel if you are looking for a "serious/realistic" romcom. I would say that it is almost as good as Oregairu. And if you have read both, you could draw some parallels between them.

The best thing about the novel is that the characters are round, they feel alive, they struggle and make progress. The relationships and interactions feel "real".

1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Leave a Review (Guidelines)
You must be logged in to rate and post a review. Register an account to get started.