Sunday, February 21, 2010

Review: Otomen volume 1

Title: Otomen Vol. 1
Author: Aya Kanno
Illustrator: Aya Kanno
Publisher: Viz Media
Copyright: 2009 (2006 Japan)
Price: $8.99
ISBN: 978-1-4215-2186-2
Summary: Asuka Masamune may be the manliest man anyone knows, but he harbors a secret: he loves cute and girly objects and hobbies. When he first encounters boyish Ryo, she is facing a gang of bullies and defending a boy. Asuka immediately falls in love with her and realizes he has to face his identity while keeping his reputation intact. Enter Juta, a flirt, a playboy, and secretly one of the most popular shojo manga artists whose muse is Asuka. Juta can see the attraction between Ryo and Asuka and decides to provide a little divine intervention, while enjoying delicious bento lunches prepared by Asuka. In this volume, Asuka helps Ryo as she prepares to celebrate her manly father’s upcoming birthday. When her father discovers that he can bake, Asuka is challenged to fight with Ryo’s father.
Thoughts: Asuka, Juta, and Ryo provide a delightful and funny group to observe in this shojo manga. Immediately from the start, you know that one of the major plot points will be about Asuka as he works through his identity crisis and learning to please himself and not others. Juta provides great comic relief in the story, causing me to laugh out loud (at least once). Also, the fact that he is secretly the author behind the parallel manga in the story provides a great plot point. This is a deeply layered shojo manga that isn’t just about romance and I look forward to reading more of this series.
Will Teens Like It? Probably. The identity crisis occurring, the comedy, and the quirky story are all great points to this title.
Things to be aware of: Possibly mild language.
Bonus: ALA Great Graphic Novels 2010

Reviewed a library copy.

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