Sunday, August 3, 2014

Manga Review: Otomen

In high school, my best friend and I would spend a lot of time in Borders looking at different manga series, and buying those that caught our interest.  Unfortunately, Borders is gone, and being at college and working has cut into my time to look at and read manga.  Fortunately for all of you, there were a few series I picked up back then that were really memorable.

One of my favorite series back then was Otomen.  It was a cute romantic comedy with a good amount of humor everywhere.  Let's take a closer look!

Otomen stars Asuka and Ryo, who are classmates in high school.

Asuka Masamune
Asuka at first glance appears to be the typical male lead in shoujo manga: popular, good at sports, and able to defend his friends in a fight.  He has some other hobbies that he keeps hidden.  He likes "girly" things: baking, sewing, all things cute, and shoujo manga.  Unsurprisingly, his favorite manga is "Love Chick", written secretly by his best friend under a pseudonym and chronicling Asuka's own relationships. 

Ryo Miyakozuka

Ryo is the new transfer student, whose father owns a dojo.  Her hobbies include martial arts and action movies.  She is terrible at "girly" things, and so, upon realizing Asuka's secret hobbies, recruits him to help her be more feminine. 

The two start falling in love, and over the course of the series, meet other guys with "girly" interests (called otomen).  The hijinks continue as both try to hide their true interests from their families (due to spoilers). 

Overall, Otomen is upbeat, funny, and cute.  It's easy to pick up and put down, and there are plenty of interesting characters to see. 

Hope Burns Bright

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