Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Otomen: a manga review
Info: VIZ Media LLC, copright 2009, 208 pages
A review in 10 words (or thereabouts): A boy who likes frilly things is searching for his masculine self.
Asuka Masamune is a guy who loves girly things--sewing, knitting, making cute stuffed animals and reading shojo comics. But in a world where boys are expected to act manly, Asuka must hide his beloved hobbies and play the part of a masculine jock instead. Ryo Miyakozuka, on the other hand, is a girl who can't sew or bake a cake to save her life. Asuka finds himself drawn to Ryo, but she likes only the manliest of men! Can Asuka ever show his true self to anyone, much less to the girl that he's falling for?
Okay. So I only picked this particular title up because our Teen Librarian, Becky, insisted. She loved it. “It’s just so cute,” she said. I think we’re finding we might have different tastes in manga. I started out loving shojo, the sweet, often feminine stories with a bit of romance. But now I think I like demons. And giant swords. And some blood thrown in here and there.
This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy Otomen. I did give it 3 stars. Asuka is admirable. He wants to be his true self, but he also is looking for ways to fit into the cultural ideal of “masculinity.” What he’s finding out, however, that the most attractive trait a man can have is confidence in who he is…masculine or not.
If you’re looking for something fun, something silly, something strangely like a manga within a manga, check out Aya Kanno’s Otomen.