Saturday, July 5, 2014

Manga Review: Otomen, Volume 18, by Aya Kanno

Rating (Out of 5): ~4-4.5
Publisher: Shojo Beat (VIZ Media)
Release Date: May 2014
Volumes: 18
Spoilers?: Vague.
Volume: 1. 17.

Goodreads Synopsis:

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. Can Asuka ever show his true self to anyone, much less to Ryo Miyakozuka, the girl that he’s falling for?

For the sake of his mom, Asuka turns away from his friends and Ryo… But the unimaginable happens when Asuka’s friends stage an intervention at his graduation! With everything on the line, how will things end for our beloved otomen?!

What Did I Love?:

  •  Ryo. I quite love her, and will definitely miss her.
  • I really do enjoy the premise of the story, and how all the boys take part in some kind of supposedly girly activity, particularly Asuka.
  • I enjoyed Kanno's artwork and storytelling, and I've read one of her other translated mangas (Blank Slate, which is very different from this one) and enjoyed it. I would enjoy reading more of her work.


I am hugely impressed by this volume. I wasn’t quite sure how the series would end, although I suspected what did happen, and I’d been warned about what happened with Asuka. I was afraid that it would be too cliché, or cheesy, or overdone. But it wasn’t. Instead, it fit the series perfectly, I think.
Some people think that what happened with Asuka was cliché, but I honestly think it fits really well. Having that happen really brought home to his mother what she’d been doing. I think it made her change believable, especially given how horrible she’d been. Plus, Asuka was seriously adorable during that.
Now, the moment leading up to it was a little overdone, particularly Juta but really everyone (except Ryo). But I’ll let it pass, for how it all ended, and for Ryo’s part in it. Ryo is just amazing.
The one thing that really makes the ending so great to me, is that it takes place several years later. Having them wait so long (purposely or not) to do it, makes it seem more believable, and not like they were jumping the gun. I mean, they’re perfect for each other no matter what, but it means more that they waited, that they grew and are settled in who they are and what they’re doing. Also, what happened with Asuka’s dad makes me happy for him as well.
This was just a perfect ending to the series, and it really brings home how good it really is, and makes me happy that I read and collected it all the way through.

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