Notice for Review Requests

I receive review requests weekly. However, my personal schedule is hectic and I no longer review actively. (I also manage another blog called The Toronto Cafe and Food Blog). I do read every request sent but I apologize in advance that I do not reply to them all.

If I do take on a request, I will forewarn that it may take some time before I can review it. I am now looking to review adult fiction and self-help books instead of young adult fiction because I have grown out of it. If you are to request a review for either adult fiction or self-help, I will more likely to give it a shot.

In the meantime, Stop, Drop, and Read! serves as an archive book review blog. When I have the time, I may post a review. Thank you for understanding.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Otomen by Aya Kanno

Title: Otomen
Mangaka: Aya Kanno
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: Approx. 200
# of Volumes: 6
My Rating: 3/5

Asuka Masamune is every girl's dream boyfriend. He is tall, handsome, stoic, and a fierce fighter. But he has a secret. Every since he was young, he loved all things girls would like. When his mother found out, she was in shock. So she told him to put a cap on his girl-like hobbies and be more like a man. She did not want him to go down the same road like his father did who left the family to become a woman.

Now in high school, Asuka tries his best to be a "real man" through kendo (Japanese sword-fighting with wooden sticks) and keeps on a straight face. Until he meets recent transfer student, Ryo Miyakozuka, his facade starts to peel away. Being in love makes him act girlier by the minute!

Meanwhile, secret mangaka classmate, Juuta Tachibana, uses Asuka as a model for a character in his popular manga series. However, his playboy ways are not fond of by Asuka. He only goes around to different girls so he could understand how the female mind works (which no one knows about because he keeps his manga career on the low). He starts getting close to Asuka as a supposed friend, hoping to lure him into confessing to Ryo (that way he would be able to continue on his comic with inspiration). But would Asuka's lovesick situation get any better when Ryo is completely clueless about his feelings toward her?

When the first volume came out, quite a few manga fans online made a small fuss about it. So I decided to check it out. And I have to say it let me down.

I think the only reason why there is a hype is because the handsome male protagonist likes girly things but he is not gay. Asuka was not a bad character himself and the situation he is in is interesting compared to the norm I have to admit. But I had a bit of a problem with Ryo. She was just there and did not contribute much except make Asuka's heart throb. She is supposedly a "strong" female character who apparently can not cook or sew to save her life. She came off way too friendly. Maybe if she was more aggressive and not so nice, there would be more tension to make the plot more interesting.

The mangaka have gone way too fast with the storyline. I honestly thought that it should have ended at chapter one. Ryo found out about Asuka's real self way too soon. I could not help but wonder what could possibly happen after the first volume. I mean, the whole point of the story is sort of chucked out the window. At least have her discover his "womanly" side in the second volume. That way, I would want to pick it up and see what would happen to him.

Something that I wished the manga was might as well be was shonen-ai (light boyxboy love). Juuta's and Asuka's relationship was much more tight compared to Asuka's and Ryo's. Literally, I was waiting for the two to kiss. Reading through it, I am amazed that Asuka did not go for a gender change yet. Sadly, the manga is straight edge but with flowers.

It did get a bit better half way through the first volume but I can't predict what would go on in the next. A lot of females enjoyed it so you might too if you like shojo (girl-themed mangas). It is a very light read but could have been much better if it was thought out in details.

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2 comments:

towerofbooks said...

Hi, you won an award.

http://towerofbooks.wordpress.com/2009/03/12/an-award/

Congrats!

VANESSA said...

HI,MY NAME IS VANESSA I'M 13 I LOOVVEE OTOMEN IT IS MY FOVORITE BOOK AND I HAVE OVER 30-40 DIFFINT ANIME BOOKS AND OUT OF ALL OF THAM YOURS IS MY FOVORITE I HAVE VOLUME 1-3 AND I CAN'T WHAT TO GIT THE OTHERS I GAST LLLOOOVVEEE YOUR WORK I WANT TO BE AN ARTIST LIKE YOU THANK YOU SO MUCH AYA KANNO YOU A REALLY GREAT ARTIST AND I GAST HOPE ONE DAY I CAN BE GAST LIKE YOU BEFOR I DIE "THANK YOU SOOO MUCH"BYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!