Otomen, by KANNO Aya

Otomen, by KANNO Aya Title: Otomen
Author: KANNO Aya
ISBN# 978-4-592-18414-0
Hana to Yume Comics, 2007

Wow, two new summaries on the same day! Go me!

How could I possibly resist such an adorable cover? Look at him! He’s blushing! And there are hearts! And SPARKLES! So many SPARKLES! Yes, I am easily swayed by shiny things… Fortunately, this turned out to be a really amusing story too! I haven’t reviewed anything by this author here before. The art style is very clean and attractive, and the hero is hot ^_^; This is pure romantic-comedy. No smut to be found in volume 1. This book is a nice change from the usual because it is actually a romance from the guy’s point of view. And what an unusual guy he is…

MASAMUNE Asuka is a badass. Really. He is a tough, cool, 2nd year high school guy who is also a master at kendo. He exudes an aura of manliness that is dificult to deny. Everyone at the school admires him. But for Asuka, life is torture. You see, he can never show the *real* MASAMUNE Asuka to the world. While he is phenomenal at kendo, and looks very cool, Asuka is living a lie. He actually prefers much more ….girly things. Knitting, cooking, sewing, shoujo manga, plushies, cute things… he loves them all. When he was a child, this worried his mother very much. Asuka’s father already abandoned the family after declaring he wanted to be a woman. The shock made his mother ill. She feared the same thing would happen with Asuka. When his mother passed away, she made him swear on her deathbed to become a more manly man.

Poor Asuka. Bound to this promise, he goes through his life acting macho and cool, when all the while he would much rather read the latest Hana to Mame comic at the book store and dream of a shoujo manga romance. Romance comes quickly for Asuka when he rescues a female classmate, MIYAKOZUKA Ryou, from some bullies. Upon seeing her, Asuka instantly falls in love with her, and his desire for cute things and sparkly shoujo romance is reawakened.Asuka in the throes of full-fledged shoujo manga love is hilarious. The struggle to balance his real love for cute things (Ryou-chan included) and his public tough image grows more difficult as he finds himself baking and knitting and sewing things for her. He has a confidant in classmate TACHIBANA Juuta who knows Asuka’s secret. Juuta encourages the romance between the shy Asuka and cute Ryou-chan. Juuta has a hilarious secret of his own!

This is such a funny book! Asuka is a great hero! So adorable. Ryou-chan is charming, and Juuta is hilarious. I highly recommend this one as a silly romantic comedy. This volume is marked as Volume 1, so I assume there will be more. YAY! (EDIT: Wow, there ended up being a LOT more! Over a dozen more volumes and a live-action TV series too! Yay Otomen!)

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