Otomen 2 by Aya Kanno: B

otomen2-125This volume presents three episodic tales, two of which focus on Asuka’s challenge to be true to himself despite the expectations of others. In the first of these stories, he acquires an apprentice who wants to use him as a reference on how to be cool and masculine, requiring Asuka to suppress his girly tendencies, and in the other, his mother attempts to set him up in an arranged marriage and manipulates him by warning that her health will suffer if he should thwart her or betray any sort of preference for feminine things. This last story is insanely kooky, but it gives Ryo the opportunity to ride in on a white horse and rescue the about-to-be-wed Asuka, so I can’t fault it too much.

Kanno’s art is very attractive in general, but I was especially impressed by it in this volume because she was able to adopt a completely different style—one reminiscent of ’70s shoujo—to depict the parents of Asuka’s fiancée. What’s more, there are scenes where they are sitting at a table with Asuka’s mom, and seeing the two very different artistic techniques juxtaposed in the same panel is pretty awesome.

The other story in the volume is more of a romantic one. Asuka finds out that Ryo has never celebrated Christmas before, and so plans the perfect Christmas party for her. It’s a nice chapter overall, but the best part is Asuka’s inexplicable fixation upon a yule log as the essential ingredient for the event. I often find straightforward comedies unfunny, but the absurdity of Otomen gets me every time.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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  1. I’m sorry for being a day or two late, but congratulations on the new site! I really like it, very nice and modular.

    • Michelle says

      Thanks! I’m still trying to get used to it, but I’m very happy with it. Melinda is almost solely responsible; all I did was say “Ooh, make this part red.” 🙂


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