The main character is a trap, whose sole purpose is to convert others into trap by whatever means possible. He seeks boys with feminine features or behaviors and through very comedy based tactics convinces them to embrace the trap life style.
Amahara-kun+ tells the tale of a cute cross-dresser Yukino Amahara and his hobby of getting other feminine boys to cross-dress. Over the course of the story we see Yukino find seven "targets" and convince and/or blackmail these boys to cross-dress, not only to his own amusement, but to also help them with various problems they're facing in life. The story is comedic and a little risque, while also being surprisingly touching and sweet. I'll warn ahead of time that there are some rather steamy moments between the boys, such as kissing, but it is not the entire theme of the manga.
Yukino's a little devil with
a heart of gold. He uses some questionable tactics now and then to "push" his targets along, but he can also be very gentle and understanding. He's an incredibly curious person, and very flirtatious. The targets Yukino picks usually have some shortcomings or problems they need help with, and he uses cross-dressing as his method of choice to help these boys move past their issues while finding his own sense of fulfillment in doing so. His playfulness and caring nature are beautifully balanced and make him to be quite a fascinating person that I found easy to like and sympathize with.
The art is highly attractive and consistent. Each character is unique and recognizable, in personality and appearance. Background detail is clean and precise, while not distracting attention to the characters. It does share with many other gender-bender manga a rather unrealistic take on passing as a female, which may or may not bother the reader. These boys are very feminine and many (especially Yukino) are downright beautiful. In reality, it takes a little more than a change of clothes and hairstyle for a boy to be taken as a girl, but as we all know, it is all too easy to find people with perfect hair, skin, eyes, and so on in manga. I find, though, this kind of break from reality not too jarring and by no means taking away how fun this story is.
The only character to reappear in each chapter is Yukino, so his targets are developed within the confines of their respective chapter. Its storytelling does accomplish this well, and the boys he helps have realistic personalities, problems, and motivations, which is something I found to be especially refreshing and engaging. The happy-go-lucky boy everyone can rely on is tired of it and does so to keep his family together. The young expert at kendo gets stage-fright and has problems getting bullied. The student council president feels unapproachable and bored, and can do almost everything but think of a way to have fun. Yukino has not only a keen eye for gorgeous boys, but for people in need of help, and through his toying with these boys one can find a delightfully heart-warming experience.
This was a splendid read in many ways. I found Yukino to be a fascinating and enjoyable person, and each boy he helped to be full of further development opportunities not yet touched upon (sadly). It's a shame the story ends so soon, but one does get to see a little back-story on our protagonist in the final chapter. Personally, I tend to not read much of the yaoi (gay) genre, but even so, this earned its place of being high on my list of favorite manga. Whether you're a yaoi fan, gender-bender fan, or simply like to read suggestive manga with an interesting and fun story, this is a great choice. It certainly exceeded my expectations.