Amongst the already rather limited selection of romance manga involving a boy and a trap, the vast majority of them tend to focus their attention on one of two things:
1.) developing its characters and their relationships up until just before the finale, only to end the story on a rather ambiguous and unsatisfying note
2.) straying into irrelevant side-stories that only serve to sideline the characters and their relationships until the final chapter or so
It's certainly rare enough to find a series that doesn't fall prey to such pitfalls, so one can only imagine my initial skepticism upon not only reading
Zenryoku Otome's hentai-esque plot synopsis, but also after realizing that the entire series was a mere six chapters long. Indeed, I went into this series expecting nothing more than fodder for a certain otokonoko fetish to which I've been enlightened, but as my eyes came upon the dreaded final typeset, "Zenryoku Otome THE END", I immediately realized that I'd just experienced something that I fear will never be matched again.
Being simply described as a "new hobby" of his, our main character Nozomu decides to go out and about the city, dressed from head to toe in his older sister's clothing, as the girl into which he'll soon awaken. While trying his luck riding the train to Odaiba, a rather ambitious fellow decides to take matters into his own hands, quite literally I might add, as he cops a feel of Nozomu's rear and ends up with a handful of hard-earned butt fat. Since he's masquerading as a girl and doesn't want his cover blown, Nozomu can only stand and silently tolerate the sexual harassment. That is, until a random passerby named Shuuji comes along and scares the dirty chikan off. And from there, we have the foundation of a beautiful boy x trap relationship.
Zenryoku Otome's plot is rather straightforward, but I find that to be its greatest strength. As opposed to straying off into extreme fanservice-y type situations or meaningless sidetracks, the story goes from them meeting to Shuuji discovering Nozomu's a trap to being okay with it to realizing that they have romantic feelings for one another to Nozomu's childhood friend helping him prepare for a date and so on and so forth. By removing the unnecessary bullshit normally found in other works, Zenryoku Otome is able to fully utilize its six chapters and manages to not only tell a complete story with a beginning, a middle, and an end, but also manages to develop the characters' relationships to a point far beyond what I've seen done in other series even after multiple volumes.
There isn't much to say as each character generally adheres quite well to their respective archetypes.
The main cast consists of:
- the token trap: "Can Turn Any Man Bi" Nozomu
- the nice guy: Shuuji
- the childhood friend: Hana-chan
A minor complaint, however, is that the main conflict of this series came about, I felt, as the result of a misunderstanding that could have easily been resolved had certain characters actually just sat down and, I don't know, talked to each other about what happened as opposed to throwing a tantrum because someone else made an honest mistake. Moreover, I found Hana's character to be a bit too easily swayed with her emotions as, at certain points, she suddenly goes from being happy go lucky to angry at life then back to happy go lucky again over the span of what seemed like maybe ten pages, like her emotions were constantly being ever17'd to opposite extremes.
If I had to describe this series' art in a single word, it'd have to be CUTE.
CUTEG, that is. A lot of people seem to be familiar with this particular illustrator's style as they've done work on a couple of rather risqué anime series and, though not done in an overly ecchi style, this manga is no exception. Backgrounds range from non-existent to absolutely gorgeous at times with a few panels of ecchi on the side, but the real beauty of Zenryoku Otome's artwork shows in its presentation of the characters. Or rather, the main character Nozomu.
You see, I'd be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy reading these kinds of manga for the cute guys that look like girls. It's such a difficult thing thing to pull off with the main character TECHNICALLY being a male because on one hand, if he looks too feminine, it sort of lifts one's suspension of disbelief as you start to feel like the author simply drew a girl then slapped on an X and Y chromosome in name only. But if you draw them to look too manly, then them being a guy becomes TOO believable and you're left looking at what would basically amount to a hairy man in a skirt, a sight that I'd assume is a rather unappealing one for those of us in the otokonoko community. Put simply, when the character looks too much like a guy and you see them acting as though they think otherwise, it takes the appeal out of it because, well, as hypocritical, ironic, or downright silly as this may sound...that's gay.
(no disrespect meant for any of my homosexually inclined brothers and sisters; many of my friends roll that way and it's perfectly fine by me)
Fortunately, Zenryoku Otome presents our main character about as perfectly as I've ever seen. When living as a male, he's undoubtedly feminine in his features while having a certain look and feel that's very reminiscent of a guy. And when he changes into his girl mode, he's illustrated almost exactly like a girl (emphasis on the almost) with a few subtle features left to keep the "he's really a guy" thing going. It's something you have to see to understand, but it's certainly a feat I feel is worth highlighting.
If ever there were a complaint about Nozomu's presentation, however, it'd probably come in the form of a certain magical wig. Though he does change them quite frequently, there exists a certain black wig in this series that, as soon as it's worn, appears to completely feminize the wearer. That is, whenever Nozomu is wearing this particular wig, he legitimately looks like a full-blown female which I found to be slightly disappointing, especially considering how well he's presented in literally any other attire.
For a series that is both extremely short and within a genre with a questionable track record of quality works, Zenryoku Otome stands out as the first and perhaps only manga of this length that can bestow upon the reader such a memorable reading experience as that which I had the absolute privilege of undergoing. And though it may not be the most original or developed story you'll ever read, it's certainly an experience that I won't soon forget and something that I feel is a must for trap lovers. In much the same way that Yama no Susume disproved my negative predisposition towards short anime series, Zenryoku Otome proved to me that a manga need not be long to be a worthy investment of my time.
So if you're on the fence about this, then climb right on down and give it a go. Just be sure to prepare yourself for the ride that's to come and for an ending that's so sweet, you'll be hurling rainbows.
I'll write this review as my appreciation to the artist, CUTEG, whom I really really like.
When this volume came out, I ordered it at once because CUTEG's trap is gl0rious and before I knew it, I've read it six times already.
First, what's this manga about? You might or might not get tricked by the cute girl cover, but if you find this manga, you either are told by your friend to read it, or you know it's gay but cute and it's your fetish.
Anyway, the story revolves around a middle school (boy), named Nozomu Hinonishi, meeting a college student, Shuuji Shirakawa by accident and Nozomu's
childhood friend, Hana Morisaki who has crush on the protagonist. Nozomu, for no reason, dressed as a girl with his sister's clothes and went out for a walk like that. That's it, until (s)he felt a sensation on his ass. I mean c'mon, who won't harass a cute girl like "her" in a cramped train? Some old man would.
With his ass being groped, of course he felt gross, but for some reason he could not scream and just stood there, trying to bear the sensation. Oooooh when we thought thing's going to get interesting, a superman named Shuuji came to rescue and drove the old man off. This event triggered their constant contact and meeting. Long story short, they had dates and Shuuji, albeit knowing Nozomu is a minor boy, still accepted her as he realized that he's a pedo.
Stories featuring traps as main character are mostly generic, and it also applies to this manga. It's just your usual romance with some spice of stupid conflict, however for some parts, it's rather funny. At least relationship between the main characters develops until the end, although conflict isn't deep. One keyword : jealousy. That's it, nothing special.
I'll be honest, what I enjoyed the most from this manga is the art. CUTEG, or also known as kkam jwi in Korea, her birth place, has made wonderful works and amaze her fans with her cute, outstanding art. Yes, CUTEG's girls (in this case, boy) have round eyes and puffy cheeks, such cute style that's totally to my liking, not to mention all the fanservice drawings on the first pages. Wonderful. She also included maid uniform and sexy clothing. And it's a trap. Though drawing traps is just drawing girls but you add a bulge on the crotch, then you introduce it as a boy, CUTEG's drawing is still great and I won't get bored.
If it's CUTEG, I'll be glad to give 10/10 for art since I'm a big fan of her.
As mentioned above, the story revolves around 3 characters, 4 minor and a goat.
To put it simply :
- Nozomu Hinohishi, our glorious trap
- Shuuji Shirakawa, that handsome guy
- Hana Morisaki, Nozomu's childhood friend
- That sex harassing old man
- Nozomu's sister, oh she's pretty hot
- Student council president, he who turned gay
- Hirofumi, random classmate who also turned gay in first sight
- Goat (one with collar), it got the best part in the story
Unfortunately, I found Hana to be rather annoying. She made things more complicated (but hey it's the conflict), and on top of that, did not even wonder that her male childhood friend likes a guy. But I'll leave it at that
It's CUTEG so there's no question.
Generic plot, short stupid conflict and generic conclusion, including the not generic goat at the end. If you're solely looking for deep plot with conflict that requires readers to think with their brain, then this title isn't for you.
BUT, if you're a huge fan of cute things, or traps and you're in the market for some outstanding designed traps, then you won't regret reading this.
I'll give this a final score of 9/10, not 10 because no more Nozomu.