Asuka Masamune 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 difficult to deny. Everyone at school admires him. But for Asuka, life is torture. You see, he can never show the *real* 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, as Asuka's father abandoned the family after declaring he wanted to be a woman. The shock made his mother so ill that Asuka swore 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. When Asuka rescues a female classmate, Ryou Miyakozuka, from some bullies, he instantly falls in love with her, and his desire for cute things and sparkly shoujo romance is reawakened!
Volume 10: Glass no Otomen: Sen no Kamen wo Motsu Otomen
Volume 11: Love-Tic
I've only read the first book of this series, but it was pretty darn terrible. Basically, the story is about a boy who secretly loves "feminine" things, but feels he has to hide that side of himself and instead be overly masculine. Inexplicably, his friend is a secret manga artist drawing a manga based on the main character.
I'm all about breaking gender roles and stereotypes, trust me, but this just felt like it actually *enforced* those stereotypes more than anything. It still felt very binary and only marginally progressive, in spite of the opportunity for this to be so much
Not to mention, the characters are all fairly one-note, and remained undeveloped through the entire book. I realize it's only the first book of many, but there was still plenty of story and time to make the characters more three-dimensional and less shallow.
I don't believe I will continue on with this series.
One of the hidden gems of Shoujo manga which I think it's more borderline Shounen since the main character is a guy and yet another guy and a girl whose traits similar to a guy.
This manga tells a story about a masculine, nation's top kendo athlete, Masamune Asuka, who has it all: tall, rich, cool, not a playboy, dignified BUT he actually favours feminine hobbies: collect and make dolls, embroidery, cooking, decorations, house cleaning. When Asuka was young, his father left the family to become a woman. His mother felt disappointed and betrayed by his actions and swore never to let Asuka turned into his
father - feminine and all. Lucky for him, his mother is a succesful business woman who travels a lot and whenever she is not home, he lets out all his doll and cross stitch collections.
The other character is Tachibana Juuta, school playboy who is secretly a shoujo mangaka under a pseudonym. He loves women around him and dates many of them because he is looking for inspiration for his manga. He wants to find this perfect girl who is feminine but alas he cannot find her, until one day he discovered Asuka's secret. Juuta then realized that there are no person more feminine than Asuka, the feared and respected Kendo captain. Juuta is also struggling to keep his identity hidden so that he can live a normal life and provide for his big family.
The girl of the story is Miyakozuka Ryo, daughter of a tough policeman, who was raised only by her father after her mother passed away. Her father raised her the only way he knows, tough and street fighting-style with a deep sense of justice (well, he is a policeman, anyway). One of the funniest part of this manga is when a teacher visited Ryou's house and went into her room and found out that the room looks more like a dojo instead of a girly room.
The romance is a triangle in this manga: from Asuka to Ryou and from Juuta to Asuka, although the last one is not evident but the way Juuta realized that no other person would made such lovely bento, stitch his loose buttons, make teddy bears, than Asuka. He is the one for him but in a personality kind of way. Juuta also admired Ryou and very supportive of the budding romance between the two.
The message is clear on this manga: love and embrace who you really are inside. Don't be afraid to be yourself because other people is also struggling to be who they are, as well.
A slow start for the story while characters were introduced, this story built up into something truely heartwarming.
The plot idea, as most who are interested to read this manga can tell, is very original and you probably have yet to read anything like this. However, I do feel that the story lacked a tiny bit of development in terms of the plot. And if you want to see very lovey
dovey scenes, well you won't get it from this manga (you'll get really heartwarming scenes though, which i feel is just as good)
The characters are very unique and what made me come to love this manga is the character development, especially in the later part of the manga (since, as i said earlier, the manga started pretty slow and slowly built up). The main (male) character slowly came to be (and love) himself for who he really is through the different experience with his friends and other characters.
What I love the most from this manga is how every character is developed, not so much so that it is overly draggy, but enough for you to understand their actions and how they change. See, character development right here for you. While the side characters were being developed, the main characters weren't left out either, and you could see the relationship between each character grow.
Art was beautiful too. Look at it. Enough said.
If you have time and some patience (to get through the front part of background infomation and slow build up) please pick up this manga. I promise you you will not regret it.
Honestly I dropped this manga for a bit after the front part because of how slow it was, but when i picked it up again boy did i regret dropping it. So if you ever get bored of it, just stop reading it and leave it for another time.
ps. it's quite funny here and there too, especially with how "manly" Ryo is and how Asuka can just randomly break out with sparkling eyes (he's so cute!!)
When I was walking along in the manga section of the library, I saw this odd manga. I picked it up and thought it looked stupid. (Never judge a book by it's cover.) Still, I checked it out just for grins and giggles. This is by far the funniest manga I've ever read!
It is a basic love story, only with a girly male and manly female. There are a few "dramatic" moments, but, overall, it's a light-hearted story.
Personally, I wasn't too keen on the art because...well...it was too "girly" for my liking. But, it is a shoujo manga and it fits the story.
Oh how I love these characters! Each one is so lovable! They all have their cons, but not to a point where they're annoying. Of course, they have their pros too. Most of the male characters you meet have their own little otomen side. Also, the characters develop a bit along the way. It's nothing major, but it's still fun to see certain characters grow closer.
Like I said earlier, this is the funniest manga series that I've read! I was actually laughing out loud, and it takes a lot to make me do so. Otomen also gives me the warm fuzzies at points too~
It's worth the read if you want a hilarious, light-hearted story. :3