Manga Review: Otomen

**I recently started reading this manga again and you know what, I still really like it. In fact I was kinda surprised how my thoughts on it hadn’t changed at all. So I thought I would re-share this little review I made from aways back, around the time when I was first starting out my blog. Oh how the time flies. It’s already been about 8 months! Can you believe it? This was back before I knew I was gonna focus mostly on Kpop and Kdramas and so I talked quite a bit about manga and anime too. Which I kinda wanna get back to at some point. It’s been awhile since I really watched anything new though. But if I did start again I wonder if you peeps would be open to that. hmm… O_o 🙂 Anyways here is that post. **

 


I’m happy guys/gals because today I finally get to introduce you all to this wonderful manga. Yay ^_^

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The name of it is Otomen and the reason I feel the need to recommend it is because it’s one of those that left a real impression on me. Sure it may have it’s fair share of fluff and cliches in it but I still think it’s worth the time to check out. The reason being that it was the first time I ever found myself not only relating to a character, I was like…I AM this character. lol

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So what is this manga about? Well, it’s a manga that focuses mostly on two characters. You got Asuka Masamune and Ryo Miyakozuka. Asuka is the male lead of this and he has a pretty BIG secret. Despite being seen as a real manly guy on the surface he is actually a very “girlish” one. And unfortunately for him he has to keep that a secret, the reason being that when he was young his dad left his family. Not only did he leave, he went on wanting to become a woman. Something that seriously fudged up his mom to the point were she now prohibits Asuka from liking anything girly at all. 😦 Meanwhile on the other side you have Ryo, who you would consider a “manly” girl because that is how her father raised her. All things that would typically be considered “girly” she can not do whatsoever. Although Asuka sure can and that’s what makes them a fitting pair. 😉 

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What I love so much about this manga is what I said earlier,  I am basically just like Asuka. haha I like many things that would typically be considered “girly” and yes I do too like tomboys. For realz, I like to cook, clean, collect cute plushies, pet cute animals, etc. All things which make me an Otomen. A word play derived from “Otome” meaning young lady and the English word “men.” 😛 Except in my case, unlike Asuka I do not have to hide it. Still even though I’ve never had any problems being me, it is nice to see this representation in a manga. It made for a refreshing read since I hadn’t read anything that tackled this kinda stuff before. I really like how it has fun reveling in turning a lot of the gender roles on it’s head. It was also awesome to see a girl who could not only take care of herself but would often times feel the need to be protective of the guy. 😀 

Oh and it doesn’t only do it with the main characters either, you get it with some of the side characters too. ^____^ So yeah, Asuka isn’t the only otomen around. Quite a few of the other characters have their own double lives going on too and that was interesting. For you see while they are otomen too, they are their own kinds of otomen. For example, One may like flowers while another may be really into make-up. It makes for a nice diverse cast of characters. The introduction of them also helps keep the overall pace of the manga up. And I’m glad to say that these characters get a descent amount of development, at least enough for you to get where they are coming from and what made them the way they are. 🙂

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The only potentially big problem that I can think of however is that while it does play around with these gender norms. It still manages to fall into typical shoujo manga trappings. All those common cliches that you are probs familiar with already, yeah they are in here too. Specially the romance ones, just with the twist that the girl is the guy and the guy is the girl. I personally think that is enough to make those cliches still enjoyable. I can see though how some people would find problems with that. So it is something to keep in mind going into this I suppose. The other problem but less major is that Asuka can sometimes come off as a bit too perfect. Like he seems to know the right thing to do or say.. I personally liked that about him but I can see that that may happen a little to often for people.

Then in terms of the art style, I thought it was nice. A bit on the simplistic side but it did stay consistent throughout the manga’s run. Which was 18 volumes long btw. Not a short read to say the least but yes one worth trying. I mean so many people loved it that they ended up turning it into a live action J-Drama adaption. Which I did see and thought was good too. Nothing groundbreaking but I thought it kept the tone of the manga. 😀

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Overall I’d say if shoujo/romance manga is your thing then I think you will like this. If you are a guy who likes girly things then I think you will outright love this. This is truly a hidden gem so go and check it out now! ^_^

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6 thoughts on “Manga Review: Otomen

  1. Ah.. to find yourself in a fictional character is always an ‘interesting’ experience. 🙂

    Love the premise of the series. Now that my Nisekoi obsession has ended, I guess I’ll give Otomen a try.

    Liked by 1 person

      • And I haven’t watched the anime. I’m more of a manga-only person these days (Owing to the constant disturbances called “life” 😦 )

        But seeing as how anime adaptations stick to the source material closely, I’d say we pretty much got the same thing a viewer/reader 🙂

        Like

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