Rummanah Aasi
 I'm taking a detour from horror/dark comedy manga and venturing into romantic comedy/silliness arena. I've debated on whether or not to pick up Absolute Boyfriend. I was a bit hesitant, considering what's on the first volume cover and its description, but after reading favorable reviews on manga review websites, Amazon, and seeing it listed on quite a few library bibliographies I thought I would give it a shot. There are a total of 6 volumes of the Absolute Boyfriend series.

Description (from Amazon): Shy high school student Riko Izawa aches for a boyfriend but guys just won't look her way. Then one day she signs up for a three-day trial of a mysterious "lover figurine," and the next thing she knows, a cute naked guy is delivered to her doorstep--and he wants to be her boyfriend! Has Riko died and gone to heaven? The cute naked guy turns out to be smart, super nice, stylish and a gourmet chef. Plus, he looks like a million bucks.... Trouble is, that's about what he's going to cost Riko because she didn't return him in time!

Review: If you mashed up Steven Spielberg's A.I. and John Hughes's Weird Science, you would end up with a product that is very close to Yuu Watase's Absolute Boyfriend, the author's first attempt at a romantic comedy. Riiko is a clumsy, boy obsessed teen whose love life is DOA. When her latest crush turns her down, she is devastated and depressed. She doesn't understand what's wrong with her and wishes, above all else, to have a boyfriend. Her prayers seem to be answered when she stumbles upon a website where she can order a boyfriend, even customize him with every personality trait she desires. On a moment of weakness, Riiko orders one and the next day receives a stark naked 'figure' out of a box who looks like a real life, utterly beautiful boy.She names him Night, a play on the 'figure' category on the website. In a side note, the author explains that she wants to stay away from calling Night a robot and doesn't draw him as having circuits but as a human-like figure, but he is essentially what we call a robot, programmed to attune to a woman's desires and emotions. Thus, Night is eager to please Riiko in more ways than one. Riiko must keep his identity secret and aims to teach the eager-to-please boy how to function in the real world.
  The first volume of Absolute Boyfriend had me chuckling in many places. The story is told with a lot of heart. It's light, fun, and a bit racy, especially if you don't take it too seriously. While Night is used mostly as a comedy relief, Soshi, Riiko's childhood friend and neighbor, caught my eye. Soshi mostly keeps to himself and takes his role of taking care of Riiko, while her parents are working abroad, seriously. Though Soshi and Riiko constantly argue, it's quite clear that Soshi has feelings towards Riiko. Only time will tell if he acts upon them and if clueless Riiko will figure it out Soshi's strange behavior on her own. There are plenty of great and unexpected jokes thrown in at just the right moments, especially where Night is concerned. The artwork is great and the panels are quite easy to follow. There definitely some disturbing issues underlying the manga, especially with how Riiko and Night's relationship begins to form. I'm curious with how this storyline will progress and what troubles Riiko will bring upon herself. Due to the manga's sexual themes, it is rated OT for older teens.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: This manga is rated OT for older teens. It contains semi-nudity (like the cover) as well as sexual innuendos spread throughout the manga.

If you like this book try: Girl Parts by John M. Cusik, The Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee, Absolute Boyfriend Vol 2 by Yuu Watase
2 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Oooo how much fun would it be to order a boyfriend? Okay, well maybe not a robot one, but maybe something like one of our fictional boyfriends from a book - that would work. It would be both creepy and awesome at the same time. This sounds like a fun series, I'll be interested to see what you think of the next volumes!

  2. This sounds a little crazy...but intriguingly so. I'm sure if a beautiful naked boy showed up on my doorstep, I'd shoot myself in the foot and slam the door in his face :-)
    The romantic tension between Soshi and Riko sounds like fun.

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