December 29, 2010
Ao Mimori – Viz – 2010 – 15 volumes
Okay, this series is just gross. I’ve been decrying it since the beginning, but mostly for the stupidity of the characters and the frustration of watching them wreck their relationship over and over again. It’s one of the trashiest series I’ve ever read, and I only continue to pick up new volumes out of morbid curiosity.
What do I get here? Fistfights, right at the beginning. Also, some of the dumbest arguments I’ve ever read, where Ryoko is accused of cheating on Ryu with a boy she’d met one time, something that could have been cleared up had she said anything rather than letting Ryu and the boy get into a fight. It still could have been cleared up, but instead neither Ryu nor Ryoko want to listen to reason or trust one another, which is par for the course in this series. A teacher with a crush on Ryu berates Ryoko, telling her she’s being selfish and shouldn’t be with Ryu when someone who cares as much as she does is available. Ryoko believes every word she says. Later, the teacher strips and tearily offers to have sex with a group of high schoolers who find out Ryu is a host, saying she’d do anything to keep that a secret. Ryoko… somehow thinks this is admirable, taking it to heart that the teacher really would do anything for Ryu, and who is she to date him?
Thankfully, the volume ends with one of the club boys telling all three of the characters that there is something wrong with them. Then, Ryoko and Ryu break up. Again.
More than the stupid fights, I cannot deal with these selfish, petty characters. Ryoko can’t stand up for herself and is willing to take verbal abuse from every character to heart, neither she nor Ryu can listen to reason, Ryu is crazy possessive, that teacher is just messed up, and the last straw for me was offering sex to cover up that secret seen as something admirable. I just cannot deal with that. Hot Gimmick was plenty trashy, but even it was less abusive than this is. And while Gakuen Prince has a gross premise, at least it realizes it’s crossing the line and doesn’t take anything seriously. Everything here is portrayed in an earnest and realistic light. Is a girl reading it supposed to put themselves in Ryoko’s shoes? I sure hope not.
Seriously. What is wrong with this series? Do you know how much it takes to get me to cringe at a shoujo manga? Maybe that’s why volume 11 hasn’t been solicited yet. I hate to see a manga series cancelled, especially if it only has five volumes left, but part of me wonders if it crossed some other sick, disturbing line. But how much worse could it get?
Ah, well. The valentines on the back cover are very cute.