Karakuri Odette 2

August 20, 2011

Julietta Suzuki – Tokyopop – 2010 – 6 volumes

There’s… vaguely a plot going on. Chris is re-introduced as a regular character this time around, so there are a lot of stories about evading men that are looking for Chris, Chris starting school, Chris learning about how to choose a favorite thing, and Odette’s new life with Chris. But the stories are just as much about Odette learning how to cook and the concept of “tasty,” learning how and why Chris may be more popular than her at school, and about the concept of “like.”

The “like” theme is fairly dominant in this volume, but anything “fairly dominant” in a Julietta Suzuki series seems to be treated with a fair amount of respect. The stories aren’t really about “like.” At the same time, it’s clear that Chris is in love with Odette, and Odette begins to get closer and closer to Asano, the delinquent at her school. What seems like an obvious match is complicated by the fact that Odette genuinely doesn’t seem to see Asano like that, despite the fact she wants to stay over at his house and do things like cook him Bento. Plus, Asano totally has a crush on her best friend, so it doesn’t work either way.

But still. If not Asano, then who? I do love the way the relationships are handled here. Maybe because I’ve read so many terrible romance manga, but I’m relieved to see the Professor stay in his role as harried guardian. There is a potential match at the end, with another delinquent, but again, the relationship is pretty subtle, and only works one way.

There’s only one solution to that: develop the characters and relationships more. Good thing Suzuki is so amazing at it.

And what are the stories really about? Making bento, shoe shopping, a sleepover, and delinquents at school. The topics are fairly simple. I love that there’s so much else going on, though. What a fun series.

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