Karakuri Odette 5

September 12, 2011

Julietta Suzuki – Tokyopop – 2011 – 6 volumes

Every chapter is still mostly adorable one-shots. Going through this volume, I became increasingly sad. There’s a plot that starts in this volume that makes it it obvious the series is drawing to a close, but rather than getting excited about the conclusion (one of the best things about manga, in my opinion, even if they’re often terrible), it just means I couldn’t read any more stories like the first one here.

The first story has all the things I like about the series in it. Someone says something offhandedly about Odette being a gorilla girl. When Odette realizes she’s being compared to something so not cute, she decides to stop using her strength. She’s accidentally locked in a shed with Asao, and when he begs her to break through the door, she refuses, saying that strength makes her not cute. In a semi-romantic moment, Asao convinces her that her strength makes her super-cool, and they escape. Meanwhile, Professor Yoshizawa is melting down like the doting father he is when Odette is late coming home.

It’s funny, it’s sweet, it’s a little romantic, it develops the characters and brings to light their best qualities. There’s not a whole lot of drama, just happiness. It’s great.

Also in this volume, there’s a side story about one of the other assassin robots like Odette’s brother, another story where Odette meets another advanced android that doesn’t believe Odette is a robot (here’s where the plot leading to the finale starts), more about Chris and the terrorist robots with a lot of humor thrown in to balance out the seriousness. That story is very Professor Yoshizawa-centric, and any story with a lot of him in it is bound to be at least a little silly. Plus, he’s such a proud parent. And the last chapter is a two-part story where Odette begins to get fed up with Chris, who is unable to understand her more human-like thought processes. Travis, the more advanced android that Odette meets earlier in the book, is in a similar situation, and the two meet up, but at the same time, Odette sends Chris away and completely disregards his feelings. It’s one of the few times that Odette has truly been in the wrong about something, and it’s definitely a hard story to read.

And yes, in addition to the cute stories, all the characters are what make this series worth reading. It’s not outstanding, and I can’t quite put my finger on why I like it so much, but… Julietta Suzuki just gets everything right. It’s an excellent read, despite not excelling at anything in particular. It’s just good shoujo manga. Not romance, not drama, not comedy, just… girly stuff with the best of everything mixed in.

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