“ Genre: Graphic Novels / Comics / Author: Yuu Watase / Edition: 1 / Paperback / 208 Pages / Book is published 2007-09-03 by Viz Media, Subs. of Shogakukan Inc „
In this sequel, 16 year old Riiko Izawa finds herself still short of the cash she needs to pay for Night, the android boyfriend she accidentally ordered over the internet while thinking she was playing a game. The deal she has worked out whereby she takes him to school so that the manufacturer can collect data in order to improve their services isn't making her enough, and to complicate matters Night himself is rather naive when it comes to understanding just what the hormonal teens at the high school are really on about. For Riiko, this impacts her in more ways than one. Even her best friend has the hots for Riiko's new boyfriend, and along with other classmates form a fan club for him. Unfortunately things get out of hand and Riiko finds herself on the receiving end of some physical expressions of jealousy.
This sets up the love triangle that underpins the plot for the rest of the series, as neighbor Soshi comes to her aid. One thing leads to another and Riika discovers that Soshi is in love with her. He decides to do his best to help Riiko find her way, and Riiko is thrilled to be able to earn money working at the same place Soshi works part time at. Everything is not all roses, however, as Night all to quickly realises his failings and inability to have helped Riiko out and to have prevented or stop the attack. Coming to understand that if he is to be a real boyfriend, he has to step up, he himself finds a job, with unforseen consequences. Will Night and Riiko live happily ever after and pay off her debt, or is Soshi going to ride away into sunset with the girl?
Yuu Watase's gift for writing gentle coming of age type romances is well showcased here. The art is superb while the plot thickens and the characters gain even more depth. Riiko's own shyness and her innate sense of inadequacy propel the plot forward. Far from merely wringing her hands and having the male leads vie over her and rescue the distressed damsel, we get a far more satisfactory damsel who while she is indeed distressed, squares her jaw, lifts her chin, rolls her proverbial sleeves up, and just gets on with it. Recognising that a large part of coming of age is not just the getting of a boyfriend, but the continued development of self and the taking of personal responsibility, Watase gives us a cast that do just that and all without moralising or being overt about it.
It doesn't hurt that the characters are readily identifiable either. We all have known a Riiko, a girl who believes herself average and not worth a second glance compared to more "glamourous" girls in her peer group, the boy next door Soshi who hesitates to put himself forward, but when he does, goes that extra mile, and then there is Night. He may be an android, but he is the poster boy for the sweet and naive guy who is sweet, gorgeous and oblivious to it all. He is also the unobtainable dream: he worships his girlfriend, cooks for her, cleans for her... All together it makes for a lovely ensemble cast for a romantic fantasy, which of course, this is.
At around 200 pages, it's not too long a book for dipping into and with all the eyecandy depicted within the pages, is perfect for a bit of a light reading snack. The series does feature some mild nudity and sexual references, so it's not for younger teens or the very shy. It also is only available as a paperback edition, so be advised that you will have to buy a physical copy and not just purchase and download in your preferred e-reader platform. The RRP on the cover is currently £6.99 but there are so many copies out there that you can pick it from Amazon for as little as 1 p plus postage, so it's not going to exactly break the bank to collect this six volume series. It's well worth the shelf space.
A sister Manga publisher of viz and Shonen Jump, aimed at the older teen and female demographic, please read my review on Absolute Boyfriend volume one to find out more information.
Yuu Watase is a popular Japanese and female manga artist who was born and raised in Osaka. Her hobbies include listening to heavy metal music and reading. Her debut manga was called Pyjama de Ojama which translates as An Intrusion in Pyjamas. Lately though she has been into health and personal welling.
Riiko Izawa is a 16 year old high school student who has become fed up from being rejected by every guy she asks out. Through some form of madness however she becomes involved with Gaku Namikiram( a mysterious cute looking) sales men for the Kronos Heaven sex shop line. In return for rescuing his mobile phone he offers Riiko the chance to order a life like male order boyfriend android to fulfil her lack of boyfriend woes.
Unable to pay off the entire fee for her new boyfriend (Night)whom Riiko has become quite attached to she must take him to school to train him emotionally to collect data to improve the service for other customers in the future.
Night being perfect in every way a boyfriend could be still lacks common sense and knowledge of how the real world works as well as the complicated feelings of teenagers.
Soshi (in the picture) also 16 and Riikos childhood male friend and neighbour for years becomes suspicious and jealous of Night and thinks he has missed his chance to convey his love to her which he has kept a secret for several years.
Act7: School Trip-Typical to the manga and anime industry a school trip is a pretty customary method in Japanese stories for things to go array, and they do. Some of the girls at Riiko's school form a fan club for Night and try to steal him away from her.
Act8: Friends-Riika's supposed best friend Mika turns on her and sets the fan club on her which results in Riika being physically assaulted. Being naïve and lacking general knowledge about the real world falls a bit flat in this chapter as Soshi comes to her rescue tis time and Night gets left out in the cold.
Act9: Thank You-Riika's supposed best friend Mika gets her comeuppance as the fan club catches on to her scheme.
Act10: The Girl You Love- To earn more money, Riiko ends up getting a job as a waitress in the same restaurant Soshi works in. Being pretty hopeless Soshi has to help make amends for her errors the entire evening. Night becomes alienated further from Riiko as Soshi gets to spend more time with her and starts to admit his true feelings, something which Night can't yet comprehend.
Act11: The Kiss-Feeling dejected and useless, Night joins an escort club to help Rikko to make money. However one of the girls from the club becomes too friendly with Night resetting him back to a new owner once more meaning that he has no memory of Riiko and she still has to pay pack the full amount even if she is no longer his owner. To make matters worse Soshi admits his full feelings into a full embrace and passionate kiss which Riiko is totally unprepared for confusing and aggravating her stress further.
Act12: Ex-girlfriend-Night no longer remembers Riiko and tells her to get lost at their next meeting, with no friends and with relationships with Soshi up in the air and unclear Riiko has nowhere to turn to. Thus finishes the volume on a clever cliff hanger which encourages you to buy the next volume.
The UK price for this manga is £5.99 per volume being fairly recent however you could probably shave a few pence off of that price if you use amazon.
-Artist profile and extra manga advertisements.
A little over lovey dovey, dramatic and predictable but it is still a very interesting read even if it is fairly typical to the Shojo Beat brand. It's really not one for the guys however. It's also not as deep and complex as some of the other manga I prefer to read, but I do like a good love story as I am female after all.