comics

Manga Review: Absolute Boyfriend

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Absolute Boyfriend by Yuu Watase
Synopsis:
Rejected way too many times by good-looking (and unattainable) guys, shy Riiko Izawa goes online and signs up for a free trial of a mysterious Nightly Lover “figure.” The very next day a cute naked guy is delivered to her door, and he wants to be her boyfriend!
Has Riiko died and gone to heaven? The cute guy turns out to be sweet, smart, a great cook, and lots more. And he looks like a million bucks, which is what he’s going to cost Riiko if she doesn’t return him in time…

Β When I moved out from my parents’ house I left my whole manga collection there, but my mom made me take some of them back a couple of months ago because honestly, my collection is pretty big and they were moving to a smaller house. I took my favorite ones with me, stuff like Full Moon Wo Sagashite, Ouran High School Host Club and Absolute Boyfriend (basically a whole lot of shoujo manga) and since I was bored one night I figured I might as well start rereading them because it has been years and it’s kinda interesting to see if I still actually like the things I loved when I was a teen. I ended up starting with Absolute Boyfriend.

I don’t remember when exactly I first found this manga (I must have been 15 or 16), but I remember stumbling on the name by accident and it sounded funny so I started reading it and it turned out to be way better than I expected so obviously I had to collect all six volumes.

Now that I reread it at 24 I can still say that it’s a really good series and I’m forever sad that it doesn’t have an anime, just a liveaction drama and the story setting got pretty much completely changed for that one (they made Riiko an adult). I love romance stuff and Absolute Boyfriend has definitely got that covered very well. It has a love triangle going on from the beginning which can probably be annoying, but it didn’t bother me personally since Soshi and Night are both entertaining characters and the triangle is resolved pretty nicely in the end. I’m gonna admit that the ending still makes me tear up a little. I hate when otherwise lighthearted, funny things do that! I was extra upset because I thought the series was 7 books instead of 6 and expected to have more story left.

However, even though for the most part Absolute Boyfriend is hilarious and I love it, it did have some moments that actually made me cringe a little. Since Night is basically supposed to be a sex robot there are obviously a lot of sex jokes going around in the manga and most of the time they’re really funny. Then the people who sold Night to Riiko start getting annoyingly obsessed with her sleeping with him, because Night is basically not doing his job and is “faulty” if he can’t seduce her. They even send another robot after her to test if he succeeds where Night couldn’t and the robot just gets downright rapey. He tricks Riiko into thinking she slept with him when Riiko actually just passed out in a hotel room and he actually tries to force himself on her later… and none of this is a big deal to anyone. I can see why it didn’t bother me when I was younger since sex was pretty much just a funny word back then, but now with a better understanding it kinda made me go “ugh why”. Bad robot.

Back to nicer things… I’ve only seen one other manga from Yuu Watase which was Fushigi Yuugi and I really didn’t like the art in that one, but Absolute Boyfriend looks really nice. The style is pretty clean for a shoujo manga, and I like that the female characters actually have pretty normal shaped bodies. Even a nurse robot that supposedly has huge boobs actually has pretty realistic proportions. The male characters can look pretty funny at times though, especially if they’re shirtless, but they do have one rare thing going for them that’s pretty uncommon in manga: they have nipples!

Anyway, it was really nice to read this series again. I’d still say it’s one of my favorites.

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