Manga-ka: Yuu Watase
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: May 2008
“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 Night Lover “figure.” The very next day, a cute naked guy is delivered to her door, and he wants to be her boyfriend! Riiko has chosen her one true boyfriend, but she finds her life changing quickly after he decision is made. Will Riiko and her boyfriend have their happily-ever-after?”
Absolute Boyfriend, volume six, marks the end of this series. With Riiko having chosen Night as her true love, she discovers that Soshi is moving to Spain. Confused and torn, will Riiko and Night get their happily ever after? Remaining review contains minor spoilers.
Throughout this series, there has always been what seems like it would be the stereotypical shoujo ending. Riiko getting with her somewhat cranky, but loving, next door neighbour Soshi seemed more plausible than a perfect cookie-cutter ending with a perfect manufactured boyfriend. What happens here instead is a mix of clichéd moments that feels as though Yuu Watase had as much trouble choosing between the two men as Riiko did.
After finally consummating their relationship, Riiko and Night seem meant to be at last. Night’s body even seems to have repaired itself. A perfect ending is soiled for Riiko when she finds out Soshi is moving to Spain, a departure he executes with dramatic flair via the classic leave-without-goodbyes. The final ending itself is bittersweet which, though out of place for the mood this series has delivered so far, is an interesting turn of events that shies from concrete conclusion on all fronts.
Absolute Boyfriend takes up about half of this book’s 200 pages. Following it are two unrelated short stories: one is about a girl who can see spirits and the other about a boy with a gift for smelling. They’re both really cute and amusing stories that sum themselves up in their respective lengths very well. Taking up so much of the book may annoy some readers due to lack of more Absolute Boyfriend, but both are really fun stories that round the release out nicely.
For a series that had a strong start, its ending really doesn’t feel up to par. With a conclusion that tries too hard to please and final moments that lack a real sense of completion, it makes for a somewhat disappointing ending where nobody really gets what they want (at least conclusively). Readers who liked the series up until now will at least be able to enjoy the drama, humour and Yuu Watase’s beautiful artwork, even if it doesn’t deliver the most satisfying resolve. Bonus stories are atleast a great add-on and, making up such a good portion, make this book a worthwhile purchase for Yuu Watase fans who may not have enjoyed or collected Absolute Boyfriend.