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Review: Absolute Boyfriend (Vol. 01)

Manga-ka: Yuu Watase
Publisher: Viz
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: February 2006

Synopsis: “Rejected way too many times by 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! 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…”

Continuing on with android week, I’m looking back at a book that comes from the same mind and talent who gave readers, Fushigi Yuugi and Ayashi no Ceres: Absolute Boyfriend! It’s a more light hearted and fun manga about a girl who gets everything she wants and has no idea what to do with it. Having no luck with boys, Riiko fills in an online application form for the perfect lover, not taking it seriously of course. Then one day a package appears for her containing Night, an android who’s more than ready to be her ideal boyfriend… much to her dismay.

I really loved reading through this first volume. It’s a cute story that’s full of laughs. It’s hard not to feel for Riiko and it’s interesting dilemma when she’s faced with Night and how to treat an android. A fan of Yuu Watase’s other works, I enjoyed the more mature rated humour presented here and Riiko actually felt slightly different from the usual Yuu Watase lead heroine mold.

Night is certainly one of the most enjoyable part of the series. Being a robot, he has little shame so nothing is too far or too much for him to please his girlfriend. From the moment he was awoken with a kiss from Riiko, he’s been 100% dedicated to being the perfect lover. It’s refreshing having a character that’s hopelessly ‘in love’, loyal and over-the-top attentive to someone while having the excuse of being a robot. It takes away from the often disappointing ‘boy-falls-in-love-loses-personality’ that I find is an all too often cliché of other shoujo stories. Night came out of the box infatuated and ready to go. He’s such a charmer, it’s hard not to swoon a bit while reading!

The artwork is really attractive and Yuu Watase’s years of experience are evident. The style is solid and the panel pacing is nicely chosen. The males are attractive without looking like women and the characters are all really expressive, helping to make it all the more fun.

No qualms with Viz’s work here, I find they treat their shoujos well and this is no exception. The exchange of sound effects with their translation was done really nice and everything was edited really cleanly. Actually, I was impressed with how much I enjoyed the way they handled things here so nothing negative to report on the publisher front from me.

Overall, Absolute Boyfriend is an energy-charged good time. It’s sweet, it’s funny and has enough drama to keep readers guessing which way things could go for these internet-crossed lovers. It’s a strong first volume and I recommend it to shoujo fans looking for something fun and quirky.

Review written June 14, 2008 by Lissa Pattillo
Book purchased in-store from Chapters

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.

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8 Responses

  1. I've never been able to finish this saddly. I've got all the chapters from Shojo Beat, and i have started buying the volumes. However i find it lacks that special something that some of her other works had

  2. Lissa says:

    @Tiamat: I can certainly see what you mean. The series ended up disappointing me a bit by the end as it felt like Yuu Watase sort of gave up on it part way through. I still think it has a really strong beginning though and some good points throughout, so overall I enjoyed it.

  3. I got the impression that she was being held back at times. As though she had ideas of where the story should go, but her editor didnt want to.

    After a while she got fed up with it, and just went with what she was told, rather than telling the story she wanted.

    It;s a shame really, because as you say, it starts out great. However it lacks the humour of Fushigi, and the darkness of Ayashi. It sort of hovers between the two elements, but dosent succeed at it.

    I buy the volumes because im a fan of her's, and i guess at some point i'll sit down again and try and read it, but for now i want to reread both of the fushigi series, i think those are my all time favorites!!

  4. Lissa says:

    @Tiamat: Fushigi will be always be at the top of my manga-loving list! I'm really enjoying her Genbu series (then again I've been in love with Tomite and Hikitsu so the series is a dream come true for me ;) )

    The final volume of Absolute Boyfriend is worth having if you're a Yuu Watase fan, even if you don't like the series much. It has some really nice unrelated short stories in it that take up a majority of the page count.

  5. […] Better Than a Dream at the Manga Maniac Cafe and Weekend Lovers at MangaCast. Lissa Pattillo reads vol. 1 of Absolute Boyfriend and vol. 5 of Bring It On at Kuri-ousity. Johanna Draper Carlson is not impressed with vol. 1 of […]

  6. Megan says:

    This book is GREAT!! I go to all 6 liberays in my town and look for the next book. I am perosanly creating a manga book so when i found this book it really helped me out.So thanks for creating this book and creat many more…

  7. Michelle says:

    This is certainly one of my favourite works by Yuu Watase. I definitely know what you mean by 'swooning; over Night :) The story and the characters are solid.

    Honestly, I almost like the Live Action Drama better. You fall in love with Night even more when he's a real person and they give Soshi a little bit of attitude :P I seriously suggest looking it up! Sars-Fansubs has it available for download. Once I started watching, I couldn't stop!

    • Lissa says:

      I watched the drama as it came out and already have the DVDs on order :) Awesome J-drama, where the changes to the plot they made actually worked super well in its favour! Can't wait to watch it again ^^

      As for the manga, I thought the story falls a little flat by the end, but the beginning is still a good solid story and fun to read for sure.

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