Manga-ka: Hotaru Odagiri
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Released: January 2008
Synopsis: “Many allies and even more enemies… A scandal breaks out surrounding the tremendously popular, charismatic, and beautiful student council president! Under the scrutinizing and hostile eye of the journalism club’s Katakura, Yuushi’s plans have been recalled. On top of that, Yuushi’s become the target of the ever-capable and ever-cool vice president Takamura’s rabid fans’ jealousy!! How will he respond to their constant criticism?!”
Invisible Boy, volume two, continues to follow the trials and everyday going-ons of Ouka Academy’s Student Council. While the first volume took focus on the shy Nagi Tokieda, volume two shifts its attention more to vice-President Takamura. With a touch of drama, Invisible Boy is made up of interaction and near endless dialogue, a character drama dedicated to this pretty boy cast.
The first chapter in the book reads more like a shoujo than a yaoi. It follows a student from the neighbouring all-girls school who finds herself lost on Ouka’s sprawling campus. Upset that she might miss her chance to meet the boy of her dreams, the Student Council president, she is (of course) found by him in the end and led to her fellow classmates unharmed. The short story is obviously meant to play up the Yuushi Kitou’s kindest and show how far his influence and countenance spread. As this is a yaoi, it makes for a somewhat interesting experience reading so much about a girl’s feelings for someone that she, by genre, has no hopes of ever getting involved with.
Moving back to the main cast, throughout the story we learn a lot more about the vice-President, Takamura: his childhood and motivations. He continues to be as calm, stoic and serious as ever, alongside his ambiguous relationship with the President. Meanwhile, Yuushi is so exalted, and feels rather flat as a character as he wallows in his own inadequacies, that he comes off more like a plot-prop than a person most of the time.
Adding a touch of conflict to the story is newcomer, Hiro: a student at the school who’s determined to expose Yuushi as a useless President, one who relies too heavily on others to do his work for him. Hiro uses one trick after another to try and make Yuushi admit it, not realizing that much of his animosity towards the President is based off misunderstanding.
The artwork looks much the same as it did in the first volume. The line work is light and wispy and pretty boys litter every page. Readers may still have some problems telling characters apart due to similar designs.
Upon completion of this 215-page book, Invisible Boy continues to be an often needlessly wordy story that barely teeters on the edge of a yaoi classification. It’s slow paced and often the emotions feel so slathered on that it feels like a big pity-party at times. Yet buried underneath its flaws, there still manages to be some charm in these pages so it’s not a total loss. However, it’ll be hit or miss to readers, and isn’t recommended to those looking for some solid boys’ love.