From the Archive: Absolute Boyfriend – Yuu Watase

Absolute Boyfriend is Yuu Watase’s most recent attempt at a comedic, high school life manga. First serialized in Shojo Comic from 2003 to 2005, it ran in English in Viz’s Shojo Beat magazine from 2005 to 2008.  A rom-com with a love triangle that is downright ridiculous, Absolute Boyfriend takes one girl’s fantasy way too far.

The Gist: The main character Riiko Izawa orders a life-size lover android from a website after being rejected by her most recent crush. The figure, as he’s called, is her ideal boyfriend and wants to become her lover. Confused about liking an android and betrayed by her best girl friend, Riiko turns to her childhood friend Soshi for comfort, who then confesses his feelings for her. Torn between her feelings for the figure, Night, and her feelings for Soshi, Riiko must choose which one she truly loves.

L to R: Soshi, Riiko, and Night

L to R: Soshi, Riiko, and Night

The Characters/Romance: If I were interviewing Yuu Watase my first question would be, “What were you thinking when you came up with this one?” I mean, can the premise of the story be any lamer? Don’t get me wrong, I like Ceres Celestial Legend and even Fushigi Yugi, but this story is just… STUPID. A high school girl falls in love with an android, and she has to decide if she loves the android or an actual human. Does Riiko even have a brain? Duh! A human vs. an android is an easy decision. Choose the REAL PERSON. The whole plot is ridiculous and a waste of time. Then there’s the outcome of the story. I won’t ruin it for those who haven’t read it, but it’s obvious that Watase was just trying to please everyone with the ending. I would have been much happier if Riiko would have faced reality and made the best choice in the first place. The only saving grace of the story, and what kept me from absolutely hating it, is the comedic moments. There are several gags by the author that are laugh out loud funny. But it’s obviously a ploy by Watase to make the silly story somewhat more enjoyable.

The LIVING lover comes to the rescue

The LIVING lover comes to the rescue

The Art: The drawings are done in Watase’s same style. It’s apparent when you see Night and realize, “Oh, another Tamahome.”* A little variation in character design would be nice. That’s not to say that she’s not a talented artist. It’s just that her designs seem to be rehashed in this series, instead of something fresh and original. Besides that fact, her main boys are still attractive to look at. Which is I guess what keeps fans reading.

The Audience: Lustful – Watase doesn’t pull any punches. Riiko and Night make love. There’s kissing and some blurred nudity. If you’re a parent you’d probably want to know that the teens get drunk at a party towards the end of the story.

The Media: Absolute Boyfriend is complete at six volumes published by Viz media. There’s even a live action adaptation in Japanese.

Heart of Manga Rating: ♥

My opinion – skip this one. It’s short at six volumes, but not worth the time to flip the pages. It’s junk compared to the other mangaka’s works. If you want to read Yuu Watase then try Ceres Celestial Legend,Fushigi Yugi, Alice 19th, or even Imadoki. It’s time far better spent.

*For those who aren’t familiar, Tamahome is the main love interest in Fushigi Yugi.

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Super mom and teacher until the kids go to bed, then romance manga addict and writer until the caffeine wears out! Specializes in the shoujo and josei genre of manga and anime.
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