Ai Ore! volume 2 being released by Viz, actually consists of volumes 3 and 4 of the original series run by Shogakukan in publication Shojo Comic.
The Gist: Volume 2 continues from where volume one left off. Akira hatches his plan for revenge during the school trip. Mizuki interferes and Akira relents. Then Akira takes Mizuki shopping on their first date to prove how he can make her look feminine. When the two get caught in the rain after an audition for a gig, sparks ignite with an opportunity to get intimate. Long time childhood friend of Mizuki, Shinnosuke, is introduced as a new love rival for Akira. When Akira falls ill, Mizuki goes to take care of him, but she must get past his brutish trio of brothers. Next come the two school festivals. While Mizuki feels she must come to Akira’s rescue at the boys’ school festival, Akira actually takes away Mizuki’s role at the girls’ festival, insisting on her playing the part of a princess instead of a prince due to his jealousy. The other girls are awed by her beauty as they have never seen Mizuki dressed as such.
The Characters/Romance: I note one striking detail about this volume in comparison to volume 1. I had to read this volume twice. The first time I read it cold trying to rely on whatever I retained from the first volume three months ago. That didn’t work very well. I was disgusted with Akira. I wanted to hit Mizuki for not at least considering Shinnosuke.
Volume 2 has fewer instances of Akira acting like a forceful pervert. I had forgotten enough of Akira’s personality from the first volume that I really didn’t see him as masculine at all in this volume thanks to all the false visual cues by Shinjo. So I gave it a few days, and re-read volume 1. Then I continued into volume 2. That left the right cues in my memory to at least remember that Akira is a horny guy trying to get in Mizuki’s pants.
Volume 2 continues the chauvinist objectives of Akira, trying to encourage Mizuki’s femininity with sexual advances. He really does seem like a mixed up soul. He knows he’s a guy, but enjoys acting like a girl. He wants princely Mizuki to act more girly, and then turns around and gets jealous when she gets other attention. He’s just a selfish prig. I really can’t like these characters as they are. Mizuki is too wishy-washy, not certain of who she is and being easily manipulated by a guy. Akira comes across as a misogynistic pervert just trying to get Mizuki to satisfy his hormonal urges.
I know. It sounds like I really hate this series. So why do I continue to read it?
Ai Ore! is really for the audience who enjoys smutty romance. Add the humor and gender bending roles and it’s a prime form of entertainment for Shinjo fans.