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Otomen, Vol. 9 (Otomen)


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About the Author

Aya Kanno was born in Tokyo, Japan. She is the creator of Soul Rescue, which has been published in the United States, and herlatest work, Otomen, is currently being serialized in Japan's BetsuHana magazine. Blank Slate was originally published as Akusaga in Japan, also in BetsuHana.


Gr 8 Up-After Asuka's father left home to live as a transvestite, Asuka started to go overboard in the masculinity department, even becoming the captain of the school kendo team. Juta also appears to be manly because of his flirtatious track record with girls. And yet Asuka secretly likes sewing, fancy food, and reading the shojo manga Love Chick, which Juta writes under an assumed female name. It is difficult to find an American equivalent of an "otomen"; perhaps the closest equivalent would be a metrosexual, or a heterosexual man who was raised in an all-female household and thus gained extra sensitivity and insight. It seems to reveal something about Japanese culture that Asuka is the only boy who is able to appease a "man-hating" female ghost by talking to her and (more importantly) listening to her. In this volume, Asuka reevaluates his relationship with his female friend Ryo, and Juta accepts an invitation to sign autographs of his manga while disguised as a woman. Kanno's illustrations are well suited to the story, featuring a lot of dramatic closeups, pretty boys with pointy hair, and pretty girls with tiny hats. It is not necessary to have read the earlier books in this series to appreciate this one, but readers who enjoy this book will certainly ask for the entire series.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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