You Are Browsing ' Ai Ore! ' Tag

By otakuman5000 On 2 Nov, 2011 At 01:54 AM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarKodansha USA doesn’t make a showing this week, instead waiting until the middle of the month with the sequels to its heavy hitters, Sailor Moon and Sailor V. Viz Media more than makes up for it though, inundating Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat fans. The final volume of the special Death Note Black Edition, which is cool, except I stocked up on the original release years ago. Other gems, like Kimi ni Todoke, continue, along with mysteriously popular manga like Ai Ore!

Classic shojo manga from the master.

But even with the Viz onslaught, all my money this week is going to Vertical. First there’s the newest volume of Twin Spica, the best manga about astronaut high school there is. But on top of that, we get the release of Princess Knight, a shojo manga from Osamu Tezuka originally released in the fifties. Princess Knight has been on my list of manga I desperately wanted translated ever since I found out what it was, so this is a nerdy dream come true. I’m disappointed that Vertical won’t be giving this the VIP treatment, instead opting for a cheaper soft cover edition that all fans can afford, but that won’t keep me from buying it.

So that’s me. The rest of this week’s manga releases are listed below. What will you be buying this week?

801 Media

  • Fallen Saints Kiss by You Higashino

Vertical, Inc.

  • Princess Knight volume 1 by Osamu Tezuka
  • Twin Spica volume 10 by Kou Yaginuma

Viz Media

  • Death Note Black Edition volume 6 by Tsugumi Ohba, art by Takeshi Obata
  • Ai Ore! volume 3 by Mayu Shinjo
  • Black Bird volume 1 by Kanoko Sakurakoji
  • Claymore volume 19 by Norihiro Yagi
  • D. Grayman volume 21 by Katsura Hoshino
  • Dengeki Daisy volume 7 by Kyousuke Motomi
  • Kimi ni Todoke volume 11 by Karuho Shiina
  • Oresama Teacher volume 5 by Izumi Tsubaki
  • Story of Saiunkoku volume 5 by Sai Yukino
  • Tegami Bachi volume 7 by Hiroyuki Asada
  • We Were There volume 13 by Yuki Obata

Manga release information is gathered from Comixology and Amazon.

By otakuman5000 On 9 Jun, 2011 At 06:13 AM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Featured, Reviews | With 2 Comments

No GravatarAi Ore! (written and drawn by Mayu Shinjo and published by VIZ Media) has a cute cover picture, our two androgynous leads paired together and smiling. Makes you think we’re in for a charming high school love story.

Ai Ore! (Love Me) by Mayu Shinjo

Don’t let it fool you.

Ai Ore! tries to pass itself off as a quirky romance about a boy who looks like a girl and a girl who looks like a boy, but it turns out to be the uncomfortable tale of an exceptionally unhealthy relationship. At the start of the manga Mizuki, the lead guitarist of Blau Rosen is ready to split up the band when Kaoru, her best friend and lead singer, is moving to America. Akira, the effeminate boy from the school next door, volunteers to join. He tries to get close to Mizuki, and comes with her to the airport to say farewell to Kaoru. But he didn’t want to say goodbye – he wanted to take advantage of the sad and vulnerable Mizuki so he could steal a kiss.

Creepy, right? It all gets worse from there.

Akira, our cute, blushing male lead is just as deceptive as the cover. He is obsessive about getting Mizuki as his own, sneaking into her all girls school, locking the two of them in the music room and tagging along on her school’s overnight trip. He even wraps himself in a towel and pretends to be a girl so he can get in the hot springs with her. This is creepy and perverted, but Akira gets just plain scary when he decides to dole out punishment on a girl that dared to go after his Mizuki-chan, making a move that goes way over all sorts of lines.

Mizuki is looked at by other characters as a strong young woman, and that’s how us readers are meant to see her, too. But not only is she easily manipulated, she’s completely unable to get herself out of uncomfortable and downright dangerous situations. And then there are her interactions with Akira: she’s willing to miss a school trip so they can go on a date, and lets him push her way past her sexual comfort zone. She yells at him when he touches or kisses her without permission, but only chastises herself later for her harsh words. “I said mean things to him!” she moans. “He tried to molest you!” I want to yell. It’s frustrating, and makes me a little ill.

Other characters aren’t painted in the kindest light. One of Akira’s friends attempts to steal Mizuki away, and the other one agrees to rape a girl for Akira with only momentary hesitation. Homosexual characters aren’t looked at favorably: Mizuki only thinks she likes girls because she’s confused, and the actual lesbians are portrayed as sexual fiends.

Cute and cruel Akira.

The art is pretty enough, with a cute girlish character design for Akira, and handsome figures for Mizuki and her band mates. Of course, moments when Mizuki is most drawn to Akira are also when he appears most devilish. He exclaims “I was so very happy!” about having kissed Mizuki, but his smile is more predatory than cute. Backgrounds are very bland, as Shinjo prefers to use airy bubbles or action lines to denote the mood of the scene rather than show us where these characters are standing.

Ai Ore! should be a manga about music and gender roles, and that’s what I was looking forward to when I first picked it up. But instead I got a love story that makes my skin crawl. I’m obviously in the minority, as user reviews on Amazon show an overwhelming love for this manga, but I just can’t get on board with a book that shows such a twisted relationship as being perfectly alright.

ISBN: 9781421538389 • MSRP: $12.99 • Published by VIZ Media • 300 pages • Released May 3, 2011