Manga in 200 Words: Absolute Boyfriend
Premise: Riiko never catches a break; every boy that’s she’s ever loved has turned her down without hesitation. Hurt and alone, Riiko turns to a strange online company for a solution. Will her artificial boyfriend Night solve Riiko’s problems or make them worse?
Art: Sleek, smooth art typical of shoujo manga. Everyone has spiky hair and is drawn with long, elegant lines. I approve.
Relationships: Absolute Boyfriend has good tension between the characters and maintains it well through series. Riiko is easy to relate to, and Night and Soshi were both appealing. Personally, I shipped Soshi from volume 2 on.
Action: The battles in this series are used more for humor than tension. In particular, 02’s fight with several enemies. (You’ll know it when you see it.)
Audience: Teen girls who’ve been burned by bad relationships and unrequited love.
Extras: Of the two final stories, I preferred “Aromatic.” It seemed kind of hollow at first, but once the secret of the girl’s pheromones was revealed, I was charmed.
Overall: Absolute Boyfriend is a solid series. Some parts are a bit more mature, but it’s handled in an innocent way. Expect a sweet, light drama.
Story: Absolute Boyfriend is about a high school chick who is so desperate for a boyfriend that she actually buys one from a questionable catalogue and winds up with a "perfect" boyfriend who happens to be a robot, and of course, complication and drama ensues. Frankly, this story was fairly mediocre in plot. The plain, average girl has two guys madly in love with her for some non-stated reason even though she's pretty selfish, not smart, and is quite annoying. That said, the one reason that I rated this as high as I did is because the story kept me guessing. It's crazy, actually somewhat funny, and fairly unexpected so I was kept guessing till the end and so it stood out somewhat against some other shoujos, though that really does not say much.
Art: Mediocre at best. Sure, the guys were decent looking but the animation was subpar. It didn't stand out. There was a ridiculous amount of sparkles and polka dots. The expressions conveyed didn't leave much of an impact. Overall, it was generic and unmemorable so it was very lacking and could have used a lot of improvement.
Characters: The characters weren't the greatest. The main girl is selfish, not smart, loves more than one guy, and only cares about getting a boyfriend. Everything in life will be solved with a significant other right? Not only that, but she was also pretty pathetic especially in the way she handled a classmate being mean to her. She just sat there and took the abuse while crying. On top of that, she even admitted to liking both guys and strung the two along until nearly the end. Why the two main guys were in love with her was not clearly stated.
Night, the "ideal" boyfriend, was sweet and could do quite a bit but I found him nowhere near perfect. Though he had many talents, he lacked depth mainly because he was not a real person and so did not have any kind of backstory.
Soushi, the best friend next door, loved the girl because they've lived side-by-side for so long. He was willing to put up with the girls indecisiveness over who she liked and though he had some depth, I found it hard to really accept his decision to love her despite her awful traits.
Overall: This story did not have the best characters or story but it was somewhat entertaining for due the unpredictablility and craziness. I kind of liked how I did not know what would happen. So if you are looking for a fluff story with lackluster (and at times incredibly annoying) characters that provides you with mindless entertainment and a somewhat unpredictable plot, then this does the job decently. If you want something with actual substance, good entertainment, and that does not leave you feeling like you wasted part of life, look elsewhere.
Story: For shoujo lovers, you will eat this up. Girl with little good qualities finds amazing unattainable men who loves her wholeheartingly. Yet even with the generic premise, it surprises you. It's drama and humor and love and although it can be cheesy, you want to keep reading. The ending is sad in a way but not bad. Also, if you have anything important to do within the next couple of days, DO NOT start absolute boyfriend. This manga is addicting and once you start, you'll have read 20 some chapters, look at the time and realize "OMG, it's 4 in the morning, I need to go to bed......but just one more chapter". I kid you not.
Art: Nice but not anything amazing. Some bishounen boys though. They will not disappoint. These guys are the ones that you wish were real b/c there just so damn hot. There's no overload on hearts and starts. However, you probably won't remember the art style since it isn't memorable. I definitely won't.
Characters: The guys are great. I mean Knight is hilarious, endearing, sweet and just the perfect package. Gaku is just a laugh and kind of hot as well and Soshi. The girls are lackluster and can be annoying. I'm not fan of them or any of them. They are the reason why my score isn't as high as it could be.
Overall: I would recommend this to romance, drama, comedy and shoujo lovers. It's not too long that there's fillers but not too short that there's incoherency in the plot. This is so addicting as well. Not great in quality but addicting.
I am a romantic kind of person but I am not a huge girly girl. I knew what to semi expect from this manga since it involved romance and most romances that I have read involve a girl who is very shy and reacts out of proportion and the boy always seems to want to protect the girl from any evil possible. I find that this manga has character that deviates from that. This manga has made me laugh and smile and if you want a good laugh and smile, read it. :3
Story - 7.5
The story is solid enough, with the teenage protagonist enacting the typical teenage girl with burgeoning hormones and about as little clue as to what to do with them as they have about the consequences of their actions upon others. Lucky that the 15-year-old, astoundingly virginal Riiko accidentally orders a doll to practice her feelings on and to bumble around the cluttered wasteland that is 'emotional firsts'... However, when she discovers that her new toy is designed for something far beyond her expectations, Riiko goes about her life as best she can, with the ever-present true nature of her new devoted companion... Who is a glorified, sentient sex doll she calls Night, masquerading as a fellow student to keep his identity and purpose from becoming common knowledge. Basically, he proceeds to constantly attempt to initiate intercourse with Riiko, and eventually learns a lot about her from the resulting actions/dialogue - with the help of a smattering some school-based happenings, laced with the constant theme of sex.
This sex thing constantly hangs over her like an impending obligation. This part of the story - one of the main driving forces of the plot line - is basically treating the eventuality/inevitability of sexual intercourse in a relationship as an assertion, especially with someone so young and emotionally naive. Sex shouldn't be a 'when?' unless it is an independently-driven decision. It wasn't a dealbreaker in my enjoyment of the series, per se, but that mild disgruntledness about that point was amplified into a bit of a quiet 'gah, seriously?' with the level of reliance the story has upon this 'inevitability'.
Riiko is a nice enough girl, but can be difficult to like and sympathise with sometimes, especially when it comes to Soushi and her incredible ignorance of his feelings through the story. This is especially apparent toward the end when all the cards are on the table and there's no escaping the facts. Granted, Riiko does seem to gain some emotional maturity as things happen and time goes on, however she always retains that hint of profound naivety... which can be seen as cute, but it kinda just annoyed me in the end, especially with all of the incredibly poignant themes being crammed into the undersized and underdeveloped heart and mind of a teenage girl. Without any spoiler details, I can say that the emotional side of things gets a little cramped, which is not helped in the least by the seemingly 'glossed over' resolution that is 'reached' with Soushi in the wake of the trials she puts both he and Night through continually within the story.
However, I do understand that with a mere 6 volumes, it would be difficult to wade too far into relationship complexities, the pore-fine points of each personality, and even too far into time etc. and so the development of Riiko as my main, yet minor, bugbear might be cut a sliver of slack.
The ending was a certainly a twist, and one which contributes heavily to Riiko's eventual step into the path of beginning to gain emotional maturity I was dearly hoping she'd discover. But, in my opinion, in the end, she still lacked that sharper, more inuitive empathetic quality that would come with the genuine realisation or revelation of one's own actions and how one deals with highly-emotive, unexpected events.
Art - 8
The artwork was decent throughout the series, with consistent, sometimes refreshingly zany, characterisation and adequately detailed settings and miscellaneous expressions.
Characters - 7
I always tend to overlap my story and character analysis if the main character impresses me enough in either direction. I reckon I've ranted enough about Riiko, so I'll move onto the secondary characters for a moment.
Night fills his role as the spellbindingly attractive, kind, loving, sometimes-clueless sex android very well, and his journey through this story is very well imparted, which of course, strengthens the power of the developments throughout the story. Given that he is the main representation of the 'obligatory' nature of the sexual context I explored earlier, it's interesting that he isn't the focus of my ire on this matter - which falls mostly to Riiko and her lack of social and emotional intelligence at some stages.
Soushi is an interesting one... he's the tall, dark, understatedly handsome, quiet type who would be loyal to the end - and is, but is also brutally honest at times. This quality gave me more than one half-smile of understanding throughout the series with the appearance of unabashed, almost coldly logical advice and rebukes aimed at Riiko when she does something to warrant it.
Overall - 7.5
One look at the title and tag, and you'd think you've pretty much got it down already, right? Well, pleasantly enough, Absolute Boyfriend is your run-of-the-mill-shoujo in essence and basic themes, but this story contains fresher-than-average twists and some good imagination in character quirks and consequences, so don't get too put off by my dissection of some parts, as there are many redeeming features to this title, depending upon personal taste. It is rescued by the refreshing, lightly enthralling story and the characters who surround the main character and carry her along just fast enough to keep her from losing too much credibility as the likeable lead.