Absolute Boyfriend (aka: Zettai Kareshi) Vol. #02 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 8.99
  • Pages: 191
  • ISBN: 978-1-4215-0568-8
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Absolute Boyfriend (aka: Zettai Kareshi) Vol. #02

By Sakura Eries     November 08, 2006
Release Date: August 01, 2006

Absolute Boyfriend (aka: Zettai Kareshi) Vol.#02
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Yuu Watase
Translated by:Lillian Olsen
Adapted by:Lance Caselman

What They Say
Riiko needs money after giving all she had to help pay for Night, so she finds a job at the same place Soshi works. Not wanting Night to worry, she doesn't tell him about her new job, but Night finds out anyway. What's even more worrying to Night is how Riiko is beginning to feel for Soshi...

The Review
It's time for the school trip, and the Seiba High School students have three days to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Unfortunately, this fun excursion turns into an ordeal for Riiko when she fails to hide her relationship with boyfriend Night from her classmates. She falls prey to Night's fanatical and hostile fan club members, and "best friend" Mika finally reveals her true colors as a two-faced backstabber! However, with Soshi and Night's support, Riiko is able to endure the fallout from her estrangement with Mika.

The one good thing resulting from the disastrous school trip is that Riiko and Night are able to be public about their dating relationship. Unfortunately, Riiko still has to deal with the problem of her debt to Gaku's company. While Gaku has agreed to waive the $1 million price tag for Night in exchange for data, he keeps demanding money for "maintenance fees." In order to make ends meet, Riiko takes a part-time job -- at the same restaurant where Soshi works! Working together in close quarters becomes increasingly awkward as Soshi's hidden feelings for Riiko become more and more obvious. And if things weren't complicated enough, Night takes a job as well, but his working at an escort club proves more problematic than anyone anticipates...

Another beautifully drawn volume by Watase. However, there are parts of her plot line that I find lacking. She heightens the drama by making Riiko's most trusted girlfriend the reason why all of her would-be relationships have gone nowhere. As Mika snidely tells Riiko, Mika stole all the boys that Riiko was interested in. But if that were the case, wouldn't Riiko have figured it out, especially since they were "best friends?" Even if Mika were that good at hiding her boyfriends from Riiko, she has a bad reputation among the other girls as a "cold blooded user." Wouldn't another girlfriend or overprotective Soshi inform her of Mika's less than stellar behavior? Riiko's level of cluelessness seems to defy believability. Not to mention, Riiko is awfully quick to forgive Mika and come to her defense afterwards. I don't find the resolution to Mika's betrayal particularly believable, but Watase seems fond of the cheerful, space case persona in her stories.

Watase handles the tension in the Night, Soshi, and Riiko love triangle much better than the Riiko-Mika fallout. Soshi's feelings for Riiko are rising to the surface, so much so that even dense Riiko is starting to suspect. Night, on the other hand, is well aware of the way that Riiko responds to Soshi and recognizes Soshi as a serious rival for Riiko's affections. His insecurities about losing Riiko to Soshi are very human and rather touching. The way all this is set up, it's difficult for me to decide whether to root for Soshi or Night!

We also have the introduction of new character Satori Miyabe. She doesn't play too much of a role in this volume, but considering Viz has included her in the lineup of the cast of characters page, I'm suspecting we will see more of her in future volumes.


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