B.O.D.Y. Vol. #04 (Mania.com)

By:Erin Jones
Review Date: Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Release Date: Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A pleasant, average chapter of peace cannot hold off the stem of constant melodrama and annoying characters that are becoming the defining aspect of this series.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Ao Mimori
Translation: Joe Yamazaki
Adaptation: Kelly Sue DeConnick

What They Say
Dear Valentine,That host who says that you're the man is telling you a lie.You know that I'm your biggest fanand not some creepy guy. He wants to ruin your careerand I don't think it's cool. But I've got my own troubles, dear: I'm flunking out of school!

The Review!
It's finally a time of peace and happiness for Ryo and Ryunosuke, who have recovered from their host-induced sturm und drang.  That is, until they're called out by their teacher for their poor school performance.  Ryoko is determined to raise her miserably failing grades, but can't manage to swear off Ryunosuke for a week in order to study.  When they try to compromise and study together, things are even harder for our heroine to handle, because she's (gasp) alone in a room with her boyfriend!  Thankfully, although it takes her two tries and plenty of stressing on Ryoko‘s part, she manages to raise her grades to an acceptable level and come to an agreement with Ryunosuke about just how “serious” their relationship is going to get.

Things take another dramatic turn when Kousuke Shirai, a classmate who professes to be a fan of "Ryu the Host" appears on the scene.  Ryoko feels uneasy around him, but can’t explain why, until she discovers that he’s been lying about the whole thing!  Kousuke’s another high school-aged host, and he just wanted to find out what made Ryunosuke such a success.  He sees Ryoko as having ruined everything about her ex-host boyfriend, but is humiliated by the fact that both members of our happy couple saw through his façade and declares to Ryoko that she will “pay.”  The punishment Ryoko has to suffer is seeing Kousuke take advantage of her overly-trusting, boy-crazy friend Asuka.  When Ryoko tries to explain to Asuka that her new boyfriend is a lying jerk, Asuka refuses to believe her…  And things only get worse when  Ryoko orders Kousuke to leave her friend alone, and he kisses her as “payment.”

It’s a shame that this volume couldn’t have been happy with the sweeter, more slice-of-life feel that it adopted during Ryoko and Ryu’s studying drama.  Although the shoujo tropes were out in full force, there was at least some character development between the two leads, and discussing their problems let them take a step forward in their relationship.  Immediately after, of course, we return back to the land where Ryoko doesn’t tell her boyfriend anything that was a big part of the problem with the previous volumes.  Even worse is Asuka’s increased prominence in the storyline.  Although Kousuke manages to pull off some elaborate stunts to keep her clueless, such as taking a second, more innocent job, the way she completely disregards all of Ryoko’s concerns is frustrating.  At this point in time, I couldn’t care less whether Asuka gets her heart broken or not, or what Kousuke’s surely tragic past is.  I just want more “Yuki’s Soliloquy” side stories that help dull my frustration with these overly idiotic high school characters.  Is that really too much to ask?

Mania Grade: C
Art Rating: B-
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translation Rating: B
Age Rating: 16 and Up
Released By: Viz Media
MSRP: 8.99
Pages: 200
ISBN: 978-1421523590
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: B.O.D.Y.