Hot Gimmick Vol. #10 (

By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Release Date: Thursday, December 01, 2005

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Aihara Miki
Translated by:
Adapted by:Pookie Rolf

What They Say
It's all-out family warfare now that Ryoki's mother has dished some serious dirt about big brother Shinogu's past, resulting in Hatsumi's heavenly bro leaving on bad terms. Hoping to dissuade him from forever severing his ties with the Narita household, Hatsumi swings by Shinogu's pad, but not before dropping in on Ryoki and totally making his day - that is, until he finds out that she's still talking to her bro.

Infuriated that Hatsumi still has the audacity to even think of any man but his wonderful self, Ryoki demands that Hatsumi choose between him and Shinogu. Hatsumi's about to get all wishy-washy, but Ryoki comes up with the perfect way to solidify their relationship... by running off to Izu together!

The Review
Hatsumi has to make a choice! Wait that is the theme for every volume. The girl has just lost her brother and her "boyfriend" is also ready to leave his home for her. But is Hatsumi even capable of choosing? Is there even a real option here! This is becoming a Shakespearean tragedy set in a Setagaya housing complex. Like in every love triangle gone rotten, the players are not what they seem. In one scene they play one role and then they play another to confuse the lead. Hatsumi cannot trust her heart with a freak like Ryoki. She definitely cannot trust her memories with the problems that have arisen around her brother. Somewhere she has to find some normalcy. Maybe leaving home is the only option. But that never worked in Shakespeare.

What also never worked was dating your brother! Even worse was getting revenge on your parents and their misguided past. Nope there are no real good outcomes in this story. All choices lead to potential doom in the form of heartache and depression. Pick your poison Hatsumi!

If high school romance were ever as crazy as Aihara has made it in Hot Gimmick I would wonder why anyone that age could ever find a date? Kids would have to be seriously masochistic to want to go through this type of hell. Clueless sweethearts to the right and selfish superhero-types to the left with a week natured indecisive girl next door in the middle should be the right balance to make for fine romance drama. And after a few volumes I thought Aihara was onto something. However, she has not really gone past any of that. Through ten volumes her cast is just as dysfunctional as ever. They are brooding as much and communicating as little was seen in volume one. All that might be the gimmick for this title but I don't appreciate titles that evolve every little through time. Hot Gimmick has angst and teens in/out of love, but I can get that from the soaps. Why can't you just let these kids go nuts Aihara? You know I want it? I think you characters cannot wait either!

Mania Grade: NA
Art Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B-
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: Viz Media
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 192
ISBN: 1-4125-0109-0
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left