Otomen? What the heck is an otoman? That is the question that made me put a hold on this manga when I ordered it for the library. Otomen, for those who do not know, are men that enjoy girly things. They like to bake, clean, sew and play with sparkly things. They also enjoy reading shojo manga-which is manga geared towards girls. The twist is that despite all these tendencies, otomen are straight.
Asuka is a closet otoman. His father walked out on his family years ago saying he wanted to be a woman. Asuka’s mother begged him to be a “manly” man so Asuka pushed his true self aside and became the most aloof, masculine and number one in the country in the martial art kendo. When he falls for Ryo-a girl who can’t cook or sew-his oto-tendencies become even harder to control because when you are in love-your true-self tries even harder to come shining through.
I enjoyed this story that mixes around the gender stereotypes we all hold. The main female character is written as a clueless, shojen male charcter and the main male character is what you would expect in a shojo female character. The author herself admits that she is not girly in nature and elaborates on her thought process throughout the book. Fast paced, light storyline for the most part and a comedy of errors about being ok with who you were born to be. 2009, 200 pages.