Aoi House

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Aoi House
Aoi vol1 full.jpg
Left-to-right are (top row) Elle, Nina, Sandy, Jessica, (bottom row) Maria, Morgan, and Alex, (very front) Echiboo.
Author(s) Adam Arnold and Shiei
Website http://gomanga.com/webmanga/index.php?series=aoi
Current status / schedule Completed
Launch date 24 January 2005
End date 31 January 2009
Publisher(s) Seven Seas Entertainment
Genre(s) harem comedy, fandom, otaku
Rating(s) Older Teen
Followed by Vampire Cheerleaders

Aoi House is a harem original English-language (OEL) manga series written by Adam Arnold, with art by Shiei, and published by Seven Seas Entertainment. The story follows the misadventures of two down-on-their-luck college guys named Alexis "Alex" Roberts and Sandy Grayson who are thrown out of their college dorm and join an anime club dominated by crazed yaoi fangirls.

It first appeared as a 36-episode webcomic written by Adam Arnold and illustrated by Jim Jimenez. It initially ran from 24 January 2005 through 15 April 2005. Aoi House quickly established itself as a "fandom harem comedy."

Proving popular enough, Aoi House was re-launched by Seven Seas Entertainment as part of its standard publishing line. For the re-launch, Shiei (artist of Amazing Agent Luna) took over as the illustrator leading to changes in the art style, as well as additional changes to characters and alteration and expansion of the story. The re-launch began serialization on the Seven Seas Entertainment website in late May, around which time (27 May 2005) a Aoi House theme song, performed by the J Brothers entitled "Itsumo Futaride", was also released.

In January 2006, Aoi House 4-panel color koma began appearing in Newtype USA.

Aoi House made its print debut on 15 May 2006 with the release of the first volume.

New updates of Aoi House appeared every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at Gomanga.com and were accompanied by blog-style entries called "Aoi Notes" by Adam Arnold.

Plot[edit]

Alexis "Alex" Roberts and Sandy Grayson are two college students who get evicted from their dorm lodging due to several infractions of the rules, including the showing of hentai anime. Echiboo, Sandy's pet hamster, does not help matters when he scares the Dean and exposes the fact the Dean is wearing a toupee. Told they need to find new lodgings by sundown, they start to search campus for a place to live. In their search, Sandy is shown to be an obsessive otaku, while Alex is more focused on the reality of their situation. Seeing a flyer for "Aoi House," which promises anime and manga viewing, Sandy becomes very excited with the very idea of an anime club; Alex however is mostly happy to have found possible lodging. As they head over to housing, Maria is seen looking at the same flyer Sandy and Alex were just thoughtfully reading.

Excited about finding the lodging they need before sundown, Sandy and Alex hurry over to "AOI (Alpha-Omicron-Iota) House." Upon arrival Sandy knocks a few times on the door but gets no answer, so Alex takes the more direct approach and throws the door open. Once inside Alex and Sandy are startled to find a room full of beautiful girls watching anime. At this point Maria makes her own entrance and, not knowing anyone is in the doorway, bumps into Sandy, who stumbles into the room, landing against Elle's lap. Then with a hit from Elle he falls into Jessica's chest. After Maria enters and mentions her desire to join the lodge, Sandy and Alex express a similar desire to the shock of all the girls. The girls at first mistake Sandy and Alex as a gay otaku couple since they themselves are "yaoi-crazed females."

Once the truth is revealed that Sandy and Alex are not truly gay anime fans but two straight males, the girls have some fun with Sandy and Alex in an attempt to turn them into yaoi-lovers, or at least make them the lodge's token gay couple. Sandy and Alex learn that Morgan, who made the flyer, left a few important details off the flyer – the most important being that "AOI House" was really "YAOI House," a college yaoi-otaku club turned sorority using Greek letters to covertly express their hobby – the "Y" had fallen off the sign – and straight ("perverted") male roommates were not what the girls were looking for (at least at first). On top of all of this, Echiboo almost gets them into deep trouble (again) by escaping from his cage and crawling amongst a pile of Elle's panties. Elle was already dead-set against allowing two straight males to join "Aoi House." Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) for Sandy and Alex, Nina allows them to stay, while Jessica points out to an irate Elle that "Aoi House" needs members in order to keep their house as much as Sandy and Alex need lodging.

Characters[edit]

Major characters[edit]

  • Alexis "Alex" Roberts
    • Morgan's "yaoi-pet", and perhaps the more level-headed between himself and Sandy. He is Sandy's friend and roommate. Along with Sandy, he was kicked out of his dorm because of Sandy's viewing of hentai anime, and the serving of Ramune which Dean Perkins mistook for an alcoholic beverage. It seems that Sandy is in fact Alex's best friend as Alex continues to stand beside Sandy in spite of all the adventures he has faced as a result of just being near Sandy. It also seems he has the exclusive attention of Morgan McKnight, who obviously has a crush on him. At one point in the story the removal of his ponytail makes him look sufficiently like a bishonen to cast a "fangirl" effect over the female cast. But as soon as a snippet of hair was cut, the effect was broken. Becomes stepbrother to Sandy and half-brother to Angela after his father marries Sandy's mother halfway through the series. Marries Morgan in the epilogue and has three kids with her.
  • Sandy Grayson
    • Sandy is the owner of Echiboo the hamster, and is also Alex's friend and roommate. Between himself and Alex, Sandy seems the larger otaku and is much more immature. Sandy is also the one that Jessica seems the most interested in, as she calls him "tiger" and teasingly flirts with him. Sandy appears to be a fan of almost all aspects of Japanese culture, or at least the otaku culture as is seen by his drinking of Ramune while viewing anime (he has a Sailor Moon shrine in his room), and likes to imagine different anime scenarios happening in real life. Has a strong dislike of corn after viewing Boku no Sexual Harassment's infamous porn scene involving corn. Becomes stepbrother to Alex and half-brother to Angela due his mother marrying Alex's father. In the epilogue he winds up marrying Maria and has two kids named Helena and Victor.
  • Echiboo
    • Echiboo is Sandy's pet hamster. Morgan calls him a "panty hamster" because of the critter's obsession with panties. Echiboo seems to have taken a strong liking to Elle, or at least her panties. He is also one of the causes (by taking the Deans toupee) of Sandy and Alex's need to find new lodging, which eventually led them to Aoi House. Morgan likes to put a tiny camera on his head and let him run amuk, getting footage "of the ecchi kind." Echiboo's name is a pun of Ebichu, the hamster from the Gainax anime series Oruchuban Ebichu. His name also means "Perverted Fart" in Japanese,[1] which is appropriate considering his obsession with panties. Has an attraction to Luna-P (who spurns him at first) and defies all laws of science by having a half pig-half hamster offspring with her called Diana. In the epilogue, he becomes a famous movie star thanks to his role in "Echibond".
  • Elle Mathers
    • The most mature of all the girls and very ill tempered. She comes from a wealthy family and continually acts upset about having Sandy and Alex as a part of Aoi House. She does wear a very interesting costume shortly after their first arrival however and seems to (barely) mellow down toward them as they become part of daily Aoi House life. She even began to develop a crush on Alex, but those feelings ended when he and Morgan became an item. Elle is on the tennis team. In the epilogue, she becomes an "Echi-Bond" girl and a successful actress.
  • Nina Parker
    • Nina is the most nonchalant member of Aoi House. She is also seemingly the least concerned about having two straight male housemates, as she at times continues to walk around without her shirt on regardless of the fact that she now has two straight male housemates. She also makes a habit of smoking where she is not supposed to. She is also a member of the swim team and practices synchronized swimming. Adam Arnold stated that Nina is the most "macho" of the Aoi House girls, and she also has the smallest bust.[2] Nina apparently works at Sandy's and Maria's bookstore in the epilogue, but since she is still a slacker, Helena and Victor seem to do her job for her. This attitude is most likely why they let Sanae drag off Nina from time to time.
  • Morgan McKnight
    • The most energetic of the group, Morgan is a very hyper girl who seems to be on a continual sugar high and loves candy. Morgan has a playful, childlike innocence about her and how she interacts with Sandy and Alex. In her first meeting with them she claims Alex as her "yaoi pet" and later uses something of Elle's to lead Sandy and Alex on a wild chase that ends in the girl's locker room. Her closest friend who is not an Aoi House member seems to be the mysterious "Oniisan" who she doesn't seem to hesitate in telling her secrets, almost as she would to a diary. Morgan also continues to demonstrate, both in her actions and what she tells her "Oniisan", a very strong attraction to Alex. She is much less energetic when talking to her confidant. She and Alex ultimately start dating in the finale, and they get married in the epilogue with three kids named Timothy, Harley and Ivy. However, married life doesn't entirely take away her mischievous side, as she buys her young son yaoi manga, much to Alex's chagrin.
  • Jessica Kim
    • Jessica is a Korean-American medical student often found wearing her nurse outfit, the subject of Sandy's fetishes. She, along with Morgan, accepts Sandy and Alex joining Aoi House. Jessica is almost as playful as Morgan and joins in on one of hers schemes while helping to defend the ever hyper Morgan's desire for candy; both of these might be why she seems to be one of the few that can "control" Morgan. She is very motherly and also teases Sandy, which causes him many a nosebleed. However, she allows Maria and Sandy to hook up during the Con Caper. At this point, she also seems to develop a crush on Mason Blue. She has three little brothers. She achieves her goal of becoming a nurse at Seattle Grace Hospital in the epilogue, where her co-workers and child patients are very fond of her.
  • Maria Ortega
    • Along with Sandy and Alex, Maria is one of the newest members of Aoi House. Of Latina descent, she is a little self-conscious about her uncommonly large bust. She is happy to be in Aoi House, and is friendly toward Sandy and Alex, who once helped her shortly after they all joined. Her parents own a local Mexican restaurant which is a place she uses along with the other members of Aoi House to celebrate the new members. She eventually develops feelings for Sandy, whom she marries and has kids with in the epilogue. They run a bookstore called "The Bookcave".

Minor characters[edit]

  • Oniisan
    • Somewhat of a mystery for most of the series. "Oniisan" seems to be the one that provides Morgan with an amazing amount of technological equipment including an "Ecchi-cam", a camera that can be strapped to Echiboo's head. "Oniisan" is also possibly Morgan's closest and only true confidant, and has counseled her, and Elle, on their respective attractions to Alex. At the beginning, it was not certain who or what Morgan's Oniisan was, though, Oniisan was eventually revealed in "Diary Room Antics" to be human. The previous theory was that he was some sort of computer (an obelisk labeled "Sound Only", a reference to the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion) with various sound and visual links throughout the house. Oniisan means "big brother" in Japanese, and all the members of Aoi House (and former member Carlo) address him as "oniisan." For the majority of the series, Alex and Sandy are unaware of Oniisan's existence, and the girls of Aoi House seem either unwilling or just have neglected to enlighten them. The top half of his face is always hidden; in Aoi House in Love! Vol. 1, he cosplayed as Tuxedo Kamen of Sailor Moon, so his eyes would be hidden; he later judges a cosplay battle between Aoi and Uri Houses and the UASOS Brigade wearing sunglasses. It has recently been revealed that Oniisan is actually Elle's brother and that his real name is Jacob. As it turns out, he is the one behind Aoi House's creation, whereas Carlo just pitched the idea to him after reading one of his flyers. Jacob is apparently the owner of a production company that was looking to make a new reality series, and with Carlo's suggestion, Aoi House came to fruition. He continues his Aoi House series in the epilogue.
  • Carlo
    • Aoi House's (Yaoi House's) homosexual transvestite founder. When Sandy and Alex first meet him/her s/he is dressed as a woman complete with wig and skirt. When the girls arrive and inform them of who Carlo is both Sandy and Alex shockingly learn that the one they thought was a "she" is in fact a "he". It is interesting that though they both have never met him/her, s/he clearly knows about them, indicating that the girls of Aoi House still keep close contact with their former founder. Carlo's face has stereotypical macho qualities. S/he also finds Alex very attractive and went on a date with him when Alex lost a bet. S/he winds up dating a silent boytoy named Rocky, whom s/he ultimately marries in the epilogue.
  • Mr. Perkins
    • Dean of the University. Echiboo stole Mr. Perkins's toupee, causing Sandy and Alex to search for new housing, which eventually lead them to finding Aoi House. He continues to be somewhat of a problem for Sandy and Alex; he keeps a close on eye them because of the trouble they caused in the past. Mr. Perkins can occasionally be found watching the synchronized swim team practice and talking to the swim coach, Ms. Addison. The epilogue just states that he's on the way to a coronary.
  • Ms. Addison
    • Coach of the women's synchronized swim team. Goes on to become an Olympic Swimming Coach in the epilogue.
  • David, Daniel and Danny
    • The little triplet brothers of Jessica. During the epilogue, it turns out that one of them becomes a "rebel" with black clothes and nail polish, along with a spiked collar and a mohawk, whereas the other two dress in prep school clothes.
  • Uri House
    • Aoi House's rival from Lawndale State University. Their name is based on Yuri, Jessica earlier stating they heard of Aoi House and did a Yuri rip-off. Its current members are:

Mason Blue – The de facto leader of the club. While he does not actually have a definite ending in the epilogue, a man with his earrings greets Jessica at Seattle Grace Hospital with a stethoscope around his neck.

A hooded boy named Kevin Cardenas – In charge of their AMVs and has a thing for Morgan (calling her "McCutie") as well as any girl he sees. Moves to Tokyo in the epilogue just for the girls

A boy with glasses named Dale Stevens – The club's artist. He gets roped into moving to Tokyo along with Kevin in the epilogue.

A girl named Kimberly Ann and her pet pig named Luna-P (A reference of Chibiusa's Luna-P Ball). She goes on to win American Idol numerous time in the epilogue.

The open lesbian Sanae – Has a crush on Nina, as well as calling out that Maria's breasts were bigger than Kimberly Ann's. She kissed Nina at one point during the Con Caper, and somehow got both her and Elle into bed (much to their horror when they wake up the next morning) after the epilogue.

Release[edit]

Chapters[edit]

No. Title English release date English ISBN
01 Aoi House Vol. 1 31 May 2006[3] ISBN 978-1-933164-12-0
  • Episode 1 – "Arrival"
  • Episode 2 – "Fangirl's Delight"
  • Episode 3 – "Echiboo's Big Adventure: Phase 1"
  • Episode 4 – "Echiboo's Big Adventure: Phase 2"
  • Episode 5 – "Mallpisode"
  • Episode 6 – "Food Courtin'"
  • Episode 7 – "Arcade Showdown"
02 Aoi House Vol. 2 – Fun & Games 15 December 2006[3] ISBN 978-1-933164-30-4
  • Episode 8 – "Playful Secrets"
  • Episode 9 – "A Date to Remember"
  • Episode 10 – "Charmed"
  • Episode 11 – "Movie Magic"
  • Side Story – "Fruit Cake Fantasy"
  • Episode 12 – "The Nightmare Before Christmas"
  • Episode 13 – "Evergreen Party Night"
  • The Lost Scene
03 Aoi House in Love! Vol. 1 – "The Great Con Caper" 24 July 2007[3] ISBN 978-1-933164-51-9
  • Episode 1 – "Aoi House Hits the Road"
  • Episode 2 – "Check-In Time"
  • Episode 3 – "Rival Schools"
  • Episode 4 – "D for Drama"
  • Episode 5 – "Mr. Wonderful"
  • Episode 6 – "Midnight Rebirth"
  • Episode 7 – "Yaoi 801"
  • Episode 8 – "Cosplay Complex"
  • Episode 9 – "Twilight"
04 Aoi House in Love! Vol. 2 – "Happy Endings" 10 June 2008[3] ISBN 978-1-933164-96-0
  • Episode 10 – "Many Happy Returns"
  • Episode 11 – "Lost and Lonely Souls"
  • Episode 12 – "This is Not Happening"
  • Episode 13 – "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered"
  • Episode 14 – "Series Finale"
  • Side Story – "Bond, Echibond"
  • Epilogue – "Where Are They Now?"

Volume list[edit]

Aoi House Vol. 1 collecting Episodes 1 through 7 was released on 31 May 2006. In the Aoi Notes on 04/21/06,[10] Adam Arnold said the book has been given "special edition" treatment that includes, "minor dialogue and art changes to fix continuity errors," is displayed with screentone whereas the web version presents only Shiei's black and white line art, and a new opening page for Episode 4 and an added scene, "with the guys singing Karaoke at the end of Episode 2." Other extras included are "Aoi Notes: Print Edition," "Student Records," "Fun Zone," and "Original Webmanga Designs."

Aoi House Vol. 2 collecting toned versions of Episodes 8 through 13, plus "Fruit Cake Fantasy" was released in December 2006. The volume carries the subtitle "Fun & Games" on the inside title page. Extras include "Aoi Notes: Print Edition 2," an eight-page super deformed character gallery called "Chibified!," a "Fan Art" gallery, and a two-page story called "Aoi House: The Lost Scene."

Aoi House In Love! Vol. 1 collecting the Episodes 1 through 9 of the 2nd Season of Aoi House was released July 2007. The volume is subtitled "The Great Con Caper!" on the inside title page. The volume also includes 8 color pages that collect the first twelve Aoi House 4-Koma that appeared in Newtype USA from January through December 2006. Other extras include a "Last Season on Aoi House" recap page, "Aoi Notes: Print Edition 3," and a new "Fan Art" gallery. This volume was designed to be a jumping-on point for new readers, and features a completely self-contained adventure following the Aoi House crew at the fictional anime convention Hatsu-Con.[11]

Aoi House in Love! Vol. 2 collecting the Episodes 10 through the end of the series will be released in June 2008. The volume carries a subtitle of "Happy Endings." The final twelve Aoi House 4-Koma from Newtype USA that run from January to December 2007[12] will also be included with the volume.

On 23 November, an omnibus edition was announced[13] and will include reprints of Aoi House Vol. 1 and Aoi House Vol. 2.

In 2009, Aoi House began publishing in Finland by Egmont. Two volumes are released up to date.

Tributes to other media[edit]

There are many references to various other real-life celebrities as well as anime and video games mostly in the form of the characters from Aoi House dressing up in various character's costumes from the referenced work. In Aoi House in love! Volume two, they also reference several American series as well. Below is a list of shows that are either referenced or parodied as well as the real-life celebrities that are mentioned:

In addition Adam Arnold has also admitted he is a huge DC Comics fan. Two of the characters surnames are actually either taken directly from the DC character's surname or is parodied on a nickname. The two characters in question are:

  • "Sandy Grayson" who's surname is taken from Dick Grayson, the original Robin.
  • "Morgan McKnight" who's surname is actually taken from the nickname for Batman who is known as The Dark Knight.
  • Alex and Morgan's children, "Harley", "Ivy", and "Timothy" are named after Pamela Isely a.k.a. Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Tim Drake a.k.a. the third Robin.
  • Sandy and Maria's children, "Victor" and "Helena," are named after Mister Freeze and Helena Bertinelli a.k.a. the Huntress.
  • Sandy and Maria's bookstore, Bookcave, is a reference to the Bat Cave.
  • New Aoi House member "Stephanie Kane" is named after Stephanie Brown (a.k.a. The Spoiler) and Bob Kane, the creator of Batman. Her last name may also be a reference to the second Batgirl Cassandra Cain. Stephanie also has a pet bat named Babs, which is a common nickname for Barbara Gordon.

Reception[edit]

IGN's A. E. Sparrow ranked the first and second volumes of Aoi House as third in the list of the top ten manga of 2006.[22]

4-Koma[edit]

Starting in the January 2006 issue of Newtype USA, Aoi House began appearing as a series of full-color, 4-panel gag strips. The 4-koma are drawn vertically and read right-to-left. The actual stories are all stand-alone and tend to be themed for the holiday's or events in a given month, such as Valentine's Day or college exams. Recent 4-koma from 2007 have involved spoofs of various anime series and video games.

Music Video[edit]

On 4 December 2006, Seven Seas' first-ever flash anime music video was released dedicated to[23] Aoi House. Aoi House: The Music Video was animated by Jonathan Talas and set to the Aoi House Theme Song – "Itsumo Futaride" by The J Brothers. Within its first week of release, the music video received over 150,000 views on Newgrounds.com, was awarded with Newground's Daily Second Place award for 12/05/06, and earned a spot on YouTube.com's "Top Favorites (This Week) in Arts & Animation" list.

Spin-off[edit]

On 17 March 2010, Seven Seas announced the creation of the comedy manga Paranormal Mystery Squad, an Aoi House spin-off featuring Stephanie and Katie Kane, which will be written by Arnold Arnold and illustrated by Comipa, and will appear as a double-feature with the comedy Vampire Cheerleaders (written by Arnold and illustrated by Aoi House artist Shiei) as Vampire Cheerleaders: Vol. 1.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "webmanga » Aoi House". gomanga.com. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "webmanga » Aoi House". gomanga.com. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Aoi House". SevenSeas Entertainment. Retrieved April 2010. 
  4. ^ "Seven Seas's product details on Book 1". Archived from the original on 15 May 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Seven Seas's product details on Book 2". Archived from the original on 15 May 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Seven Seas's product details on the omnibus". Archived from the original on 24 November 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2007. 
  7. ^ "Seven Seas's product details on Book 3". Archived from the original on 9 June 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2007. 
  8. ^ "Seven Seas's product details on Book 4". Archived from the original on 24 November 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2007. 
  9. ^ "Seven Seas's product details on the omnibus". Archived from the original on 3 January 2010. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  10. ^ "Aoi Notes from 04/21/06". Archived from the original on 15 May 2006. Retrieved 30 April 2006. 
  11. ^ "Aoi House in Love – Seven Seas' Hit Harem Comedy Returns". Archived from the original on 16 August 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2007. 
  12. ^ a b "webmanga » Aoi House". gomanga.com. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "Aoi Notes 11-23-07". Archived from the original on 25 November 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2007. 
  14. ^ a b c "webmanga » Aoi House". gomanga.com. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  15. ^ "webmanga » Aoi House". gomanga.com. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  16. ^ "webmanga » Aoi House". gomanga.com. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  17. ^ "webmanga » Aoi House". gomanga.com. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  18. ^ "webmanga » Aoi House". gomanga.com. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  19. ^ "webmanga » Aoi House". gomanga.com. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  20. ^ "webmanga » Aoi House". gomanga.com. Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  21. ^ Arnold, Adam (6 April 2007). "Aoi House". Seven Seas Entertainment. Retrieved 18 April 2010. 
  22. ^ Sparrow, A.E. "Top 10 Manga of 2006". Archived from the original on 21 January 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2007. 
  23. ^ [1][dead link]
  24. ^ "Seven Seas Brings on the Fang Service with "Vampire Cheerleaders"". Seven Seas Entertainment. Archived from the original on 14 July 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]