Karakuri Odette(Japanese: カラクリオデット,Hepburn: Karakuri Odetto?, lit. "Mechanized Puppet Odette") is a shōjo manga by Julietta Suzuki that was serialized in the bi-weekly Japanese shojo manga anthology Hana to Yume. Though Karakuri Odette is actually Suzuki's second series, it was awarded the "Outstand Debut" award in the 31st Hakusensha Athena Newcomers' Awards. The series's 35 chapters were compiled into 6 volumes by Hakusensha. The series is licensed for an English release in the United States and Canada by Tokyopop.
Odette is an android created by Professor Yoshizawa. One day she asks to be enrolled in school so she can learn and understand the difference between "those girls" (high school girls seen on a TV program) and herself.
The heroine of the series, an android designed by Professor Yoshizawa. She is enrolled into a school by the Professor after she asks to go to school. Only the staff knows that she's an android, as it is kept a secret from the students. Odette is capable of expressing human emotions and is programmed to not harm people in any way, which is the main detail that gets her accepted into the school. She is curious as to what makes her different from humans.
Professor Hiroaki Yoshizawa (吉沢ヒロアキ,Yoshizawa Hiroaki?)
Commonly referred to just as Professor. He created Odette, remodeled Chris, and is an android scholar. The Professor cares a lot for Odette and tries to make her happy to the best of his ability, giving her just about anything she wants, except a cellphone. He is a fatherly figure for Odette and Chris.
Originally known as "Chris Number Seven" or "the bomb boy," Chris is an android created by an unknown person, later revealed to be Prof. Alex Owen. He was number 7 out of 10 "Chrises", created to assassinate certain professors. He first arrives claiming to be "sent by Professor Trout of Silicon Valley for maintenance." However, Chris was really sent to Professor Yoshizawa to blow him up, but waits with Odette, since the Professor is away at a Christmas party. Odette is kind and friendly towards him, and before Professor Yoshizawa arrives home, Chris locks Odette in the wine cellar and goes to blow the Professor up. The bomb within Chris turns out to be a dud, and the Professor tells him that he can make his own decisions, like Odette does. After the professor remodels him, Chris lives with Odette and the Professor, eventually joining Odette at school.His character is best described by a phrase that he repeats often when a choice is presented to him: "Either one is fine." In the Chapter 25 special side story, Chris number 10 was sent to kill his designated professor but he stayed with the professor's family, only to sacrifice himself to save a girl named Reina, who was the heir of a fortune, after finding out that Reina's uncle was going to kill her and blame Chris 10 for it.
A punk boy who is known throughout the whole school as being a holy terror. When Odette interferes in a fight and gets hit over the head with an iron pipe he takes her to the school infirmary, where the nurse lets slip that Odette is a robot. He later becomes Odette's friend and thus is at the receiving end of Chris' hatred. He is a year ahead of Odette, and has a crush on Yoko Morino. He is often the one helping or comforting Odette, even when he doesn't want to admit it. He is a different quality punk than Hashiba.
A best friend to Hashiba. Yukimura falls in love with Odette when he first meets her, "at first sight," in his own words. He tells Odette that he likes her, in the same way that Yoko likes Okada. He is first seen in chapter 11.
Rich girl isolated by her ability to hear the inner thoughts of others. After meeting Odette ("I cannot hear anything"), discovering that Odette is a robot (from the inner thoughts of the professor) and hearing Odette declare that her school is fun, Shirayuki decides to enroll in that school. After a difficult first day, and about to give the project up, she tells Odette that she has decided that she will stay in school a little longer, so as to protect Odette from being taken advantage of. Also because she needs Odette in some way. Introduced in the fourth volume, chapter 18.
A friend of Asao. He is more outgoing and talkative than Asao. He invites Odette to do karaoke with him.
A rich girl in the same class as Yukimura. He asks her for advice in approaching Odette. Her answers show her annoyance. Odette guesses that she likes Asao, since her heart beats faster when we are talking about him. She is first seen in chapter 13.
A punk boy at the school. He is a year behind Odette. He is first seen in chapter 11. He is a different quality punk than Asao Kurose.
Yoko's boyfriend. Mentioned and shown in brief glimpses earlier. He and Yoko and Odette and Asao go on a double-date to Pixie-Land in chapter 17.
English translation name for a fake friend hired by Shirayuki's family to accompany Shirayuki at school, to sit with her at lunch and so forth. The little sister sort of girl. Shirayuki rejects A-ko, which simply means that A-ko attends the class next door instead and comes over when she can.
Prof. Alex Owen
Another genius at creating robots. He is self-absorbed and egotistical. Professor Yoshizawa describes Owen as a "mad scientist" to Asao. He had created the Chris series of robots, on commission, so he hadn't known what they were intended for. Or so he tells Prof. Yoshizawa. Prof. Owen wants to acquire Odette and merge her with his masterpiece, Travis. First seen in chapter 27.
A robot created by Prof. Alex Owen, his masterpiece! They had come to Japan to find a bride for him, though he doesn't really know what a "bride" is, and he isn't much interested in becoming his "papa's", Prof. Owen's, ultimate anything. First seen in chapter 26.
An earlier robot created by Prof. Alex Owen. His masterpiece, before he had built Travis and lost interest in her. Prof. Owen had also, at one point, promised that she would become Travis' bride. After he had created Travis he had remodeled her body and weaponized it. She typically wears an ankle-length dark skirt, a matching dark jacket and dark wide brimmed hat. Her character is rather stolid and unimaginative. Travis complains that she is boring and no fun to play with. First seen in chapter 26.
Karakuri Odette was published in Japan by Hakusensha in Hana to Yume in 35 chapters between September 2005 and December 2007, and collected in six volumes. The series was awarded the "Outstand Debut" award at the 31st Hakusensha Athena Newcomers' Awards. It is licensed in North America by Tokyopop and in Taiwan by Tong Li Publishing. Tokyopop's license for the series was accidentally announced by a listing for the first volume on Amazon.com.
Deb Aoki, the manga guide on About.com, says that while Suzuki could have made Odette very unlikable, she instead "created a genuinely likeable teen robot who is more human than she thinks". Aoki praised the series, saying that it has "more to say than just your usual "he loves me, he loves me not" drama" of most shojo series. Aoki also mentions that the lack of "usual fussy school uniforms, floral flourishes or bishonen (pretty boy) eye-candy" is refreshing because it allows for the series's "heartfelt sincerity, gentle humor and thought-provoking sci-fi twists [to] shine through." Michelle Smith of the Manga Recon part of the Pop Culture Shock website says that in Suzuki's hands the series is "positively charming." Smith also notes the plainness of the art and that sometimes the bodies are "awkwardly posed," but felt that the paneling is good. Carlo Santos of Anime News Network also had words of praise for the series calling it a "heartwarming bit of escapism" though he does note that the lack of real scientific facts could make this unreadable for some. Santos later gave the second volume a B, saying, "Perhaps the most impressive thing is the series' ability to entertain even though it's not particularly ambitious or spectacular."