Cover of Otomen volume 1 as published by Hakusensha
|Written by||Aya Kanno|
|Magazine||Bessatsu Hana to Yume|
|Original run||2006 – 2013|
|Directed by||Masaki Tanimura|
|Written by||Teruo Noguchi
|Original run||August 1, 2009 – October 27, 2009|
Otomen (オトメン(乙男)?) is a Japanese romantic comedy manga by manga artist Aya Kanno, which began in Bessatsu Hana to Yume in late 2006 and concluded on November 26, 2012. The series has been adapted into a live action TV drama. The series has been one of the best-selling shōjo properties in America, since being licensed by Viz Media. The series is also licensed in France by Delcourt and in Spain by Planeta DeAgostini.
Asuka Masamune is the coolest, manliest guy in his whole school. He excels in judo and karate, and as captain of the kendo team he reached the national championship tournament. However, he has a secret: the things he really loves are sweets, cute things, cooking, shōjo manga and sewing. He hides this part of his life from everyone else until he meets a girl named Ryo Miyakozuka, the daughter of a martial artist and heir to his dojo.
The title, "Otomen" is a pun made of the Japanese word otome (乙女?), meaning "young lady" or "mistress", and the English word "men". The characters in the series refer to Asuka as an "otomen" and even he himself has done so.
Love Chick (ラブチック Rabuchikku?) is a fictional shōjo manga by Jewel Sachihana that runs in the fictional manga magazine Hana to Mame (a parody of Hana to Yume). Juta Tachibana bases its story on the relationship between Asuka and Ryo, with the lead characters even sharing names pronounced the same but applied to the opposite genders. However, Asuka's name in Love Chick is written in katakana rather than the kanji used for Asuka's name in Otomen, and Ryo's name is written in kanji rather than in hiragana name in Otomen. Note: Querbeet's fansub of the live-action calls this fictional manga "Love-Tic", which is what the actors sound like they are saying. Also, in the French version, the manga's called Love Tic.
- Asuka Masamune (正宗 飛鳥 Masamune Asuka?)
- The main character of the story. He's very tall, masculine and cool but secretly, he loves all things related to girls (pink, sparkly and cute stuff, cooking, love comics, etc.). This, however, does not stop him from being necessarily tough on occasion- he can defend himself and his friends. When Asuka was young his father left his family because he wanted to become a woman. This affected Asuka's mother severely and when she saw that her son was starting to like girly things she forced him to be masculine. Asuka also clearly states that while he likes girly things, he does not want to become a woman. When a new girl in school, Ryo Miyakozuka, is being bullied he defends her and later falls in love with her. Among his talents, besides sports, are cooking and sewing. He also enjoys reading the fictional shōjo manga Love Chick.
- Ryo Miyakozuka (都塚 りょう Miyakozuka Ryō?)
- Ryo is a new transfer student at Asuka's school. She lives with her father who is a very tough police officer, and of which owns their family dojo. Even though she is a girl, she cannot sew, cook, bake, make bento or do any other "girly" things with which Asuka helps her. She also likes action movies.
- Juta Tachibana (橘 充太 Tachibana Jūta?)
- A playboy who befriends Asuka and Ryo, and helps Asuka with his relationship with Ryo. Under the penname Jewel Sachihana, Tachibana is actually the author of Asuka's favorite manga, Love Chick, which he bases on Asuka and Ryo's relationship. Because of this, he tries to further their relationship when his story bogs down, though he doesn't want anyone to know about his being Sachihana. Juta is the only son and eldest in a family of 11 children. Juta was inspired to become a manga artist after meeting a girl who let him borrow a shōjo manga. He ended up falling in love with her, only to find out that she was moving away. He promised to see her off, but by the time he got to her house, she was already gone, leaving him heart broken. He returned home to find the manga she loaned him, unread. He had forgotten about it and never gave it back. Juta reads it and falls in love with shōjo manga.
- Hajime Tonomine (多武峰 一 Tōnomine Hajime?)
- The captain of Kinbara High School's kendo team, he sees Asuka as his lifelong rival. He is the strong and silent type but is actually an otomen who is good with makeup. Similar to Asuka, Tonomine's father told him to give up his girly habits, fearing it would interfere with his Kendo. He is a "Tsun-sama" - a word Juta came up with combining the words tsundere and ore-sama (a very self-important pronoun).
- Yamato Ariake (有明 大和 Ariake Yamato?)
- An Underclassman at Asuka's school. He has a very girly appearance which he hates. He loves martial arts and trains hard to become good. He admires manliness and has long delusional fantasies about being manly. He believes Asuka to be the ideal man and is oblivious to the fact that Asuka is an otomen.
- Kitora Kurokawa (黒川 樹虎 Kurokawa Kitora?)
- Juta's classmate. He has a mysterious, somewhat threatening appearance thanks to his tall stature and his covered eyes. He is obsessed with the beauty of flowers and covers everything from buildings to people with them. He is an otomen who refers to himself as the "flower evangelist". Kitora knows Juta's alter-ego as Jewel Sachihana, but protects it.
- Miyuki Yoshino (Yoshino Miyuki)
- Asuka's Aunt on his father's side. Introduced in volume 6, she is a photographer. She knows the whereabouts of her brother, Hiromi Yoshino.
- Kiyomi Masamune (Masamune Kiyomi)
- Asuka's Mother. Traumatized by her husband's announcement that he always dreamed of being a woman, she takes many measures to ensure Asuka is very manly.
- Hiromi Yoshino (Yoshino Hiromi)
- The chef and the owner of Patisserie Violet who held the baking class for men, which is Asuka's safe haven from his Anti-Otomen Mother, Kiyomi. He is also Asuka's father and Kiyomi's ex-husband.
The manga is written and illustrated by Aya Kanno and was serialized in the shōjo manga magazine Bessatsu Hana to Yume from 2006 to November 26, 2012. Serial chapters were collected in eighteen tankōbon volumes by Hakusensha Viz Media licensed the series for its Shojo Beat imprint. French publisher Delcourt licensed Otomen and released its first volume in September 2008. As of January 2010, eight volumes have been released. In Spain, the publisher Planeta DeAgostini has licensed the series as Otomen with its first volume released in December 2008. As of April 2011, nine volumes have been released.
The July 2009 issue of Hana to Yume magazine, in which Otomen runs, announced that a live-action drama had been green-lit, and would premier on Japanese television on August 1, 2009. Kaho portrays Ryo, and Masaki Okada plays Asuka. The ending theme song is "ラバソー〜lover soul〜" sung by Kou Shibasaki. A photobook for the live action series by Hakusensha in September 2009 for 1000 yen, entitled Otomen (Otsu Otoko) Ofisharu Foto Bukku (オトメン(乙男)オフィシャルフォトブック?) (ISBN 978-4-594-06045-9).
- Masaki Okada as Asuka Masamune
- Sara Takatsuki as young Asuka
- Kaho as Ryo Miyakozuka
- Nanami Hinata as young Ryo
- Ryo Kimura as Hajime Tonomine
- Koji Seto as Yamato Ariake
- Kazuma Sano as Juta Tachibana
- Mirei Kiritani as Miyabi Oharida
- Tomohiro Ichikawa as Kitora Kurokawa
- Emi Takei as Kuriko Tachibana
- Kanako Yanagihara as Yumeko Hanazawa
- Nobuhiko Takada as Ryo's father
- Shingo Tsurumi as Asuka's father
- Mirai Yamamoto as Asuka's mother
- Tokimasa Tanabe as Nakajima
- Sawabe Yu as Isono Katsuo
Similar to Kanno's earlier works, the series has become quite popular, scoring high on both Tohan and Oricon's weekly comic charts. The seven volumes available in Japan as of May 2009 have sold over 2.5 million copies. The series was listed as being the 3rd best-selling shōjo property, along with the 13th over-all manga property, in America for the first quarter of 2009.
- "Otomen Shōjo Romantic Comedy Manga to End in November". Anime News Network. 2012-09-24. Retrieved 2013-01-16.
- "Viz Adds Honey Hunt, Gestalt, Magic Touch, Otomen".
- オトメン(乙男) [Otomen] (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
- "Otomen Tome 1". Delcourt. 2008-09-24. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
- "Otomen Tome 1-8". Delcourt. 2008-09-24. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
- "Otomen Nº 01". Planeta DeAgostini. December 2008. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
- "Otomen Nº 01-06". Planeta DeAgostini. 2008-09-24. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
- "Otomen Shojo Manga Gets Live-Action TV Drama in August".
- "Oricon Weekly Comic Rank". Retrieved 2008-01-08.
- "Japanese Comic Ranking, April 15–21". Retrieved 2008-07-14.
- "ICv2 Insider's Guide #65: Top 10 Shojo Properties Q1 2009". ICv2. 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
- "ICv2 Insider's Guide #65: Top 25 Manga Properties Q1 2009". ICv2. 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2009-06-10.
- Otomen official website (Japanese)
- Betsuhana official website (Japanese)
- Otomen (manga) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Otomen Live-Action official website (Japanese)
- ICv2 vol. 1 review
- Anime News Network vol. 1 review
- Anime News Network vol. 2 review
- Mania.com vol. 1 review
- Comics Worth Reading vol. 1 review
- Comics Worth Reading vol. 2 review
- Comic Book Bin vol. 1 review
- Comic Book Bin vol. 3 review
- Manga-News.com vol. 1 review (French)