Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Needlework Tuesday - Otomen by Aya Kanno

 Early in January, I thought a change was due for Needlework Tuesday. I wrote a book review of a needlework themed cosy mystery. Click here to visit that post . It was well received by my readers so I thought I'd do it again.  This time my daughter influenced made my book selection.  She felt it was time for me to read a manga, a short novel done in Japanese comic style.

An Otomen is a guy who likes girly things. Cute, sparkly, romantic, sewing, knitting, baking, cooking, that kind of stuff.  Not the usual masculine activities.  Asuka Masamune outwardly does all the tough stuff like judo, karate and kendo, but the side he keeps hidden is all soft and cuddly.

Asuka and his friend Juta  both like the Ryo, the new girl at their school.  She doesn't like the girly stuff and says she could only ever like a manly man.  This leads Asuka to some difficult decisions.

At first, I was a bit confused by what seemed to be multiple story lines, but I continued reading and it became clear.  A few side bars are messages from author Aya Kanno.  They are not part of the story, rather she is sharing background about herself , helping to explain why she writes shojo  (love story) comics.  Shojo are also Asuka's favourite books.  Further layers are added when we learn of Juta's career. While attending school, he also creates shojo comics based on his friend Asuka.

I think I will definitely enjoy this story more the second time I read it.  I'm sure I missed making various connections the first time.  The artwork is wonderful and contains so many details, that multiple readings will reveal more depth to the story.

 There is one point that totally cracked me up.  Asuka has won a judo match during which he accidentally tore his opponent's judogi (judo uniform).  He quickly whips out his sewing kit and does the repair.  The needle that he uses is shown as being at least four inches long.  The purpose of this match was to show that Asuka is a  manly  man.  The patch he put over the tear looks like a five lobed flower.  Perfect.

 Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.

Next week I'll be back with a more traditional needlework post.  Mr. Linky is waiting below for your needlework related post.



Roslyn said...

My recreational reading is heavily weighted to historical fiction. Once in a while something other, and non fiction reading runs the gamut, currently I am reading "Dark Tide", The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919, an historical event I had never heard of until recently.
I have managed to begin to sew again, almost 4 weeks after major shoulder surgery and hampered by limited movement of my left arm, still in a sling.

Kate said...

I have just started reading a book called "The Dressmaker". I am enjoying it so far.

Marie said...

Cute story! Looks like Asuka wasn't able to hide his true colours. ;)

I've heard about manga, but haven't seen or read any. Another hole in my reading repertoire. One day I really must check them out.