What I just Read: "Inu x Boku SS" Volume 1

Title: Inu x Boku SS
Mangaka: Cocoa Fujiwara
US Publisher: Yen Press

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

First Impressions:
I really like the anime, but I wonder will I get bored retreading the same story. Nope, I’m not bored at all.  I still love these characters.  I’m not comfortable with the garter belts. Why did the mangaka have to do that?

Breakdown:

Artwork — B: It doesn’t especially standout. The story feels more shoujo-ish than shounen, so I guess the garter belts are needed to add a moe touch??? I don’t like how the teenage girl’s faces are drawn to make them look like 6-year-old children.  But again, this must be the moe thing. But taking the artwork as a whole, I’m neither offended or impressed, so I guess it’s good enough.

Presentation — B-: The presentation doesn’t really stand out either. If I hadn’t watched the anime, I would have never bought this book because the cover makes it look like moe manga with borderline questionable content.  I imagine marketing this is tough because you want to catch those guys into moe, but the story clearly is more geared to a female audience. (Personally, I would have pushed the shoujo aspects.) Moving on… the translation reads smoothly, but there are no color pages and there’s nothing special about the format of the book.  Considering this, I wonder why the book is priced $10.99. It’s not a good value. I recommend looking for a discount.

Story — A: This first volume is more about establishing the characters and the setting.  The two main characters, Ririchiyo and Miketsukami, are very well introduced.  Ririchiyo is rich girl who isolates  herself with cruel words rather than suffer repeated hurt from being prejudged only by her family’s reputation, and Miketsukami is very manipulative man in the guise of a masochist.  He acts like he unconditionally loves Ririchiyo, but there are hints that something’s fishy, especially in Miketsukami’s past. The interaction between Miketsukami and Ririchiyo puts me on edge in a good way.  I want Ririchiyo to have a true friend, but Miketsukami sometimes seems like the crazed-stalker type. The other characters are interesting too.  They are an assortment of weirdos that we quickly see have the potential to be a makeshift family for one another.

Overall — B+: Don’t let the cover fool you. This series has heavy shoujo elements.  I don’t understand the minds of moe lovers, so I can’t say whether this would appeal to those readers.  However, for people who are strictly into shounen, this is probably not for you.  Shoujo lovers, you must get this!  It’s got all the master and servant goodness you love!

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