I have been a long time fan of manga/anime for way longer than i care to remember,i remember when Speed Racer and Starblazers first aired on U.S. television (which probably makes me one of the oldest posters on this site LOL) Anyway,in all that time only a handful of series have caught my interest with such an intensity that i had to rush out and buy all the volumes that i could get my hands on. Love Hina and Chobits are on the list,as is Ai Yori Aoshi and Kare Kano.I am pleased to announce that Hot Gimmick has made the list as well….
Title: Hot Gimmick
Age: Older teen 16+ (definatly)
Volumes: 9 so far
Sex/Nudity: some fanservice (not much) adult content and themes
Status: On going series,still being published
17 year old high school girl Hatsumi Narita lives in a corporate owned apartment complex with her parents,older brother Shinogu (19),kid sister Akane (15) and youngest brother Hikaru (5). Dad is a midlevel corporate drone who is often sent on assignments that take him away from home for long periods of time. Shinogu works a lot of part time jobs and studies for his college entrance exams. Akane is very popular with the guys around the neighborhood and is known as an easy lay.Hatsumi is rather shy and quiet,struggling to just get through high school without drawing too much attention to herself.She shares classes with her good friend (and super otaku) Subaru Yagi.Because she is shy,Hatsumi is still a virgin,having never even had a boyfriend,something Akane enjoys teasing her about. one day Akane confesses to Hatsumi that she may be pregnant and convinces her to go buy her a pregnancy test to make sure.After finally getting up the nerve to buy the test,she is almost home when she collides into Ryoki Tachibana,a boy who bullied Hatsumi throughout elementary school until he went to a private school.He still scares her.Ryoki finds the pregnancy test and Hatsumi accidently blurts out that it’s for Akane not her.She begs Ryoki not to tell anyone,especially not his parents.Ryoki’s dad is the boss of Hatsumi’s father and Ryoki’s mother is the sharp tongued manipulative landlady of the complex.Ryoki agrees not to tell,but only if Hatsumi becomes his slave,willing to do anything he commands her to do.with much fearful hesitation she reluctanly agrees,hoping that by doing so he wont tell her secret and cause her family to suffer a shameful humiliation.Ryoki is mean spirited and still bullies Hatsumi and tells her that he’s only going to use her to practice having sex.However,Hatsumi is soon saved by the sudden arrival of Azusa,her childhood friend and the only one who ever dared to stand up to Ryoki.Azusa has become a popular teen model and is living with his father and they are moving back into the building.Azusa soon sweeps Hatsumi off her feet much to the displeasure of Ryoki who wont let Hatsumi forget that she is still his slave,unless, of course,she wants him to tell everyone her secret. But Azusa has a secret of his own and his plans for Hatsumi might not be as noble as she thinks they are
Good points:the artwork is good.the storyline is a great example of shojo style manga,with well developed characters and is well mixed with humour and drama and more than a few unexpected plot twists
Bad points:The story sometimes feels a little to soap opera at times,especially since evertone seems to have some hidden secret.a few of the plot twists can be seen coming a mile away
BEST POINTS: Many of the main characters are not cut and dry good guy/bad guy types.they often have a duality to their personalities. for example….
Hatsumi is very good natured and kind hearted,however,it is her low self esteem,lack of self confidence a unwillingness to stand up for herself that gets her into many of the bad situations that she finds herself in.
Ryoki is mean spirited,egotistical,self centered and treats Hatsumi in a very domineering and controlling manner.But as the series progresses you begin to understand that he has deep feelings for her and it is the fact that he is inexperianced with romance and that these feelings are forcing him to step out of his self centered comfort zone that you can begin to see why he acts the way he does.
WARNING:SLIGHT SPOILER AHEAD!!!
One of the best points is watching Akane,who has always considered love and relationships as a game and sex to be just something you do,fall in real love for the first time (with Subaru of all people).Subaru has few skills in dealing with people (Hatsumi and Ryoki being his only real friends) and is very shy,so the outgoing and very sure of herself Akane scares the begeezus out of him.Watching their awkward relationship grow is great fun to watch
Overall review:This is a great series,it can be a bit deep and even disturbing at times,but is well worth adding to any otaku’s manga collection. Viz has hyped this series up as one of japans most talked about series.Normally,i dont listen to all the hype,but this time i feel it is warrented.
Coengar2 gives this series a big thumbs up and a 4 out of 5 and says:YOU REALLY GOTTA CHECK THIS ONE OUT!!!!