Manga Village

Ai Ore! Volume 5

August 30, 2012

Much to Akira’s dismay, his lecherous tutor from middle school, Sho Kasuga, has suddenly reappeared. Akira has a secret from his past that he doesn’t want Mizuki to know, and he’s terrified Sho will reveal it!

By Mayu Shinjo
Publisher: Viz Media – Shojo Beat
Age Rating: Older Teen
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Price: $9.99

After hearing some of the reviews of the first few volumes of Ai Ore!, I was ready to give this series a permanent pass. Future reviews said the series got better, so when this volume became available for review, I decided to give it a try. I did like the first part of the volume, but the second part really negated the first, leaving me feeling rather icky about the whole thing.

Akira, the boy who looks like a girl, and Mizuki, the girl who looks like a boy, are preparing for their first date. It was really cute watching them prepare, as they went into places they didn’t normally go. Mizuki going out to by a skirt, and Akira looking at suits with his friend Bambi. It was like watching an innocent romance with all their nervous feelings, and I really felt for both of them over the misunderstanding that gets them into their first fight. It was all very sweet.

But when Akira starts to be more aggressive, it stopped being fun and cute. I still liked Mizuki. She still has an innocent air about her. But not Akira. He went from seeming cute to sleazy. After he “confesses” to Mizuki, he becomes all leers and suggestive with her. It was a big contrast to the first half of the volume. It was a little too big for my tastes. It’s like Akira did a 180°, and I wasn’t comfortable with it all. As a result, my enjoyment of this volume dived.

Ai Ore! tried to trick me into thinking it was cute rom-com, but it couldn’t hide its true nature for long. It does have good art, and Akira and Mizuki do look suitably gender neutral. There is also a good variety of character designs, so there isn’t any trouble telling the characters apart. I almost thought I could like Ai Ore!, but the icky feeling I got at the end will keep me from continuing with this series.

About the author

Lori Henderson is the writer and reviewer for the manga blog, Manga Xanadu. She also keeps a personal blog at Fangirl Xanadu, and a writing blog at Muse of Xanadu. She contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. As the mother of two teen daughters, she needs all the escape she can get, which reading and writing about manga gives her.

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