Zettai Kareshi (a.k.a. Absolute Boyfriend) is a manga by Yuu Watase, the same mind behind the immensely popular Fushigi Yuugi. (Just a quick note: “Zettai” in this context means absolute or perfect, thus the English title. ^_^)
The Story: Riiko Izawa is the queen of unrequited love, rejected by all the boys she’s confessed to. One day she runs into this guy with a weird fashion statement, who, upon learning about her relationship predicament, tells her to visit a certain URL. The website offers her a free three-day trial of a mysterious Nightly Lover “figure” (as in action figure). Her purchase arrives the next morning… in the form of a life-size major hottie. She activates him with a kiss, and, Riiko finds herself with a perfect boyfriend: sweet, smart, a great cook, and lots more. And he looks like a million bucks, which is what he’s going to cost Riiko if she doesn’t return him in time!
After reading the whole thing, I am now a major Night fan! Argh. How can anybody not love him? The guy is just adorable! Kind, considerate, sweet, worthy to be an action hero… He’s perfect really. Too perfect to exist. Haha!
Riiko is a nice heroine. Pretty much normal, but not to the extent of being boring. She has a good personality, and it’s easy to feel for her. She has a kind heart, and she’s not at all annoying (unlike two of Watase’s other heroines). There are times that I want to hit her on the head for…well…for not using her head, but, hey, the girl’s human.
The other characters were well-developed, even the ones who catch you by surprise, and even the ones with less page time. I love all the characters, really; they built the plot beautifully.
The story-telling is AWESOME, the humor is superb, and the pacing is perfect. This is, by far, my favorite Watase work yet. Yes, it beat Fushigi Yuugi.
The manga is only six volumes long, with 32 chapters all in all. It’s rather short, I think, but not too short. Oh, no, not at all. I think it’s a good length. It gives the reader enough time to be attached to the characters and for the plot to simmer, and it also allows space for seemingly useless side plots that just develop characters more. Their being hilarious don’t hurt at all. However, the series isn’t sooooooo tiringly long, either. Good length.
The ending had me speechless.
The manga is actually a romantic comedy. And by saying comedy, then it’s imperative for it to have a happy ending, right? Well, yeah, I guess it’s a happy ending. Yeah, I suppose it’s happy.
But it still left me speechless. And almost in tears.
And for the sake of not posting spoilers, I shall not say why.
My rating: ARGH! 90/100! I love it. I dove into it expecting rom-com (which it is) but it also came with a lot of unexpected —some even unwanted— surprises. And I’m not regretting it. Love it, hate it, LOVE IT!!!