Absolute Boyfriend, Vol. 4-6
written by Yûu Watase
It isn’t easy having the perfect boyfriend. That’s in part because Riiko’s boyfriend isn’t human. He’s a product, or figure. He looks and acts real, but she bought him from a company. He came to her one day in a box and she named him Night.
The thing is, Night would like to be human. He’s trying. As time goes on, he’s liking Riiko more because of his own growing feelings, not because he was programmed to like her. Like Pinocchio, he might succeed in becoming a “real boy.”
Now that Riiko finally has a boyfriend, other boys are showing an interest in her. The most substantial one is her childhood friend, Soshi, who lives next door to her. She definitely has feelings for him, but she has feelings for Night too, and doesn’t know which one to pick. She keeps leaning toward Night, only to get tugged a little in Soshi’s direction. Soshi is fully dedicated to Riiko, and there is worry that Night could be programmed into liking someone else. It’s happened before….
Soshi eventually figures out Night isn’t human and can’t believe Riiko would pick an object over him. Night is also hurt during this time and has to be sent back to the company for fixing. But the company says he can’t be fixed. And then the company decides it wants to keep Night, though Riiko isn’t about to let that happen. He’s not a doll for her anymore, but her boyfriend.
Absolute Boyfriend set itself up on a romantic fantasy (the perfect boyfriend) and the twisted and amusing (he’s essentially a doll). It’s a repeatedly hilarious manga. However, as the story moves on, it gets more serious. This is especially due to the rivalry with Soshi. It isn’t until the end that Riiko decides for certain which boy she wants. The less than perfect human or the perfect nonhuman?
By the sixth—and final—volume, things have turned melancholic, and then outright sad. A fair warning: readers might not like the ending. It’s too bad, too, because Absolute Boyfriend up till then is such a fun ride. It’s still worth reading, but it doesn’t end with the lighthearted spirit that it began with. It could almost feel as if it were two different series.
Like the earlier volumes, these books have an older teen rating. There are some sexual innuendos and jokes, mainly about boy/girl relationships and what sort of a doll Night really is. Mangaka Yuu Watase has written a number of popular manga series, and Absolute Boyfriend shows her imagination and humor.-- Danica Davidson