Gorou Amemiya is a gynaecologist working in a small city within the Japanese countryside, however he has a deep ardour for idols, one particularly by the title of Ai Hoshino from the group B Komachi. His love for them is not any secret, as he usually reveals movies of them to sufferers, however he has by no means as soon as anticipated to satisfy Ai, as a consequence of dwelling so distant from the town. One fateful day, a 16-year-old woman, 20 weeks pregnant, walks into his clinic and its none aside from Ai herself! She doesn’t title the daddy, and her supervisor plans to maintain her being pregnant a secret so she will proceed her idol profession after giving beginning. Gorou agrees to maintain her secret, and the pair develop nearer over the course of her being pregnant. On the day she’s as a consequence of give beginning nevertheless, tragedy strikes, and the pair turn into nearer than both of them thought attainable, and a brand new facet of Ai’s ‘idol’ picture beings to indicate itself.
Based on the interpretation notes on the again, offered by Sarah Neufeld, the title of this manga hasn’t been formally translated into English, as ‘Oshi no Ko’ can imply a number of issues, relying on the context. For instance, it might imply ‘The woman who’s my favorite performer’ or ‘the kid/youngsters of my favorite performer’. The multi-layered which means of the title displays the collection rather well. You begin studying the ebook pondering it’s about following a physician with an unhealthy obsession with an idol, however then the primary twist occurs, and we swap POV’s to Ai’s youngsters, after which in final quarter of the ebook ANOTHER twist occurs and the story itself adjustments gears once more, with the final chapter the textual content studying, ‘and so the prologue ends.’ Sure, the entire first ebook is only a ‘prologue’ for this story, a bizarre, drama-filled, thrilling and doubtlessly unbelievable story of the darker facet of idols while additionally highlighting its alluring nature. I’m going to strive my finest to speak in regards to the story, while avoiding the true nature of each twists that occur on this ebook, however should you’re already on this collection, I’d suggest you cease studying now and go into the manga blind.
The primary quantity is break up into three totally different plotlines, the primary being the opening act with Gorou. Though his position as Ai’s obstetrician-gynaecologist is definitely small within the grand scheme of issues, he has a big impact on the story and serves as the principle protagonist. Though his position and mindset change because the story progresses, his ‘prologue’ is an fascinating learn. As talked about, he begins off as an intense idol fan, who will get the chance of a lifetime to assist ship the infant of his favorite idol, and the viewers can’t assist however really feel uncomfortable for Ai as her most intimate second is being seen by somebody who’s technically participating in voyeuristic behaviour. By the tip of the ebook, he’s in a brand new place to not solely pursue a job he by no means thought attainable beforehand, but additionally to see Ai as a human being, relatively than simply an idol, if solely through probably the most supernatural and twisted means attainable. Regardless of the second act (the longest a part of this ebook) being extra a comedy romp than the primary and final acts, there’s nonetheless rather a lot to untangle from his rising new notion, in addition to what he learns in regards to the idol trade in his new position. The comedy gained’t all the time hit (it didn’t for me) nevertheless it was fascinating watching him develop regardless.
Talking of idols, let’s speak about Ai. By way of her makes an attempt to be each an idol and a mom, you possibly can see how the layers of the idol and leisure trade are slowly peeled away till its darkish underbelly is revealed. From the imply feedback on Twitter that Ai topics herself to, to the lengths she should go to to try to shake her restrictive ‘idol group’ picture, and the way the position of ‘mum’ is at battle with that at instances. However the story isn’t simply desirous about saying how darkish and damaging the trade could be, but additionally how others use mentioned data to get what they need out of it. Ai, for instance, has each purpose to hate the position she should play; the supervisor has full management of her life and he or she’s always being pushed into totally different containers (idol, singer, actress, and so forth) to maintain being profitable for her supervisor. However Ai by no means reveals disgust or despair on the scenario, she WANTS to be there. She’s absolutely conscious of the trade’s darkish facet and he or she retains smiling by means of all of it. As she says, ‘lies are an excellent form of love’; it’s a warped but additionally fascinating look into her psyche, how she sees her position in addition to the trade itself. She’s somebody who LOVES what she does, regardless of the steep price that it requires of her. The collection, up to now, appears to need to sort out the identical themes as Satoshi Kon’s Excellent Blue, however as an alternative of being a horror, it’s performed as a comedy drama, with totally different viewpoints informing and increasing on Gorou’s and Ai’s because the collection progresses.
The final a part of the ebook is barely totally different from the remainder. At first of every chapter, we’re given one web page ‘interviewing’ varied members of the trade from administrators to actresses, all seemingly taken within the far future. At first it’s a bit jarring, however later it’s like discovering items of a puzzle that’s nonetheless being fashioned in entrance of you; when you learn the ultimate chapter, you realise that these mini glimpses into the longer term have a completely new context and type a part of the principle story to this ebook’s prologue. It’s rather well carried out, and it’ll be fascinating to see if the mangaka continues to do that in future books, now that we’re out of the ‘prologue’ a part of the story.
Aka Akasaka is the author for this collection, with illustration by Mengo Yokoyari, who does an amazing job; from the eye-catching cowl of Ai’s poses along with her inhuman eyes, to the ultimate pages which have a lot darker overtones, the whole lot is effectively drawn, and all of the character designs are very distinct. As talked about, Sarah Neufeld is the translator, and the whole lot reads very effectively, switching from comedy to disturbing as swiftly because the artwork does, however I need to give a shout-out to the translator’s notes: there’s three pages’ value that go into quite a lot of element not nearly sure phrases but additionally into details about Japan itself, which I discovered actually fascinating.
Simply by studying the primary quantity, I can inform that [Oshi No Ko] goes to be a very talked-about and talked about collection when the anime adaptation comes out in April. Though the subject material and the protagonist himself aren’t going to attach with everybody, with the primary twist in all probability being the jump-off level for some, should you stick with this ebook, it has rather a lot to uncover. The constructive reception it’s acquired in Japan is, up to now, effectively deserved; do test it out.