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In company-owned rabbit-hutch apartments live tenants who can't afford to live anywhere else, and the apartment complex in which high-school girl Hatsumi Narita lives is ruled over by the rumor mongering, self-righteous Mrs. Tachibana. Get on Tachibana's bad side, and life becomes hell. When Hatsumi has to buy a pregnancy test because her popular sister Akane's period is late, Mrs. Tachibana's son, Ryoki, who used to bully Hatsumi as a kid, promises not to tell the world about Hatsumi's secret, only if she becomes his slave. Suddenly, Azusa Hatsumi's protector in their youth, reappears to save her again! He's moving back into the neighborhood! Despite the budding romance between Hatsumi and Azusa, Ryoki has control over her through the secret that could ruin the lives of everyone in Hatsumi's family, and he hasn't forgotten who his slave is!
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The worst type of manga a girl could read
The fact that anyone actually reads/buys this manga worries me. It's serriously the most socially backward depiction of a young woman I have seen for a long time. That the mangaka can put the pathetically weak main character, Hatsumi, into all these awful situations in the name of entertainment is, to be plain, disgusting. Hatsumi is submissive to the point that if someone told her to jump, she probably would. She gets blackmailed, almost raped, generally mistreated by every guy in the manga - and she never retaliates. And the worst part is, she happens to LIKE one of these bastards who treat her like sh*t. I mean, come on girls, how can you stomach this stuff? I find it just plain sickening. The most worrying thing is that it even got published in the first place. It shows Japanese society still has a long way to go before attitudes towards women change.
Even ignoring this MAJOR flaw, the manga is still pretty bad. I know it's shoujo, but this is just melodrama overload. It's like a very very bad soap opera. Actually, the ending made me laugh out loud (which I don't think the mangaka intended).
The ONLY redeeming features of this manga (and no way are they anywhere near outweighing the bad points) is the Subaru/Akane sidestory. There's no domestic abuse there and it's quite sweet. I'm also quite loving the art.
Piece of crap
This manga pisses me off. The girl is too stupid.
Okay, I read this quite awhile ago. The art was nice. The storyline was good. The ending, I HATED.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
I mean seriously, anyone who thinks her going for Ryouki is okay, great, whatever, must be crazy. Even though this is just fictional, I don't like the way Ryouki treats her throughout the whole series. He was being mean constantly. How the hell can you fall in love like that? I know several girls who have relationships like that, but they don't listen to what I say/think. God. Shinogu would have been MUCH, MUCH better of with Hatsumi. And the fact that he became a monk. Oh god. That just tipped my boat. I mean, he sacrificed SO much. What does Ryouki sacrifice? Nothing that he cares for. Euggghhhh! Even Azusa would've been okay. Anyone BUT Ryouki.
Whoever thought its a good ending because Ryoki was 'always there for her', Get frikken real! Shinogu was there for her practically her whole life! The abuse had already started between Ryoki and Hatsumi when they were young. Yeah, a few chapters of being there totally equates to more than being there since joining the family.
~6 'cause the ending really ticked me off ~__~
... Last updated on July 26th, 2008, 12:06am
Why so serious?
I have experienced abusive relationships and I'd hardly call Ryo and Hatsumi's relationship abusive. It was just another manga about growing up in love. I don't know why some people are taking Ryo's slave threats so seriously. Is it because he got so close, or because Hatsumi let him get so close? Or maybe, its because he wasn't the 4 year old making threats and a grown man? I see no difference, they were still young and inexperienced most importantly. The manga had people having physical relations left and right so I don't see why their close encounters were such a big deal. Ryo believed he could get whatever he wanted because of the way he was brought up. He didn't just sit there and wait to be fed though, he got whatever he wanted by any means necessary. I liked that about his character; he wasn't the stereotypical lazy rich guy. He put so much work into the relationship, some times I forgot he was rich and pampered. Many were turned off by his aggression, I found it hilarious that he had to try so hard to learn how to be gentle. He was also so calculative and plotting while Hatsumi was hardly thinking; the epitome of LOL's when a guy is trying so hard and the girl is not. Would you have read a book where a guy is sincerely trying to be gentle and kind? How many time has that been done? Wringing the dry cloth for more water = yawnfest.
If you think that Hatsumi was a pushover ready to submit, then you missed a vital trait. What Hatsumi needed was confidence. She received confidence when Ryoki chose her again and again, despite having more attractive and luxurious offers. Bigger boob size, more money, intelligence, mother's approval, you get the idea. Remember when she told off that girl? Yeah, Hatsumi had confidence in Ryoki loving her.
Hatsumi was jealous of her sister's good looks, and did not think much of herself. Then came Ryoki, a guy who wanted to possess her and have all of her attention to himself. He was quite in love with her, and I admired that. What he thought was love though and being in charge, he grew out of and learned how to better handle things. Eventually when he is fully sure of her loyalty (possibly after marriage) he will quit being paranoid and stop labeling. She did not realize how dedicated he was, until Ryoki chose a different more obvious approach. There was Ryoki's development - softening up a bit and learning how to love differently. Had Ryoki approached her like that in the beginning, the manga would have been boring and tiresome. Call it abuse, but I just think it was growth between two individuals.
Also for those who think that Hatsumi was still a pushover at the end of the series and that Ryo was still boss; you're wrong. You're not supposed to look at it that way. Ryoki learned exactly how to love her while still keeping his sassy attitude and natural leadership and Hatsumi gained the confidence she needed to be with RYOKI. She gained the confidence specifically to be with him, and nobody else. Hatsumi naturally fits the submissive type and that didn't change. Both personalities didn't change, but their approaches and views towards love and for Hatsumi themselves at the end of the manga did.
For those who think the author handled Shinogu roughly, I think your just bitter that the author chose to be very realistic at the end. I found it as incest, because she could never stop looking at him as a brother and could not find any chemistry between the two. I'd have rather seen Azusa and Hatsumi's relationship developed a bit more, though I liked that Azusa was the lone wolf at the end. Seemed to fit him. I think most here were turned off at Ryo's calculative way of learning how to love her, but lets not forget he also experienced an emotional roller coaster as well. Pissed then worried then jealous and even self reflecting at times.
Some might be mad that Hatsumi was so self sacrificing, and was willing to keel over to his demands and wouldn't stop him. Doesn't mean she has no backbone - it means she is a nice, self sacrificing person as displayed with how she handled her family relations. She may be on the dim side but she has a strong heart and is very humble. Sorry if the author didn't spell it out for you, or you cannot see yourself as being someone so self sacrificing. They're people like that in the world - I'd know.
To end, I thought this manga was done well and I would read it again in a few years.
This series is not 'great' and it is nowhere close to 'good' or even 'decent.' It is absolutely terrible. So bad I can't even give it a 1 because I believe it deserves NOTHING. I don't even know how it made it up to 12 volumes. But let me tell you.. it was 12 volumes of pure angst. Now before people go about "nobody made you read it" and all that boring nonsense, let me just say this, in the beginning I read it because I found it amusing then it started falling into a sh** hole, but I had hope that it would dig itself out in a new found glory. Every chapter I hoped and prayed, but by the time I reached the end of volume 11, I knew I had to abandon any hope I had for the series and I was too far ahead to just toss it out.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
The main female character is an absolute idiot, she can't do anything, she's like a robot people just order around. The guy she ends up with is PMSing 24/7, "I want you" "I hate you" "STAY WITH ME!" "I don't need you." Now that I think about it, he's almost like Edward Cullens from Twilight but worse. Now my favorite character was the brother who wasn't actually her brother and I had hoped she would end up with him because he seemed to be the ONLY character with an ounce of decency, but of course, he has no balls and when she rejects him, he goes off to become a lone monk in the mountains. Even for a stupid typical shoujo this series was REALLY bad. It's not real I get it, but that's not an excuse for being an absolute piece of sh**. -Sigh- What I'm basically trying to say is...
SPARE yourself the torture and don't even CONSIDER reading this series. After reading this I was left with such a bad impression I don't even want to touch any of the series AIHARA Miki does.
... Last updated on July 14th, 2011, 6:38pm
Overly dramatic plot, annoying heroine.
I have been seeing this manga title everywhere in the Internet since 2005. I wasn't too pleased with the first chapter's cover as well as with the heroine's character description. The heroine of this manga, Hatsumi, happens to fall on the category of the typical shoujo leads---those air-headed types.
As typical as the heroine is her hero, Ryoki. Arrogance and intelligence are two traits that usual manga heroes possess; however, Ryoki's trait did not blend well with Hatsumi's, resulting into a cheesy love story of how a dominant guy drags over a helpless girl into series of complications caused by both of their selfishness.
The manga wrapped up quite simply.
What is wrong with these people?
Maybe it's just that I can't stand those series where "hot" guys pursue an ordinary/boring girl in a variety of overly interesting ways, but this series left a bad taste in my mouth. The girl is utterly useless, practically one of those cardboard cutouts with a hole for a face, behind which other girls---the readers, I guess?---can pose. Not that anyone should want to be in her position, ever. Apparently the guys she knows express hate and love in similar ways, namely attempted rape, sexual harassment, and harassment in general. It's impossible to build sympathy for the characters, as one spends most of one's time baffled as to their ridiculous behavior and the rest marveling at the ugliness of the art.
Perhaps calling it ugly is unfair--it's not terrible, but inconsistent and unremarkably shoujo, especially in the first few volumes. I had expected the work to be a fluffy shoujo with a love triangle thrown in, had expected mindless entertainment and perhaps enjoyment. That, needless to say, did not happen. Hot Gimmick has all the clichés and contrived plot lines typical of shoujo romance series, but none of the refreshing innocence that balances those series out. Just... silly people. Really really silly. If you're a master of suspending disbelief and that sort of thing floats your boat, go for it, but if not, avoid it like the plague.
It gets one extra point, though, 'cause I liked the brother
... Last updated on April 15th, 2008, 1:53pm
This manga is a hot mess of an abusive, controlling, possessive relationship. Read this for a How to Not Have a Healthy Relationship 101. Overall, this leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.
really awful i couldn't finish
it is a sluttier version of hana yori dango,i couldn't finish this manga it was soo bad...The main character can't make descions for her self. The guy ryoki is awful and as far as i can tell is only interested in her for her body, and because she is easy to boss around. There is no actual chemistry between them i don't know why they say they are in love. the brother is a wimp, some will say that he is sweet like a devoted puppy in how much he loves her, but he just bothered me in how much of a cloud of selfishness and depression he was. the plot was soo predictable there were absolutly no suprises
and this for those of you who care, i wish i would have known before i started reading otherwise i wouldn't have read it.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
im not absolutly positive becasue i didn't finish, but this is where i stopped reading.... Im 99% sure that the main character sleeps (and looses her virginity) with her adopted brother. who is not the guy she ends up with. for me i can't read a story where the main girl sleeps with more then one guy. because it is my firm belief that you should only do that kind of thing with your soul mate. i think the worst part was she didn't even love him that way she just did it to ease her pain becasue she was jelouse. which in my book wuld make her a slut :(
So Not Good.
When I started reading this series I thought that even though Hatsumi was passive and Ryoki was overbearing they would eventually grow up. Hatsumi would stick up for herself, and Ryoki would realize what a selfish pig he is and change his ways. Nope, not here. Only once does Hatsumi stand up for herself, but after that she lapses right back the way she was before: passive, non-confrontational, just letting herself get hurt over and over again. Ryoki isn't any better. He is spoiled, mean, jealous and selfish from start to finish. As individuals Hatsumi and Ryoki are loaded with faults that they never overcome. The more the series went on, the more they got on my nerves. As a couple, they're just downright painful to read about. What's so romantic about a relationship based on dominance and control? That may not have been what Aihara Miki was getting at, but that's sure what it looks like.
Stay away from "Hot Gimmick" if you want a strong heroine with a decent boyfriend. The characters don't change a bit from the way they are in the first chapter, and you'll end up sorely disappointed at the end. I just finished the last volume today, and tomorrow I'm going to load the whole series into a bag and sell all of it at the used bookstore down the street. I hate to make negative comments about a series that is so popular, but I've got to be honest and say that "Hot Gimmick" is severely overrated. Read something else.