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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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If you're willing to just let it be...
Hot Gimmick is every cliche in the shoujo world to the power of 10. You have your doormat female lead, jealous boyfriend, love triangle, almost raped situation, super-mean bully, rich kid, school-idol, childhood friends: the works. However, unlike typical shoujo, the plot with Hatsumi's dad was actually well-thought out and interesting. That's why I read it all in one sitting. It doesn't stall in one place too long and it's dramatic.
Yeah, Hatsumi is a major doormat and I wanted to freaking beat the sh*t out of her sometimes for her passiveness and repeated stupidity. Ryoki also: his annoying demands for Hatsumi to always pay attention to him and even demanding her to choose between him and her family were disgusting. But, overall, I thought the relationship was just annoying most of the time and they were just super annoying teenagers with some serious personal issues (Ryoki's "I have no family but you!" and Hatsumi's "my bro is not my bro and my dad had an affair with Azusa's mom"). The only serious "omg no he did ain't, gurl" moment was when he slapped Hatsumi but that was just Ryoki being a spoiled brat. It's not abusive. If it was abusive, Hatsumi would have avoided Ryoki like she did when they were kids and her brother would have stepped in.
I think if your gonna get distracted by a doormat lead, then don't. If you're willing to just let it go, you got yourself a good read.
The funniest thing is Azusa, the guy who set-up said rape attempt and the antagonist for the better half the series, has the most character development of all.
PS: No one is taking their love advice from manga, guys. PPS: cecropiamoth, no. Just no.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I think the great popularity of shoujo manga like this, demonstrates that one part of the innate makeup of women is a desire to be dominated."
That line is more disgusting than anything Ryoki has even done or said in this entire manga. That is a rapist's line of thought there and I can't believe that you translate out what mangas girls read into a factor of their "innate makeup". I love Saiyuki but that doesn't mean I'm violent.
... Last updated on June 15th, 2012, 2:50pm
Great! Where's the love people?
I find this series very good, despite how many people didn't liek how the guys were treating her. It's not like every day you'll see a awesome, character who could find the words and strengths to say something epic all the time. We're all very different indeed. I don't see why people are taking this so seriously epispcailly if there are people like this kind of girl and guy out there. :/
Why is there some much hating on this manga?
When I read the series, I love it. When I saw all the nagtive stuff coming from a good series. Why? It pretty typical for your average Shojo manga where either the girl is naive or tries to be the strong one. people are picky. For I mean I very much enjoy this series and the plot. Not every girl your goint to find is like a strong girl, that can do everything awesome. It very different. The slave thing was just another way to get closer to her. People don't want to be to realtic from fansties but then don't like it when it like this? I don't get ya. But I give this one a 10.
... Last updated on May 23rd, 2012, 9:37am
If the mangaka could have focus on the growth of the two characters as the story progresses, the rating will not be so bad. I've read shojo mangas with the same storyline before. For example Hana Yori Dango. While the mangaka of HYD made sure that Tsukasa and makino matured towards the end the mangaka of hot gimmick failed in making the character mature and gave us an unfulfilling ending where the main character is still crybaby and immature.
Overall I gave this manga a 7 rating because of the good start and middle but minus 3 for the crappy ending.
... Last updated on November 28th, 2012, 8:33am
It's not as bad as others see it. Ryoki might be a bit over the line but other elements of the story were well laid out. Too bad it ended rather abruptly. Azusa had potential but lost part after being revealed as a 'bad boy'. His character was kinda confusing. Shinogu gave up too quickly and Ryoki is just down right selfish. Hatsumi jumps from one guy to another offering herself which is kinda annoying. If her feelings showed more development and less hesitation, it would've been good. OTherwise, the story was rushed and ending was just...
Worse female lead EVER
Never have I spent more time yelling at a fictional character in my life. At one point, I actually almost threw my iPad across the room. She hasn't a shred of common sense, is totally spineless and weak, ridiculously nosy and yes, a bleedin' idiot. Usually characters that start out this way, that go through 1/10th of the experiences she does, buck up a little and start to clue in about the world around them. Oh ho, not little Hatsumi.
If you start reading this manga, and feel like you want to choke her as opposed to being amused by her idiocy, just stop reading. The feeling NEVER GOES AWAY. She's taken advantage of left and right, from chapter one all the way through the 12 volumes. I kept reading hoping for a turnaround and it never came - not even close. ARGH.
... Last updated on March 19th, 2012, 4:29pm
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.
The story started off great! There were mysteries, conflicting feelings and a lot of events that created a great beginning. But the storyline quickly turned sour and had me even have to stop reading for long periods of time in fear that my blood pressure would go crazy. The female lead is by far the best example of how you should NOT be in any kind of relationship. She lacked self-respect, was a total doormat for the male love interest, and failed to stand up for herself when she was in danger. The guy had some serious issues as well and it didn't help that she just gave in rather than confront him about things he was doing to her. He abused her not only emotionally, but psychologically as well. The only good thing about this manga is that it serves as an example of what things to avoid and to really respect yourself. This series is just completely disturbing... I can't even write a proper review about ti anymore, it just bothers me that much.
... Last updated on January 26th, 2014, 7:59pm
Hatsumio and Ryoki make an amusing couple. Just read it and laugh and don't get to psyched up by it. Ryoki loves her deeply but he's bitterly jealous about how little attention she gives him, and rightfully so. While Hatsumi doesn't always present her best since she's knee deep in disturbing family affairs and can barely substantiate a romatic relationship. You can probably enjoy this easily but if you get hindered by the psychological profile of Hatsumi's wavering mind, then read something else.
this manga has no coherency at all whatsoever. I lose respect for both the girl and the guy, so there's a bunch of crap that goes on and then I barely even care because I don't feel at all attached to the story. I'm not sure why I even read it, I must have been bored to my bones.