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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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HEART OF DARKNESS
I'm grateful to this hideous manga because it helped me understand women better. After reading this, I spent some time pitying the kind of decision-making by a woman shown in this manga. Pick this kind of boyfriend today, and a few years later when he's tired of you or has just gotten fired or something, you'll end up at the battered woman's center!
Why could no-one see this danger?
Thorough study of the many comments to the manga showed two things. First, the most common favorable base opinion was something like this (from an actual comment to this manga):
"No matter what anyone says i love this manga...Ryoki can make my heart beat really fast when he does something sweet to Hatsumi...sure he's a bit possessive but it's because he really loves the girl..." and, second,
from their phraseology (and lack of command of the English language), I was pretty sure that I could tell that most of those favorable comments were made by very young girls.
There are a bunch of other "Be mean to me and I'll love you, Big Boy!" manga in the shoujo lineup. I found some of them and was horrified again. I began thinking back to those comments to "Hot Gimmick".
I'm a big believer in the "playground analogy to life" school of psychology. All the cruelty and general emotional extemisms we see in, say, middle schoolers don't go out of us when we grow up, they just gets suppressed and live on in us, with only constant work by our mature minds able to keep them in check. And likewise that amazing number of young-girl fans of this manga hadn't yet suppressed this one drive I didn't know they had:
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.
I'm sorry things like "Hot Gimmick" are around to get in the way of young girls' growing out of this unfortunate innate tendency.
I for one loved it!
At first I wasn't going to read it because of all the negative comments, but I was really bored and chose to read it. It was really good, very dramatic, but good. The heroine's boyfriend is kind of annoying with his orders but I got used to it. BUT I wish the manga was about the heroine's little sister. Her story was in fact much more interesting. That's the only reason why I chose to read it more haha. Plus her little sister and her crush are cute. So overall it was good for a shoujo read.
About the comments.
I don't actually read manga like this, and I confess not having read this one either. But I just felt like chiming in here.
Is it clear to everyone that this is simply a work of fiction, meant to produce a living for the mangaka? Yes, you may not like it and you are perfectly entitled to that opinion, but please do not parade under an imaginary banner of righteousness, preaching how wrong this manga is and how everyone who disagrees with you is also wrong, and conspiring with the mangaka in a circle of discrimination against women. This is silly, this is elementary school level bullying. Please stop and have some self security as a woman. Not everyone is out to get you.
And please keep the critique as such. I feel a bit shallow saying this without actually reading the manga, but I just couldnt gather anything constructive apart from dislike of the main characters from the comments.
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.
boil my blood
the utter spinelessness of the main girl just make me want to vomit. i'm mad at those guys for their cruelty, but i'm more mad at the girl for not having any pride for herself. the only reason why i complete this manga is because my sis bought all the volumes and i read it cos there's nothing to read.
i give it some points cos well, there is realism - the amount of domestic abuse recorded in the crime statistics surely point that allot of women and men are in these sado-maso relationships. and there really are parents that will sell you for less than 'saving face'. but thats it- the realism is just too depressing.
... Last updated on August 14th, 2011, 8:34am
Good and Bad Points
This manga had a few good points, but some really blaring bad points.
Good points: The art was pretty. All the characters had distinct and entertaining/interesting personalities. The star of the show, in my opinion, was the brother character, because he was so charming in comparison to ALL the other characters. Although, his ending made me go O.o . Also, the side character romance was adorable.
Bad points: The mothers in this manga are bad people. Not I-kill-you bad, but they were all completely selfish people. The lead female was always manipulated by others. A lot of varying types of abuse go on, and she just takes all of it.
The I-don't-know-how-I-feel-about-these-parts points: The male lead didn't develop that much throughout the story. He sort of stayed the same way, and didn't change much. I can't decide whether or not I like this, because his character always entertained me, except for when I was like, "GET A CLUE ALREADY, YOU DUMMY!" Secondly, people forgave and forgot a lot in this manga, even when the offenses seemed unforgivable. It was almost like the characters were too lazy to deal with the problem. Sadly, I think that this reaction is somewhat realistic, hence why this point is in this section.
In total, I suggest that you pick it up, and read past the first arc. If you sort of enjoy the characters and the tone of the story by then, then continue reading it. Otherwise, please put it down, because the tone/characters/plot stays the same quality throughout the rest. I enjoyed it, but it by no means is for everyone. The amount of abuse that the female lead gets from everyone is ridiculous, and she basically accepts ALL of it.
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
Addicting/really better than people say
Maybe I'm one of those girls that secretly likes an aggressive guy, but I found the plot really well developed and hot/romantically addicting. Though the male lead acts like an asshole, it's clearly a front he puts up because he's afraid to tell her his feelings (he's really putty in her hands). The plot dynamic is that the male lead really wants the girl to be his girlfriend/treat her like the princess, but is afraid she'll leave so keep finding excuses to abuse her/make her stay with him. The girl kind of likes being picked on a little and is unsure of her feeling in return, and keeps trying to run away at first before realizing that he's not the asshole he pretends to be.
degrading and dumb
I read this due to the pretty artwork and its popularity. After reading it, i seriously don't understand why its so popular. Why?! The female is dumb and the main male is abusive and controlling..what SADIST leads! The only things i liked about this manga Shinogu because he was sexy and the artwork.
... Last updated on June 26th, 2011, 3:24am
I thought I would hate this manga, all the reviews are pretty bad. But yeah, the main girl is a wishy washy girl who can't seem to think for herself and ends up with a guy who kind of sexually harasses her in the beginning. But really, what do people expect? Some people are like that, it's realistic in a way. Not ALL girls are like that, not even very many are, but there are a few that have personalities like this. No one is perfect, people are jerks and they are selfish and they make HUGE mistakes. I feel like that is a part of this manga. Plus, you can't just date a guy because he is nice. Maybe you shouldn't date jerks either, but I think the other reviewers are definitely overdoing the character hate.