When Asuka Masamune was young, his father left his mother... to become a woman. This shock devestated Mrs. Masamune, and it shocked her even more to see her son show interest in dolls and other girly pursuits. Worried that Asuka would also turn into a transsexual, she hammered into the young boy about the importance of being as manly as possible.
Now 16, Asuka is widely considered the manliest man in school. He's top in the country at kendo, is extremely talented at judo as well, and is seen by all his peers as the pinnacle of manly, manly perfection.
Secretly, though, he's still incredibly thrilled with sewing, baking, cute things, Shoujo
manga, and girlish pursuits in general. Mind you, he's absurdly talented at all of those, too.
He's able to mask his desires from nearly everyone, except a pesky flirt named Juta, until along comes Ryo Miyakozuka. She's pretty, confident, loyal, and more than a bit tomboyish. Asuka falls for her instantly, and suddenly finds himself struggling with maintaining his mask of masculine strength while learning to integrate his inner feminine desires into his personality, to accept that he is, in Juta's words, an otomen
, maiden, and -men
from the English word).
By artist Aya Kanno.
A TV soap opera
about the manga was created last August 2009, spanning 12 episodes. It is only loosely based on the actual plot of the manga though, as pretty much the whole thing was rewritten from scratch.
This series has examples of:
- Action Girl - Ryo, lead to Battle Couple
- Adaptation Expansion - Some new plots and a slew of new characters were added into the live-action drama.
- Affectionate Parody - Mainly of romantic shoujo manga: in a free talk the author even writes that she tries to go through all shoujo manga clichés inherent in certain settings (beach trip, amusement park, etc). It also takes affectionate shots at shounen manga, being a manga artist, etc. But of course it is a shoujo manga so it's Not So Above It All.
- Anime Accent Absence - Averted, Mifune speaks Japanese with a "visible" accent.
- Art Shift - Used profusely. Characters from Love Chick sometimes appear in place of the real characters; Mira-sensei is always drawn in classic seventies shoujo manga style; Yamato, who tends to fantasize about himself as a hot macho guy is sometimes drawn as a shoujo-style "sexy bishounen;" and Ryo's very manly and macho grandfather is always drawn as if he came from a stereotypical seinen manga.
- Also done in-story by Juta - when anti-otomen forces try to trick him into revealing in art class that he's the artist of Love Chick, he deliberately does an over-the-top shonen manga to try to avert suspicion. He even notes mentally that he's good enough to imitate any style. It also comes up later with Juta when he's subject to Mind Control to act more manly, and he starts submitting shonen manga to his editors.
- Attractive Bent-Gender - Juta is a pretty convincing woman as Jewel Sachihana, Mira-sensei not so much without his fan hiding his face.
- Also Asuka, who makes such a good Sachihana that Kasuga ends up with a crush on "her"...
- Don't forget Ryo cross-dressing her manly school uniform in volume 13. Many school boys say she's a pretty male!
- Author Avatar - The character Michiru in Love Chick who is the gender-flipped version of the mangaka, Juta.
- Battle Couple - Can't be more awesome, with confession following.
- Beach Episode - Part of volume 4, and the live drama's episodes 4 & 5.
- Becoming the Mask - Asuka actively tries to invoke this; at first, he hopes (due to pressure from his mother) to focus so much on masculinity that he becomes masculine. He fails.
- Ryo's grandfather, on the other hand, succeeded... or at least reached a compromise.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension - Miyabi and Tonomine were barely one step away from resolving this in the live-action drama.
- Berserk Button - Makeup (for Tonomine) and flowers (for Kitora) are Serious Business.
- Blackmail - More than once, Asuka gets threatened when someone learns his secret and threatens to expose it to his mother.
- Billy Elliot Plot - Slight variation in that its Asuka's mom who's pushing him to be manly.
- Bishounen - The main male characters, especially Asuka, Juta and Tonomine whose looks are often commented on.
- Even Kurokawa can count, if his eyes showed up a lot more.
- And they all pale in comparison to school doctor Ooji Suzaku, also known as Prince Pheromone. Wherever he goes he's surrounded by fainting female students ("little kittens" and "butterflies" as he calls them) and adoring males.
- Bland-Name Product - In an attempt to become more manly, Asuka is seen reading a copy of "Shounen Janwa", obviously derived from Shounen Jump (Janpu) ("Shounen Junk" in the American edition).
- Blinding Bangs - Kurokawa has these.
- Bowdlerization: George's band Fuckin' Bones became Freak Bones in the American edition.
- Broken Aesop - In the end of Otowa's arc she learns that no matter how much she's been trying to change and hide her true self it was meaningless, and that those who really like her like her real self. She acknowledges the lesson... and decides to ignore it because she enjoys being fawned on by her adorers.
- The Casanova - Juta. The girls around him even accept this, as long as he doesn't start favoring one girl over the others.
- Christmas in Japan - Asuka even gets to give a rundown on Japanese Christmas practices to Ryo, since her father refuses to celebrate it in their house, being Buddhists.
- Clark Kenting - Juta as Sachihana Jewel.
- Distaff Counterpart - Asuka even reads the manga containing his Distaff Counterpart, although he still hasn't realized that it's based on him, with a gender flip.
- Said manga also contain gender-flipped counterparts of the girl he likes and his best friend.
- Dude Looks like a Lady- One of the characters, Yamato, gets mistaken as a girl VERY often by guys, Juta even tried to hit on him.
- Even the Guys Want Him / Even the Girls Want Her - Asuka and Ryo seem to get this reaction now and then.
- Asuka is regarded as "the kind of guy other men fall in love with" by members of his kendo club. When he's rumored to move to America he even gets a group of guys confessing their love for him.
- And Asuka actually gets more Valentine's chocolates from males (though only because Suzaku charmed all the girls to give him theirs).
- Ryo gets even more fangirls after the Ideal-Con, who now considers her as a prince. Even Miyabi