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Hot Gimmick

By: MorningBelles

It has been awhile since my last review on a manga, namely Ayashi no Ceres. I wrote that review over a year ago, and since then I have reading a lot of manga. Some of them are good, but others...well, I'm at a loss of words here. Let's just say that I didn't have enough time then, but I do now...before I start college, that is. I've heard of Hot Gimmick, but I didn't know much about it at the time. Then, I went to AMA 4, and the first two volumes caught my eye. I them them both at a 20% discount, and it was all good.

Hot Gimmick is by Miki Aihara, and unfornutely, I don't know her other works at this moment. Note to self: do research. It centers around a teenager named Hatsumi Narita, who lives in company housing. Basically, housing owned and administered by a company for its employees and their families. Hatsumi lives with her younger sister, Akane; her older brother, Shinogu; a younger brother, Hikaru; and their parents. Hatsumi doesn't consider herself pretty, while Akane is popular among the boys. One day, Hatsumi buys a pregnancy test for Akane because Akane thought that she might be pregnant(she was "late"), and runs into Ryoki Tachibana, the son of the company owner, and bully. Ryoki sees the test and blackmails Hatsumi into becoming his "slave". Add to the mix is Azusa Odagiri, Hatsumi's childhood friend, who moved away when they were kids, and is a famous model. Azusa moves back into the complex, and goes to the same high school now. Can Hatsumi find a way to get out of Ryoki's crutches, and declare her love for Azusa?

I have only read the first 3 volumes of Hot Gimmick, since Viz is still publishing it, and it's getting ready good, especially in volume 2. I can't reveal the spoilers here, so...

Updated on 4/13/06: Well, I'm almost done with the entire series; just waiting for the last 2 volumes to come out. Vol. 11's supposed to be out in June, and I am desperate to find out what happen. Recapping what has been happening in the past volumes: nothing is what they seem to be. Sorry, but I don't really know how to put this delicately without spoiling. Okay...let's just say that there were some drama...and PLENTY of it. Most of it was centered around Hatsumi, Ryoki and Azusa, but Shinogu (Hatsumi's older brother) has gotten involved as well. There are some secrets that relates to their parents, and Shinogu has a secret of his own. Not only that, but Ryoki wanted Hatsumi to be his girlfriend(!) *head blows up* On the bright side, there was 2 chapters---in separate volumes---dedicated to Akane (remember, Hatsumi's younger sister, who is pretty and popular among the guys) and Subaru (the anime "otaku geek"), which I think was good. I could go on and on, but I rather not. I'll let the people out there buy the manga and read it.

Also, Aihara has her latest manga out, too: Tokyo Boys and Girls. Just a side-note.