Hot Gimmick Books 1-12

Hot Gimmick is the manga that made me a devoted proponent of the format. At the time, it was exactly what I was looking for — a girl-centered story that emphasizes emotion and character development, with fascinating plot twists and clear, expressive art. Unfortunately, the end of the series is so disappointing as to erase the enjoyment of the beginning, and now I recommend people avoid it.

The protagonist, Hatsumi, is a 16-year-old living in a company apartment building. Her father is on a remote assignment for work, and her older brother is a college student who’s gone a lot, leaving her with no easily available male role model. (There’s a page at the back of the first book that sums up the family members that is very helpful for the reader’s reference. Future books have information on other groups of characters.)

The family’s living situation keeps them under the thumb of Mrs. Tachibana, the wife of a high-ranking company official. When she appears, she’s followed by a flock of other company wives who serve as visible symbols of her power, a chorus of yes-women who giggle on cue to enforce her pronouncements. This situation is a twisted take on 1950s American morals, with the family’s standing revolving around the father’s job, the housewives worried about status, and hypocrisy not mattering so long as the proper image is maintained.

Hot Gimmick Book 2 cover
Hot Gimmick Book 2
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Hot Gimmick Book 1 cover
Hot Gimmick Book 1
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Tachibana’s son Ryoki has taken his family’s power to heart all his life. When they were younger, he even injured Hatsumi by pushing her down a flight of stairs just because she was in his way. He’s the villain of the piece, and he’s even scarier because he’s not sadistic — he just thinks of no one but himself and getting what he wants. That’s the way he’s seen things work all his life, where it doesn’t matter who he insults or degrades. As the series progresses, it becomes clear that he’s only ever been valued for his intelligence. He reminds himself of his rank by calling Hatsumi “moron”, reassuring himself that he’s still superior to her in that way. His motives become a little more understandable, if still not acceptable, and his emotional naiveté is realistic for his age and background. It’s refreshing that he’s not a two-dimensional villain but a more complex character.

Meanwhile, Hatsumi’s 14-year-old sister Akane is something of a wild child, with several lovers. Her period is late, so she guilts her big sister into buying her a pregnancy test. At the same time, she’s rubbing it in that Hatsumi’s never had a boyfriend. Ryoki finds out about the situation and uses it to blackmail Hatsumi into acting as his slave. She agrees in order to protect her family’s reputation. Although he claims to despise everyone for allowing his mother to rule their lives, he’s carrying on in the same fashion. Instead of pointing this out to him, her opinion of him is yet another thing Hatsumi holds inside.

Hatsumi is almost the perfect young girl, pliable and agreeable, unable to say no to other people’s requests, even when she should. She has few opinions of her own, being shaped by outside forces instead. When she completes a task difficult for her, she has such joy in her accomplishment that the reader wonders just how much in her everyday life she’s ever been allowed to take pride in. She’s never been encouraged in long-term thinking, even to the point of losing sight of the horrendous reasons behind her mission. She gets so wrapped up in the temporary exhilaration of successfully buying the test that she forgets how terrible it might be if her younger sister was actually pregnant. She frequently practices what she’ll say in a difficult situation, only to find her resolve deserting her when the time comes, a realistic portrayal of the distractions of teenage emotion.

Hot Gimmick Book 4 cover
Hot Gimmick Book 4
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Hot Gimmick Book 3 cover
Hot Gimmick Book 3
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Being unable to express one’s true feelings for fear of losing one’s social status is something a lot of teenagers can relate to. Hatsumi often thinks of the right thing to say after the situation has passed, and she feels powerless to change the factors aligned against her. She’s torn between standing up for what she wants and being controlled by what everyone else expects of her. Even when she screws up her courage and vows to tell someone something important, she can’t follow through because she gets distracted by her surroundings or her misguided sense of what other people can handle. She can’t stop herself from being nice, even at her own expense, or from apologizing, even when she’s the one wronged. She’s also rather naive, since she doesn’t recognize when she’s being asked out.

The sexual possibilities are surprisingly prominent, especially when taken in contrast to Hatsumi’s character. Ryoki uses the “slave” situation to fondle, kiss, and strip her. He even blames her for his behavior, saying “there’s something about her that makes me want to pick on her,” which shows how he’s incapable of interacting honestly with himself as well as anyone else. It’s a more adult version of teasing the person you have a crush on because you can’t express your emotions any other way.

It’s bizarre to see date rape used as the premise of a teenage comic, but why not? There’s a tradition in the comic medium of expressing emotions adolescents can relate to in exaggerated fashion. (For example, consider the symbolism of strange mutant powers appearing at puberty in the X-Men comics.) Also, the explicit deal Ryoki makes is different only in degree from the pressure many girls face, when they’re encouraged to put out for fear of being labeled a prude and feel trapped by peer pressure and social conventions. Sex is a real part of many teenage lives, a situation reflected here.

Azusa, a former childhood playmate and protector of Hatsumi’s, returns to the building just in time to protect her once again. Now the book begins to resemble a fairy tale, with this handsome teen model swooping in to rescue the princess-in-hiding. Of course, fairy tales aren’t possible in real life. As the series progresses, different motivations are revealed that cause the reader to question everything that’s gone before. Who’s really a bad guy, and who really cares for whom? Are characters being honest about their motives, or do they have more disturbing secret intentions? Azusa claims a disturbing connection with Hatsumi’s family; is he telling the truth?

Hot Gimmick Book 6 cover
Hot Gimmick Book 6
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Hot Gimmick Book 5 cover
Hot Gimmick Book 5
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The delicate linework hides an underlying strength, in the same way the characters’ facades do. Emotions take center stage with facial expressions and body language clearly delineated, often through closeups. The art doesn’t draw attention to itself; instead, it keeps the reader moving through the story. The question of “what happens next?” is gripping, and the answer is rarely expected.

Hatsumi has a beauty she doesn’t realize due to the goodness in her heart, which is why every boy in the book falls in love with her. Her innocence, though, prevents her from suspecting anything but the best in people, a trait that gets her into dangerous situations when things turn out to be other than what they seem. By book four, she is moving slowly towards standing up for herself. Even after Azusa does something unforgivable, she barely summons the courage to slap him, and promptly apologizes afterwards. His taunting of her late at night gives the gossips more ammunition, since they immediately jump to the conclusion that she was coming on to him. Even with the trouble he’s caused, both intentionally and not, she’s of such good character that she can’t hate him. She can’t hate anyone.

Due to the spreading rumors, Mrs. Tachibana decides that the entire family should be ostracized for not teaching the children better behavior. The family assumes that this is because Hatsumi turned down Ryoki, so she’s pushed into reconciling with her “master”. It seems that the only emotions Ryoki allows himself are anger and jealousy, but he’s struggling to learn more, even though he doesn’t realize it yet. Meanwhile, little sister Akane and neighborhood geek Subaru are finding they might have more in common than they thought.

With her feelings for Ryoki continually changing, things are complicated in book five when her older brother Shinogu becomes jealous due to unfathomable motives. It seems everyone knows more about her family than she does, and the acts of the parents continue complicating the lives of the younger generation.

Hot Gimmick Book 8 cover
Hot Gimmick Book 8
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Hot Gimmick Book 7 cover
Hot Gimmick Book 7
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Book six starts with a flashback to how Azusa grew up, showing that his actions have deep-seated emotional roots. This series rarely settles for two-dimensional characterization, and shocking acts have complicated histories that make them understandable, if not agreeable. Living in the past isn’t very satisfactory, but trying to completely ignore it doesn’t work either. Hatsumi finds herself burdened with guilt over long-ago secrets that aren’t hers, while Ryoki struggles to think about anyone but himself.

New Year’s Eve brings complications in book seven. Little sister Akane has a new boyfriend, although she’s also flirting with Shinogu’s housemate. Hatsumi comes to a new realization about her feelings, while Ryoki is as self-centered as ever, scheming to get Hatsumi to sleep with him. For her, their relationship is hampered by emotional distance and lack of communication; for him, it’s all about the sex. When he tells his mother they’re dating, it’s soon all over the complex. Most of the drama results from characters acting on mistaken impressions of half-overheard conversations or partially glimpsed action. In that way, it captures realistic human emotion and gender differences. If only the characters would talk to each other honestly! But that would require putting aside their pride and risking rejection.

Hatsumi tries to act as peacemaker, but her generosity of spirit often is misinterpreted, causing jealousy among the many boys with crushes on her. Much of the confusion stems from the flexible line separating boy/girl friendships from dating. When Hatsumi spends time alone with a guy, she may intend one thing, but others may read more into it.

The aftermath of Ryoki slapping Hatsumi in public is on view in book eight. He takes out his fear that he’s the only one who cares on her violently and then blames her for his outburst. Hopefully, he’ll learn more mature behavior before he becomes a full-fledged abuser, and she’ll learn that it’s not right for her to apologize for his mistakes. She doesn’t respect herself enough to stand up in the face of his dictatorial demands, even when he tries to control her thoughts as well as her behavior.

Hot Gimmick Book 10 cover
Hot Gimmick Book 10
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Hot Gimmick Book 9 cover
Hot Gimmick Book 9
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His mother complicates things by introducing Ruri, an intelligent, high-ranking girl who she thinks is a much better match for her brilliant son, at the same time that Shinogu’s secrets become more of a problem. The book concludes with the story of Hatsumi’s family moving into the complex and her first meetings with Ryoki and Azusa. Seeing adorable little kids act in the same disturbingly mean ways they do as teens is a realistic portrayal of what they’re learning from their parents.

Book nine begins with a chapter focusing on Akane and Subaru and Valentine’s Day. She’s used to guys moving much faster than he does, so she’s hoping the holiday gives her some clarity on where they stand with each other. Like any couple, they have to find their own unique way that works for them… and they’re so cute while getting there, with their uncertainties, since the reader knows they’re great together.

Back with Ryoki and Hatsumi, another family secret takes a new twist, opening up a new avenue for Hatsumi, Shinogu, and Azusa to investigate. Ryoki, however, tells himself that the past has nothing to do with him now, an attitude that’s been obviously disproven by much of the rest of the series (and also not in keeping with the typical Japanese belief). Meanwhile, Shinogu announces his intention to leave the family after another adorable flashback to he and Hatsumi as little children, and Hatsumi inadvertently learns more about his feelings for her. By book ten, pretenses begin collapsing as secrets are revealed.

Hot Gimmick Book 12 cover
Hot Gimmick Book 12
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Hot Gimmick Book 11 cover
Hot Gimmick Book 11
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Book eleven begins with a stunned Hatsumi just looking for a safe place to be. She needs comfort; all the changes have been too much for her. The reader may sympathize. Hatsumi’s status as a recipient of knowledge instead of a protagonist makes her more of a stand-in for the reader, seeing what’s going on but powerless to affect it in any way. Her uncertainty makes her an even more typical teen, with too many options in front of her. She doesn’t yet possess the tools or self-knowledge to sort through them and determine what she wants.

Many have justifiably objected to her love for a controlling near-rapist, but it’s plausible that a girl would find someone who tells her what to do and how to act comforting. She’s afraid (even more so than most) of being on her own and responsible for her own decisions, and a dictatorial lover nicely fits into the role her parents used to fill for her. The reader can view this book as a modern-day Cinderella story where the challenge is more threatening than cleaning a fireplace, or as a dramatization of the dangers of date rape when dealing with an immature teenage golden boy drunk on his own power, or a soap opera with a twisted triangle of attraction.

Book twelve (spoilers in the link) finally answers the question of “which boy does Hatsumi pick?” but I found her lack of character development over the series as a whole very disappointing. The hints of growth are ignored so that everyone winds up roughly where they were when we started. Aihara previously created the five-volume Tokyo Boys & Girls manga, which is also not recommended.

82 Comments

  1. Lily Zhuang

    Man! This manga has gotta have like one of the worst endings ever! I read the whole 12 volumes within one day because I got into it after reading the first chapter since my friend was always saying how good it is (I don’t think she finished the whole series yet) and so I did and now I’m completely disappointed. I mean, everything seems like the same as always! I can’t believe how Hatsumi chooses Ryuki! I mean, Shinogu was obviously going to be soooo much more gentler and nicer and well, I think stuff would have worked out so much better if she was with Shinogu! And seriously…the last part about Shinogu being a monk seriously pisses me off! Man! This whole manga pisses me off! I mean, the mangaka always keeps us on our toes since she keeps switching lovers for Hatsumi (from Azusa (which I very much admire…) to Ryoki (yuck…) and then Shinogu). I would have very much liked the ending if she chose to be with Shinogu…or even Azusa would’ve been nice…but Ryoki? God…the mangaka must’ve been out of her mind…not good at making the audiences happy nor making money money at all…*scowl* T_T

  2. well…my collection for these manga reach vol.11, and i’m still waiting for vol.12(end) for few weeks. is it true that hatsumi choose ryoki?!!!
    omg.. that’s what i’m waiting for.
    but as what i saw here, a lot of reader doesn’t like ryoki…
    i start to like ryoki when he protect hatsumi on the time where Azuza cheat & almost gang raped her. he was a nerd guy, but he fall in love to hatsumi on the first sight when they are kids!
    even though shinogu was a nice & gentle guy,but i still prefer Ryoki to be with hatsumi cos she’s those kind tht a bit dumb & naive girl. with ryoki by her side, she can change to become a more brave gal.
    i luv hot gimmick!!!!


  3. Wait, it ends at volume twelve? What the Hell? I read the whole series online (since my bookstore has only some volumes) and I guess I didn’t catch the part with “The End” on it.

    I mean, there’s so much things to be cleared up: Shinogu becoming a priest (Which I was surprised by– Though not pleasantly, to say the least); Azusa’s plot to hurt Ryoki, and consequencely, Ryoki’s dad; Asahi and Shinogu! I thought they were going to get together! What, did the manga-ka suddenly *forget* about Asahi? It would’ve been nice if she at least got to try to ask Shinogu out, even if she got rejected DX Geeze!; and finally, I felt that we didn’t really get into Subaru and Akane’s relationship… P: Not compared to the others, anyways.

    It was obvious from the start that Hatsumi was going to end up with Ryoki; Or, at the very least, obvious to me. Shinogu, sorry dude, but he didn’t have a chance. Hami only saw him as a brother figure. And she threw herself at Shinogu only because she was, how do you say it, on the rebound. She did just see her boyfriend(? o_o) clutching another girl; I think that would hurt, but that may just be me. Moving on… Azusa blew it for himself, and anyways, he’s not interested in Hami– He just wants to exact his revenge on his mom’s lover. He wasn’t really in love with her in the first place. (Going on a completely random tangent, I think he’s an idiot. Don’t get revenge on the people around the person you hate, get back at said person personally, instead of using underhanded tactics. :’|)

    I don’t care for Hami– She’s just too Mary Sue-ish for my tastes. She (almost) never sticks up for herself, she cares about everybody even people who hurt her, and a few guys fall for her: Yeah, I’d say that adds up to a Mary Sue. In the beginning, she didn’t seems Sue-ish. She couldn’t refuse if somebody asked her directly to do something, but she had an inner dialogue– Something I can sympathize with completely. But then she got too caring.. Mm, I can’t really say how I think of her without sounding horrible.

    I still love this series.. But not as much as I did before I learned that the series ended.. XD;; I’m such an airhead.. How could I not see “The End” on the bottom of the last page..? XD;;

    Uwaa~h. I feel much better after a good rant. :3

    Anniert– Out!

  4. i always wanted to read this book,
    my best freind got 1, 2 and 3 for me on christmas… she was mad because i told her that i dont like buying manga, because if i do i want to collect all of them, and that means alot of money, so im glad that it only goes up to 12 !!!
    you see, i would love to read manga all day. but i like having them just to know that i can read them whenever i want.
    this manga rocks my socks off !!!

  5. i googled hot gimmick to learn more about it before deciding to read it. your review convinced me to give it a try. i appreciate the clarity of your manga review. you summed up every volume concisely and effectively.
    i’m currently reading vol 5, and i’m liking this series very much. THANK goodness the artwork isn’t too flowery, it’s just right.

  6. I hope you aren’t as disappointed by the ending as I was!

  7. ARGHHHHHHhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    you call that an ending?

    and DAMN ryouki >=/

  8. what’s with this Hatsumi! she choose RYOKI!! i luv shinogu! He’s way cooler, and why he have to be priest! Shinogu was always by her side! and RYOKI’s “THAT’S AN ORDER” pissed me much!! arghx!!

  9. GOD. THE ENDING AND HATSUMI *throws myself over something* It was so addicting, but she just ended up where she was in the first place a doormat! Shinogu became a priest. BUT WHY? JUST BECAUSE HE COULDN’T HAVE HIS LITTLE SISTER? GET OVER IT. It was just really disappointing, esp. how addictive it was. but anyways…doesn’t matter…but her new manga Honey Hunt definitely has more potential although TIS IN DANGER OF COMING TO SAME FATE. One girl, three guys the whole shebang.

  10. Wow i love this series!!!

  11. […] by manga, and reviews of a wide variety of well-known female-oriented titles (including Swan, Hot Gimmick, Fruits Basket, Paradise Kiss, and many more), as well as other, non-manga-related topics. I […]

  12. I picked this manga up from a lot of recommendations, i admit it did have interesting plot twists but I found myself STRUGGLING to continue reading. Especially the part with the gang rape. And how Ryuki keeps abusing her…Hatsumi really needs to get a grip on herself. I wanted to punch her myself.

    Sorry to all those who really love this manga, but one of the most important things about manga to me are the characters. I found myself not liking any of the characters here.

    I’m obsessed with this manga now. But not because I like it. (Although it did have pretty good eye candy)

  13. Hot Gimmick is my fav shoujo manga ever. I’ve read it like three times but I want to read it again and again. RyokixHatsumi is the best.

  14. Agatsuma Soubi

    I hated this ending.
    She should’ve stayed with Shinogu.
    I know it was maybe so it won’t seem predictable.
    But is it not predictable?
    She’s a clueless girl
    doesn’t know whats right for her
    watch that Ryoki thing wont last
    and she’ll be crawling back to Shinogu
    and it will be too late

    if i was the author i would make Vol. 13
    and make them brake up and go with Shinogu.

    Im really pissed off at the ending.

  15. i loved the books, but the ending sucked! Ryuki and Hatsumi aren’t that good for each other! Shinogu on the other hand knew her better! Ryuki is too bossy! Either way its a cool story! ^_^

  16. i don’t want to upset any hot gimmick fans but i absolutely CANNOT read this series. i ended at book 5 and read summaries from then on to see if i would be wrong about it but i wasn’t. hatsumi has extremely low self esteem and although this is an issue evident in many teenage girls, the portrayal of her low self-esteem is far too absurd that it makes me sick. i hated myself for reading it when she apologised to Azusa after he tried to get her gang-raped. of course i would understand if she apologised for her fathers actions but she accepted responsibility and dismissed his attempt of gang-rape as reasonable. as i said before i read summaries after the 5th book to see if i would be wrong about the series on a whole but i was right. the character does not develop as a person and she is left with the same level of self-esteem as when the series started. i have a friend whose life is somewhat like this and she has really low self esteem and the fact that this character does not develop and remains significantly inferior to her male counterparts really disturbs me because it doesn’t send the right message to the audience. the character should gain strength but she remains dominated humiliatingly throughout the series and i think audiences should realise that this issue in real life is no walk in a fucking park. someone like hatsumi in real life (my friend) is fucked up forever because of issues similar to the ones in hot gimmick and its devastating everyone around her that loves her, except her boyfriend coz he’s the one fucking her up and her relationships with everyone. its just my personal opinion that i do not like hot gimmick one little bit but i just want all readers to know, do not take this manga lightly and think its all fun and entertainment. Because it’s not and i’ve lost a friend forever.

  17. […] Miki Aihara, do I dare trust you again? Hot Gimmick started with such promise — and then ended with crashing disappointment. Tokyo Boys & […]

  18. I’ve never read such a sad and vile manga before. Hatsumi’s happily ever after is an abusive relationship?!? Please God, no! I was hoping so hard that Hatsumi and Ryoki would break up and that he’d encounter some form of understanding regarding his behaviour, but instead it somehow became even more depressing. That anyone who has read this manga can possibly view Ryoki as a good boyfriend distresses me. Really? You want to be physically and emotionally/psychologically abused? Really? That’s your idea of a good relationship? Get thee to counseling immediately. I wish this awful comic didn’t exist.

  19. OMG I FREAKING LOVE IT!!! and i dont care what any of you guys that dont like it have to say because i am in love with this manga XD

  20. I have no idea how anyone could like the hatsumixryoki relationship. It’s sick. Hot Gimmick glorifies an abusive relationship and traumatic bonding. The nicest guy out of the entire series, the one that would actually treat her really well, gets rejected and ditched. Yet the manga ends with the an abusive jerk finally having sex with his girlfriend who just gives up and realizes “there are some feelings you can’t help” – yeah, so pretty much, she’s just admitting to herself that she’s in love with him and she can’t help it so she’s just going to put up with his abuse and craziness.

    I’m in a shitty relationship right now and let me tell you, it sucks. It’s horrible to be treated like that. And it’s horrible to always want to go back believing things will get better. I need a lot of help. Reading this manga made me really sick because these types of relationships are TERRIBLE and the fact that there are people out there idolizing them scares the hell out of me.

    I adore Hot Gimmick simply because of Shinogu. He’s made the series likable. Everything else is miserable and terrible.

    Oh, and Miki Aihara? Seriously? Her latest work, Honey Hunt, is pretty much EXACTLY the same as Hot Gimmick. The guy characters even look the same. It’s hilarious. If anyone has read Teacher’s Pet you would know she’s really into like rape/bondage/submission, so I guess Hot Gimmick makes sense, but seriously. It’s ridiculous.

  21. I love Hot gimmick books. I didn’t know which one I like. Azusa, Ryoki, or Shinogu. And I find that it didn’t end on 12. It just kept going. I can’t wait to go home and read it!

  22. Ugh I finished the series last night (after like a 5 year hiatus…don’t ask) and I wasn’t sure what I thought of the ending but this review completely summed it up for me. First of all I want to say, I am for the Hatsumi and Ryoki pairing. Yeah he’s a douche but I feel like he could have changed to be less and less demanding… and I felt like there were many moments when he really showed some redeeming qualities but just not enough! I mean come on, I would have been a little happy if he had at least told her he thought she was beautiful ONCE! I think it would have been cool if Hatsumi stood up for herself at the end and refused to marry him unless he started treating her like a human being, etc, etc and he broke down and told her how much he was sorry and in love with her…. but that’s just my romantic mind talking huh?

    But really, I don’t see how people could think Shinogu and Hatsumi could be a couple……. she always thought of him and loved him as her brother growing up and didn’t know he was adopted. Honestly I would be a bit grossed out and probably kind of more disappointed if she ended up with him. Just cause you’re not technically blood related doesn’t really make that okay in my mind. ew. I’m just imagining my brother confessing his love to me, barf. And yeah, making him a monk was DEFINITELY a cop-out, lol. They could have figured out something better for him, sigh.

  23. What “wtf” said.

    I actually would have been content with Hatsumi ending up with no one. As much as I kind of wanted her to end up with Shinogu, I can understand why she wouldn’t be able to think of her ‘brother’ as anything but. I hate the whole monk thing. It was completely stupid. Both Ryoki and Hatsumi need to actually work things out before anything can happen. Sure, they end up with each other, but I can see domestic abuse, inequality, more of the same crap that she had to endure throughout the manga series.

    I liked the side characters though.

  24. That Shinogu, how can anyone not love him? I’m in love with him, and he’s a guy from a freaking manga. But of course Hatsumi isn’t going to end up choosing him! How can so many of you want that to happen!?? That is GROSS! Just think if you had a brother, no matter how gentle/caring/smart/handsome/self-less he is, there is no way you can change your feeling for him after all those years. I actually really liked the ending where he ends up becoming a monk (I might be the only one). It just goes to show how much he loved Hatsumi; he’s willing to give up everything in life for her. He loves her so much that there’s no way for him to get over it, he can’t love anyone else. He’s sort of punishing himself for his “sin”, and that he can’t stay by her side. Sigh.. poor Shinogu, i just want to give him a big hug.

  25. […] I feared, Aihara’s worst tendencies are coming to […]

  26. I just finished the series, I don’t know why I kept reading! I absolutely initially thought Azusa was the best character (minus the whole gang rape thing, if he hadn’t done that he’d be the best choice for Hatsumi). But overall I really hated this manga! The main character is an absolute DOORMAT and allows her bf Ryoki to abuse her physically and verbally WTF is wrong with this girl! And on top of that her brother (yeah so he’s adopted, he still her brother people!) is in love with her and then she gets all confused and leads him on! If anything, the author has just shown how confused some teenage girls get… The only mentally competent character was Subaru (Akane’s bf) he is a well adjusted kid… This whole series is F’d up! But I did keep reading…

  27. i just love <3 hot gimmick Miki Aihara did a great job i couldnt put the book down every thing about it was great eww i understand why she ended up with Ryoki (totally my type of guy)i mean ending up with her brother eww when u stop and thing about it. its gross i cant imagin falling in love with my brother or my brother liking me ITs just NOT RIGHT its just gross and the other dude Azuza i wouldnt want to ended with him simply because of trying to gang rape her so Ryoki was perfecto:)!!!!!! MIKI AIHARA IS THE BESTS :)

  28. THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!!!

  29. This book is really inspire people ,imean when i was reading it i didn’t want to put it down ,i wish each books would have a movie or a show .The only thing i can tell you is that you are a really good animated writer i wish if you culd make an animated show like other people did.:):):):):):):):):):).

  30. Abuse does not equal love

    A manga that promotes abusive boyfriends. Hey ladies, it’s okay because he’s cute right? Ya he has reasons, but does he find closure, work through his issues, maybe sees a therapist and treats Hatsumi with more respect afterwards? Nope. I remember reading somewhere that it’s a cultural thing, that boys and girls who like each other in Asian cultures buttheads and tease each other… Um, where was that in the Ryoki/Hatsumi relationship? All I read was dominant abusive asshole and girl who doesn’t realize her own worth and therefore lets herself get abused. She NEVER stood up for herself. This manga was a joke. The real love relationship was between Subaru and Akane.

    What I’d do if I could change this book:
    Start it somewhere near the end. Ryoki and Hatsumi are still together. Ryoki continues to emotionally and psychologically degrade her, but the abuse has escalated to physical abuse. Hatsumi finds herself pregnant, then finally gathering what little brains she has, realizes she must run away for the sake of the child.

    Maybe she falls for a cop or some nice teacher through the story. Decides to go to college or starts working and realizes she is a force to be reckon with. In the end, Ryoki has caught up with her. Makes her life a living hell by trying to gain custody of their child, but with the help of friends, her love interest, and her own courage, sends Ryoki to prison.

  31. What a waste of time.

    WARNING: SPINELESS heroine. Abusive relationships. Idiocy.

    I feel sorry for someone as stupid as Hatsumi, I really do. I guess this story is realistic, because there are stupid people like her out there, people who mistake a little bit of accidental kindness for love. Ryoki is obviously a selfish bastard. He has some sort of infatuation with her (aka sexual lust), but he does not love her. If a guy hits you and makes YOU apologize and you think that’s ok, there is something wrong with you. If you think “if we get married, maybe he’ll treat me nicer” you’re an idiot. What Ryoki does to her is called “emotional abuse”. It is not cute.

    If the woman had brains she’d choose Shinogu. After what Azusa did she also felt she still loved him for a while, but then she grew attached to that ASSHOLE. If she could just be separated from the ASSHOLE for a while, get some perspective (which might be hard with her limited intelligence – one thing I agree with Ryoki on) she could grow to love Shinogu – who is the real hero in this series.

    The drawing was great (except from the sides, the guys didn’t have jaw lines and the overall face side silhouette was wrong). I much rather prefer Shouta Aya’s work.

    Final thoughts: WHAT A CRAP MANGA. Can’t believe I stayed up through the night to read this. I seriously want to hit the writer. With my fist.

  32. What I don’t like about this book is that Hatsumi is such a mary-sue. Her little sister was always prettier and popular while Hatsumi never even got one boyfriend. But ALL OF A SUDDEN when the story starts all guys are ALL over Hatsumi and the mary-sue adventure start. She’s also amazingly stupid and slutty and when someone almost gang-rapes her to take revenge on her father for leaving his mother, she apologizes to her rapist, forgives him and continues hanging out with the guy because he’s had a bad past. I mean, seriously, WTF? She considers the guy who tried to gang-rape her a friend? What’s also very mary-sue is that none of her friends report the rapist and completely understand her. She also allows every guy, boyfriend or not, to touch her. More mary-sueness; the guys who wanted to gang-rape her were all famous celebrities who could get 1000 pretty girls if they wanted to. Yeah right. Another mary-sue thing is that the sister, who used to be the prettiest and most popular girl before the story started, all of a sudden is rejected by everyone and ALL guys in the book fall in love with Hatsumi the mary-sue instead. They ALL understand her, even if she does the most slutty stupid things possible. She’s in no way loyal to her partner because, no matter how many times people keep telling her to not visit her rapist anymore, she KEEPS visiting him. I mean, who the f*ck drops by her own gang-rapists’ house to take care of him when he has a fever? A mary-sue slut like Hatsumi that is. Every guy in the book is too good for her.

    I think Hot Gimmick is more like a self-insert mary-sue version of the artist or something.

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