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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

Against the Paw
Diane Kelly
Progress: 194/352 pages
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World
Abigail Revasch, Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Tara Sands, Listening Library
Progress: 67/473 minutes
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 448/553 pages
The Naked Sun
Isaac Asimov
Progress: 20/187 pages
50 Girls 50 and Other Stories
Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, Gary Groth
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages
Ai Yori Aoshi, Vol. 1 - Kou Fumizuki, Jamie S. Rich On his way to catch a train, Kaoru Hanabishi comes across a lost, naive young woman named Aoi. She's decided to find her childhood sweetheart and marry him, and she soon realizes that Kaoru is the one she was looking for. She becomes determined to stay with him and be his wife, but, unfortunately, her family won't hear of it. For the sake of her powerful family's reputation, she must marry someone from a family with similar standing. Kaoru was once the Hanabishi heir, and if this were still the case he could marry Aoi. However, things have changed since they were children, and Kaoru is determined never to go back to the Hanabishi family.Aoi is what I imagine many young men's fantasies of the perfect woman are like. Although she's virginal, gentle, shy, and sweet-natured, she can become blushingly sexy at the drop of a hat, and she always knows just the right moment to become naked. I don't know any real women who are at all like her, but I suppose that's not the point. Judging by this first volume, Ai Yori Aoshi is romance for older teenage boys, and romance is often idealized.Judging by Kou Fumizuki's page in Anime News Network, Ai Yori Aoshi is likely his first published series, and it shows. The way characters are drawn is inconsistent and sometimes a little off. Fumizuki uses what I personally think of as the "Escaflowne style of noses" - when you see characters a little in profile, their noses are long and sharp, with a little blunted bit. It's not a style I like, but I grew to like the story in Vision of Escaflowne enough that I got over my reaction to the noses. However I feel about the noses, Fumizuki does manage facial expressions pretty well, which is important for such an emotional series.I think I'm too much of a woman to ever really like Ai Yori Aoshi - Aoi is too much of a sexy wet washcloth for me to like her, and Kaoru only barely starts getting developed by the end of the first volume. However, I can see why young guys might like this series. There's plenty of fanservice (in the form of nudity in the story, as well as provocative poses, nudity, and the suggestion of nipples through cloth on some of the chapter title pages), the cliched boob-grabbing joke you see pretty much everywhere in this genre, and the ordinary guy who gets the starry-eyed affection of a beautiful woman.(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)