B.O.D.Y. (B.O.D.Y.) (???) • Ao Mimori • VIZ (2007-ongoing) • Shueisha (Bessatsu Margaret, 2004-2008) • 13 volumes • Shôjo Romance • 16+ (brief violence, sexual situations)
Ryoko Sakura (16) has a crush on her classmate Ryunosuke Fuji, who appears to be a glasses-wearing nerd. But it turns out that Ryunosuke has a part-time job at a host club, and when he’s not in school, he reveals his true self as a seductive ladies’ man. (”I get to date girls, have fun and get paid for it. What’s not to like?”) Initially repulsed, Ryoko ends up falling for the real Ryunosuke, and he warms to her as well, but can he escape his shadowy, scandalous past at the host club? Good pacing and believable writing elevate B.O.D.Y. above a conventional high-school shojo manga premise; the story is played straight but never gets too dark, the characters are likeable, and the manga has many small surprises. An above-average execution of a formulaic plot.
Today’s manga winner used an alias (or at least I assume it’s an alias), but they sent in a correct address and email, so they win! And the winner is… Indifferent Face (or should I just say “Indifferent F.”?) of New Jersey! Congratulations, Indifferent! I hope your indifference melts into SHEER RAPTURE at the MIND-BLOWING AWESOMENESS of the manga I’m about to send you! -_-