Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Book Review: Ogami-san Can't Keep It In vol. 1

Ogami-san has been keeping a dirty little secret from her peers at school: Puberty has emptied her mind of everything but perverted fantasies! For the sake of leading an ordinary school life, she pulls out all the stops to keep her mental wild side under wraps. But when she literally reaches a hand out to Yaginuma-kun, a cute but mysterious boy in her class, her innermost thoughts just come spilling out! All she wants is to get to know him (and his body) better, but she can't do that without the risk of exposing her true self. What's a girl to do?!

Ogrami-san Can't Keep It In volume 1 by Yu Yoshidamaru comes out October 24, 2023. Kodansha Comics provided an early galley for review.

I read manga on occasion, and when this galley appeared in the upcoming releases I will admit I was intrigued. From the description, it appears to be a teen rom-com with a bit of a raunchy spin to it. Sounds a lot like the teen movies of the 80's from my youth.

This story (originally published in Japan in 2017 and now translated to English) goes right to the point of puberty, utilizing a teen female protagonist who is very focused on the opposite sex. Throw into that mix a brooding young man who has the odd ability to release the truth in those who touch him even in the slightest way, and we have all the ingredients for a very quirky teenaged sex comedy. This is hardly a new thing. I remember, while in high school myself, taking a date to the drive-in in 1982 to see Zapped! starring Scott Baio and Willie Aames. This manga, in a lot of ways, carries on that tradition.

Springing off this interesting concept, the story definitely takes a good turn into the challenges of being a teenager, fitting in, and navigating the world of dating when hormones have kicked in. The themes are universal and timeless which make this perfect for teens currently in that space and for adults who remember navigating these times themselves.

The artwork, as I have found with most manga, is very clean and crisp, easy to follow. That is important in the visual storytelling medium. The story is presented in episodic chapters that build upon one another. It was a very quick read. I'll definitely keep an eye out for future volumes.

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