GADJET: Volume One

Hiroyuki Eto, Author . ADV Manga $9.99 (168p) ISBN 978-1-4139-0203-7

This entertaining story should appeal to boys aged eight to 12, and maybe even playful, manga-reading adults. Shy schoolboy Toriga is interested in aliens, great with electronics and has a crush on a girl named Tare. When Tare asks Toriga to fix her CD player, Toriga discovers there's something special about her: she attracts UFOs via some unknown process. Eto illustrates Toriga's emotions in a cute, cartoony style, showing him as a boxer winning a bout after Tare asks him for help. The depiction of the confusion junior high students feel about the opposite sex is surprisingly accurate, with lines like, "I should quit fixing things for girls... or quit thinking about girls." And a metaphor of the machines talking to the admitted nerd Toriga as he fixes them shows his loneliness and isolation before he makes friends with a couple of boys his age—who are just as confused about girls as he is ("To be popular with women, you gotta wear the right clothes"). Meanwhile, Toriga's friend Yuki might be interested in him as more than a friend, and there's still that alien mystery to be solved. As Toriga says, "Summer vacation started. A very weird summer vacation." Readers will remember their own coming-of-age summers as they join Toriga on his humorous adventures. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 01/10/2005
Release date: 11/01/2004
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