Posted On June - 10 - 2009


  PAGES:   550
  RATING:   T+
  RELEASE DATE:   03/17/2009
  REVIEW DATE:   06/10/2009

Thought nothing could beet the seedy characters of Gossip Girl? Didn’t think anything could outdo the sordid trials of Beverly Hills 90210? Prepare yourself for the torrid tribulations of the teens in Hot Gimmick, the manga that puts all other teen soaps to shame!

Hatsumi lives in corporate housing, where families of companies live in the same tenement.  She lives with her younger sister and brothers and dad, her mom had passed away a few years ago. Life is its everyday ups and downs if you don’t count the bully Ryo who terrorized her as a child and still lurks about now. His mom is the wife of a big wig of the company so she throws her weight around and he’s a spoiled brat with a seedy nature. How seedy? This guy is evil. When he finds out Hatsumi has a pregnancy test (it’s for her younger and promiscuous sister) he uses it as blackmail. Just what does he want? Hatsumi as his personal slave! And he means it when he says personal, he expects her to have sex! Suddenly her life is a nightmare and Hatsumi can’t wake up from it. That’s just when a knight in shining armor appears, but is he the hero or is this the start of even more melodrama?

Lay your bets on the drama because it is in Hot Gimmick in leaps and bounds!  I have never read any manga so riveting with sordid adventures of the innocent faced with the malevolent at heart. Azusa is the once childhood friend turned star model and currently Hatsumi’s new hero. He protects her from Ryo and even starts to date her. It’s a dream come true. But because of his popularity she has to deal with nasty bullies, and a very jealous and dangerous Ryo! Nothing is at it seems in this manga. Azusa has his own agenda and you’ll find out what it is in this first set of volumes! Could it be that Ryo isn’t as bad as we thought? He sure is nasty to Hatsumi, but then again, what Azusa has up his sleeve is anything but nice! Poor sweet Hatsumi is down the river bed without a paddle and being fought over in a very alarming manner by two guys and neither of them seem to be a good choice. And what is with her older brother? He seems to be holding onto a couple of mighty big secrets and maybe some very taboo feelings for his sister!

You’ll need a fan because this show is so hot with the sordid things these characters do and try to put woebegone Hatsumi through. She’s a lamb among wolves and some of the stuff is plain and flat out harsh! She nearly gets raped (more than once), is attacked, drugged, bullied constantly, lied to, used, manipulated threatened, blackmailed…and this is just the first three volumes! What is going to happen in the rest of the series is anyone’s guess because Hot Gimmick pulls no punches, closes no doors, and the warming lights are flashing constantly. Danger is everywhere for this girl. You won’t be able to put the book down for a second!

The VIZBIG edition holds volumes 1 to 3. Plus there’s author notes, title page gallery and don’t forget the nearly 20 pages of color throughout the giant sized manga adventure!

Hot Gimmick is the manga that puts all the prime time teen soap operas to shame! Read the manga and know the guilty pleasure!

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