Lovefool 05.21.12 | There Are No Absolutes

The made-to-order mate in Yuu Watase’s Absolute Boyfriend have Lovefool pondering what makes a perfect partner.



Nerdlings! Hello! Have you missed me terribly? I should’ve let you know I’d be away for a week at the end of my Avengers column but I didn’t know when that’d be going up and that JG,FE just tossed it up and then I vanished to gallivant around the Northern South, which is what I do these days, lots of gallivanting, apparently.
You know what else I’ve been doing a lot of? Shopping at used bookstores. It’s amazing what you can find at your local used bookstore of choice. Mr. J and I have done a shameful amount of book buying lately, and while I’m a digital sort of girl, Mr. J is all about physical copies. Sometimes I tag along, and it’s not like I can resist buying books. I mean, they’re right there. Being all printed. How’s a girl to resist?
Anyway, my personal failings aside, sometimes you’ll stumble across something interesting. Such as the entire run of Absolute Boyfriend, all bundled up for my reading pleasure. Absolute Boyfriend is, of course, old news, but what a concept! Girl accidentally orders boy and has to make a deal with the devil (or the manufacturing company, whatever) in order to keep her end of it up. Made-to-order boyfriends have been done before, I’m sure, but this is filled with sweet bumbling and then topped with a dollop of tragedy. The ending feels inevitable, like this is the way things are, even if it’s not necessarily the way they should be. Which always makes me wonder—as the sappiest girl in the universe, does it make much sense that I like these tragic sorts of things?
But let’s get back to the idea of made-to-order boyfriends. I’m pretty sure, were I to sit down and make a list, that my ideal boyfriend would probably bear more than a passing resemblance to Tony Stark and my husband. Riiko, our heroine, clicks the boxes on the order form wildly, thinking that Night should have a bit of everything. And so he cooks perfect meals and speaks multiple languages and is almost frighteningly sexy sometimes but also doesn’t push because what kind of perfect boyfriend is pushy about sex? If they fight, it’s because he’s overly enthusiastic in his pursuit of perfection. And it’s fun to watch him learn the world about him while trying ridiculously hard to be perfect for Riiko.
I don’t know. The whole thing smacks of all those times I decided that there was something wrong with me that I needed to see to, pronto, in order to change my life but it really all came down to some dude. Except with sincerity and possibly legit, unlike all those times I tried to quit smoking/buying Converse/going out drinking. I did quit smoking, which was, to be fair, because Mr. J wouldn’t make out with me if I’d been smoking (in addition to the health benefits). Still, it was mostly for the make outs. Whatever. I still, however, like the occasional night out and a crisp pair of Chucks and I know Mr. J might order up a girl with less of a hankering for new footwear and craft beer. But, instead, he’s got me, shopping habits and lack of actual cooking skills and no desire to take the laundry up and down the stairs.
It’s still an intriguing concept, and in the end, I guess I wouldn’t trade Mr. J for the world. Even if I could dial him a little sillier, he is willing to haul the laundry around and I can make sure it goes the right way on the hanger. Life is about compromise and, in the end, Riiko has a few weeks of bliss and ends up with a sweet consolation prize. Sure, it’s not her absolute boyfriend, but things don’t end too badly for our heroine. Besides, nothing golden can last. All that perfect would’ve gotten irritating in the end, anyway. In the meantime, I have to go stall on putting the laundry away. Hug your non-perfect people, nerdlings, they’re what we’ve got and they’re pretty okay. | Erin Jameson

Believe it or not, JG,FE likes shojo romance, too! Check out his review of the first year of Absolute Boyfriend here:

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