Heavy as hell but great
Holy hell I was not expecting this book to be as heavy as it is.
Nina Kamiyama is a former idol in a group called Pop Club. After she is attacked at a fan meet and greet by a man who was never caught, she quits the group and reinvents herself by going back to normal high school. She cuts off all her hair and wears the pants version of the school uniform in order to look more like a boy and shun her femininity since it’s what caused her to be attacked in the first place. Without spoiling a lot of this story, it has a giant overarching theme regarding gender politics and women’s role in the world. There are several mentions of men taking advantage of young teenage women as well as other women saying that they deserved it or that those who were assaulted are either lucky because they’re ugly normally or that they must be lying because who would assault an ugly girl.
This is more than I was expecting. If you’re a person who could be triggered by talk of assault in any form, this is not the manga for you. It is really great though, and Nina’s struggle to accept the feminine side of herself again and realize that the actions the man made toward her were not her fault are moving. She befriends a fellow student named Hikaru Horiuchi who figures out who she is only because his sister is a fan, yet Nina is nervous dealing with him because of her past.
I am 100% continuing to read this. There’s a lot of topics here that are hard to express but the author/artist does a great job in getting those points across and emphasizing through our morally good characters that assault is never the fault of a woman even if society tells her it is.
Title: Not Your Idol
Author: Aoi Makino
Three Descriptors: Heavy, Triggering, Gender politics