By Thea Srinivasan
The definition of the word “Moteki” is a period in which a person gains popularity. This popularity only comes once in a lifetime, and it only works when someone becomes popular with the opposite sex. While this phenomenon is not meant to be for everyone, I wonder how many people would actually use this period to attempt to change their relationship status. I suppose that is the plot to the following manga.
Moteki is about Yukiyo Fujimoto. He is 29 years old and hasn’t had much success in romance compared to his best friend. He works temporary jobs for different companies and hasn’t been able to settle down with a woman. One day, Fujimoto gets phone calls from four different women. Each woman played a different role in his love life, and now each one has asked if they could meet up once again. Fujimoto takes this as a chance to find someone who will love him back and finally get to have some type of success in his life.
Harems are not my favorite genre of manga. The sex becomes overbearing to me at times and I wonder whether the sexual teases are needed for a plot. But I am glad to say this story isn’t ruined by sex. Granted, Yukiyo Fujimoto is an ordinary guy with ordinary desires. He wanted to go to university, find a beautiful woman he loved and settle down with her. He has his personal standards for how pretty a girl should be and he has a decent personality to be able to have friends. This is where the irony comes in as he is too friendly to realize when a woman has feelings for him. Although this is a usual trait in every harem, it doesn’t appear for every woman he had feelings for. He also doesn’t get every female to fall for him. Instead, he takes every rejection as a lesson and learns to move on with his life rather than getting hung up with one female.
The women in the manga aren’t mindless, yet only a few of them have actual reasons for having romantic feelings for the guy. I understand that emotions can come up out of the blue at random times, but romance always has a reason for letting feelings sprout up. At least one woman in this manga will magically fall for Fujimoto for no reason and that is something that makes me upset. Luckily, the creator is able to balance out all of the character development with metaphors and messages to convey to the audience. No one can get romance at the tips of their fingers. Sometimes it’s a game revolving around body language and trying to understand what someone is thinking without communicating verbally. Other times, rejection is the only answer someone will get. Luckily Fujimoto and the women learn to move on with their lives. Even though Fujimoto has yet to accomplish his personal goals, he looks to the future instead of the past.
Finally, the art style has a character design that makes me happy to look at every panel. Every character is detailed and just beautiful to look at. If I were to try to pick one of the best character designs in a manga, this one would be on my top ten list for sure. There isn’t a lot of emphasis on the background and some people will be upset because of the lack of details. But the fact that the characters are designed with a lot of emphasis on detail makes the art style worth viewing.
Most harems have a repetitive formula and use the main lead as a chick magnet for some illogical reason. I am proud to say that Yukiyo Fujimoto is a regular guy with normal desires. The ladies may have a crush on him, but there is are valid reasons why. This manga is a nice psychological journey to explore how Fujimoto finds the right woman through trials and errors. I can honestly say this manga is for the person who wants to follow a normal guy’s journey through romance.
Moteki Vol. #1