オイ!!オバさん (Oi!! Oba-san)
Shounen – Comedy, harem, romance
1 Volume of 12 Volumes (complete)
Media-Do (Akita Publishing)
Toru is at a rebellious age, not wanting his parents to come to his high school entrance ceremony. But while he’s thrilled to see his crush in the same class, he’s horrified when he sees one particular girl enter the classroom: his aunt, who is the same age!
So Toru is shocked to find out his aunt, Sugako, is going to be his classmate, and she’s moving into his house to boot. No one had told him anything about this. Sugako is a bit of a Toru maniac: she always skipped school to attend Toru’s school events, has a whole series of albums about Toru, and even has a Toru body pillow. She also likes to tease him, holding his hand on the way to the store and saying things like, “Oh, Auntie is so worried you’re going to get lost!” But when they have a run-in with some hoodlums, Toru gets another surprise: Sugako was a delinquent back home and even has the nickname “Medusa”. By her own admission, this yankee did a lot of bad things, but she wanted to start over with a fresh slate. Plus, Sugako says her “motherly instincts” kick in whenever she’s around Toru, so she wants to stay by Toru’s side so that her yankee side is suppressed and live as a normal girl.
But one of the things that makes her snap is when people call her (or assume she’s) old. And she tends to mishear things so that she thinks she’s being called old. Thus, Toru’s dragged into all kinds of things and suffers from setbacks because of this.
The class (and most of the school) is charmed by Sugako’s good girl persona, and Toru’s trying to run interference from her lack of common sense and such. Like she decides to train the class for a softball tournament with shotput balls. Meanwhile, let’s just say his chances with his crush sink dramatically at every turn, as his closeness with Sugako makes people think they’re dating. And stories of “Medusa” reach even Toru’s hometown of Tokyo, and that causes a whole bunch of additional problems and misunderstandings.
The manga breaks the fourth wall fairly often. Like Toru says the whole situation is like he’s “part of the plot of a romantic comedy”. Of course, this is a romcom, but there’s the whole issue that Sugako and Toru are related. There is a way that they could not be blood related, but they still grew up as family, even if they mostly only saw each other a couple of times a year. She even has “Auntie Vision” where Sugako hallucinates and pictures Toru as a toddler or young child.
So, if you don’t mind that potential landmine, Fire-Hot Aunt is a pretty funny, silly comedy. Sugako tends to mishear things to cause her to unleash her Medusa side, and just like Medusa, her victims turn to (metaphorical) stone. Toru tries to hide the fact Sugako is his aunt both because of embarrassment and because of Sugako’s problem with the word “old”. This manga is not to be meant to taken seriously, so I think it best targets fans of manga like Love Hina, Ranma 1/2, and maybe Nisekoi, although that had a good amount of seriousness.
Love Hina and Ranma 1/2 might also be the better comparisons because the art looks a little older than its 2011 debut suggests. Not super old or rough, but enough to make it different from currently serialized works. Because of all the delinquents, we get a lot of characters with the same sharp, crazed eyes. I hope that as the manga continues, there will be a little more variety of people who make Sugako mad. From the ending, it looks like her life in Chiba has followed her to Tokyo, so perhaps that will help. “Auntie Vision” can be somewhat disturbing, as it’s one thing to look fondly upon a relative and show that with hearts and bubbles and stuff, but Sugako is picturing him as a baby. That’s especially disturbing if they’re going to be the endgame couple.
The inner thoughts font looks like something a child who has just mastered capital letters wrote. A few centimeters from the top and bottom are cut off on each page. So some of the dialogue is cut off (“Even in high school, she’s still out of this”), footnotes are completely missing, and the art is affected. Typos include “wierdo”. The students call themselves “first (1st) graders”, which is awkward in English; “first years” is the more common term in manga. “Elite 4” is used for what I’m assuming is Shittenou, which is a common adaptation.
Fire-Hot Aunt turned out to be a little different than what I was expecting, since I didn’t know that Sugako was a yankee. But the manga’s setup is going to be a major deterrent, although this is one of the few manga starring a powerful and often-angry female lead that doesn’t direct her anger to the protagonist. That might balance out uneasiness of an aunt-nephew relationship for some people.
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