Otomen (オトメン(乙男)?) is a Japanese romantic comedy manga by manga artist Aya Kanno, which has been running in Bessatsu Hana to Yume since late 2006. The series has been adapted into a live action TV drama. The series has been one of the best-selling shojo properties in America, since being licensed by Viz Media. The series is also licensed in France by Delcourt and in Spain by Planeta DeAgostini.
Asuka Masamune is the coolest, manliest guy in his whole school. He excels in judo and karate, and as captain of the kendo team he reached the national championship tournament. However, he has a secret: the things he really loves are sweets, cute things, cooking, shōjo manga and sewing. He hides this part of his life from everyone else until he meets a girl named Ryo Miyakozuka, the daughter of a martial artist and heir to his dojo.
The title, "Otomen" is a pun made of the Japanese word otome (乙女?), meaning "young lady" or "mistress", and the English word "men". The characters in the series refer to Asuka as an "otomen" and even he himself has done so.
Love Chick (ラブチック Rabuchikku?) is a fictional shōjo manga by Jewel Sachihana that runs in the fictional manga magazine Hana to Mame (a parody of Hana to Yume). Juta Tachibana bases its story on the relationship between Asuka and Ryo, with the lead characters even sharing names pronounced the same but applied to the opposite genders. However, Asuka's name in Love Chick is written in katakana rather than the kanji used for Asuka's name in Otomen, and Ryo's name is written in kanji rather than in hiragana name in Otomen.
- Asuka Masamune (正宗 飛鳥 Masamune Asuka?)
- The main character of the story. He's very tall, masculine and cool but secretly, he loves all things cute, sweet, and lovely. This, however, does not stop him from being necessarily tough on occasion- he can defend himself and his friends. When Asuka was young his father left his family because he wanted to become a woman. This affected Asuka's mother severely and when she saw that her son was starting to like girly things she forced him to be masculine. Asuka also clearly states that while he likes girly things, he does not want to become a woman. When a new girl in school, Ryo Miyakozuka, is being bullied he defends her and later falls in love with her. Among his talents, besides sports, are cooking and sewing. He also enjoys reading the fictional shōjo manga Love Chick.
- Ryo Miyakozuka (都塚 りょう Miyakozuka Ryō?)
- Ryo is a new transfer student at Asuka's school. She lives with her father who is a very tough police officer. Even though she is a girl, she cannot sew, cook, bake, make bento or do any other "girly" things with which Asuka helps her. She also likes fighting movies.
- Juta Tachibana (橘 充太 Tachibana Jūta?)
- A playboy who befriends Asuka and Ryo, and helps Asuka with his relationship with Ryo. Under the penname Jewel Sachihana, Tachibana is actually the author of Asuka's favorite manga, Love Chick, which he bases on Asuka and Ryo's relationship. Because of this, he tries to further their relationship when his story bogs down. Juta is the only son and eldest in a family of 11 children. Juta was inspired to become a mangaka after meeting a girl who let him borrow a shojo manga. He ended up falling in love with her, but only to find out that she was moving away. He promised to see her off, but by the time he got to her house, she was already gone, leaving him heart broken. He returned home to find the manga she loaned him, unread. He had forgotten about it and never gave it back. So he reads it and falls in love with shojo manga. Juta also doesn't want anyone to find out that he is actually Jewel Sachihana.
- The captain of Kinbara High School's kendo team, he sees Asuka as his lifelong rival. He is the strong and silent type but is actually an otomen who is good with makeup. Similar to Asuka Tonomine's father told him to give up his girly habits fearing it would interfere with his Kendo. He is a Tsun-sama a word Juta came up with combining the words tsundere and ore-sama.
- An Underclassman at Asuka's school. He has a very girly appearance which he hates. He loves martial arts and trains hard to become good. He admires manliness and has long delusional fantasies about being manly. He believes Asuka to be the ideal man and is oblivious to the fact that Asuka is an otomen.
- Asuka's classmate. He has a mysterious somewhat threatening appearance thanks to his tall stature and his covered eyes. He is obsessed with the beauty of flowers and covers everything from buildings to people with them. He is an otomen who refers to himself as the flower evangelist.
The manga is written and illustrated by Aya Kanno and has been serialized in the shōjo manga magazine Bessatsu Hana to Yume since 2006. Serial chapters have been collected in ten tankōbon volumes by Hakusensha as of February 2010. Viz Media licensed the series for its Shojo Beat imprint. French publisher Delcourt licensed Otomen and released its first volume in September 2008. As of January 2010, eight volumes have been released. In Spain, the publisher Planeta DeAgostini has licensed the series as Otomen with its first volume released in December 2008. As of September 2009, six volumes have been released.