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In trying to explain Not Your Idol to a coworker, I went with this: “Death Note is scary because one high school boy can kill anyone he wants. Not Your Idol is scary simply because girls grow up in a patriarchy.”
Nina Kamiyama used to be in a popular idol group until she was attacked at a fan handshake event by a man with a knife. She quit the group, stopped using her stage name (Karen Amamiya), cut her long hair short, and started high school. Now she dresses as a boy and rejects her femininity to feel less vulnerable around men.
The boys at school can be jerks, but she finds a friend in Hikaru, a guy on the judo team who is the only one to recognize her. Although she’s starting to get on with her life, her attacker is still out there.
This story is dramatic and operatic and very suspenseful, which is the perfect accompaniment to its social commentary. You will hear a lot of views of how women should be or act in society. You will probably have heard many of those views echoed by others in your own life experience. This book is not preaching to you about what should be; it’s just really brutal in telling you what is.
Read a free preview of Not Your Idol, Vol. 1 by Aoi Makino here.
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