Oshi no Ko, vol. 1-4 | Review
Oshi no Ko, vols. 1-4
Story by Aka Akasaka, Art by Mengo Yokoyari
Volume 1 published 1/17/23
Volume 4 released 11/21/23
Rated: Older Teen
Oshi no Ko has been receiving buzz all year due to its realism, art, and suspense, which continue to keep readers on edge. The story of reincarnated twins born to an idol starts off as comedic (with some questionable context), then switches without warning into a revenge story.
It’s insanity and I’m here for it, and so are many fans of this series. Created by the mangaka who wrote Kaguya-sama: Love is War, Oshi no Ko sends us into a wild ride of epic proportions. We have murder, sabotage, manipulation, and descent into the moral abyss that makes us wonder—who do we actually root for?
In the middle of this is Aquamarine “Aqua” Hoshino, a fourteen-year-old who is wise beyond his years, and his twin sister, Ruby. Formerly an OBGYN and his young patient in a previous life before their untimely deaths, Aqua and Ruby are reborn as twins to an idol, Ai Hoshino, who had to hide her pregnancy due to her young age of 16, as well as her status as a celebrity. When Aqua and Ruby were four years old, Ai was murdered by a stalker. Years later, both twins are in the entertainment industry, but for different reasons. Ruby wants to follow in the footsteps of her mother and become an idol herself. Aqua has no interest in the industry, except finding out why their mother was targeted and murdered by a stalker, and who was the person who sent him.
Within this mystery, we have side characters who become unwittingly entangled in the web Aqua weaves for his mission. Former child star Kana Arima is trying to revive her career by forming an idol girl group with Ruby and social media star Mem-Cho. The group is called B-Komachi, which is a revival of the former group of Ruby’s mother. Akane Kurosawa is a reality star who co-stars with Aqua and becomes enamored with him after Aqua saves her from a suicide attempt due to cyberbulling. A love triangle of sorts forms between Akane, Kana, and Aqua, but Aqua’s only interest is his goal to find the person who targeted his mother.
There’s so much to unwrap, and it keeps the reader guessing with so many twists and turns. One part that will require a lot of discussion and insight will be the storyline of Akane’s cyberbullying. This particular side story mirrors the real-life cyberbullying of pro wrestler and reality star Hana Kimura, which tragically resulted in her suicide. Akane’s story is handled with some sensitivity, but it shows how heartless and ruthless people can be online. With that wall of anonymity, many users feel that they can say whatever they want without regard to their target’s mental state.
Another matter that would be a great subject for discussion is Aqua’s manipulation of the people who love him, such as Ruby, Akane, and Hana. While he does care for his sister, his methods of trying to keep her from the industry (to no avail) are to be questioned. His cold demeanor towards Hana and Akane will make readers wonder how long these ladies will vie for him until they realize they’re just a means to an end. Or will he actually care about them and consider their feelings?
Season one of the anime adaptation of Oshi no Ko wrapped in June 2023, with season two announced to be released in 2024. Volume five is set to be released in February 2024, and with all that this series has offered its fans, it’s going to be a great rollercoaster ride into 2024.
About Renee Scott
Renee Scott is a young adult librarian based in NYC, as well as a dedicated otaku and gamer. She is a lifelong fan of comics, anime, and manga. She can be found on Twitter at @libraryladynyc, and on her review blog, The Library Lady of NYC Reviews.
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