Title: Karakuri Odette Vol 1
Author: Julietta Suzuki
May Contain Spoilers
The premise of this series is very simple, yet still very compelling. When Professor Yoshizawa creates the beautiful android Odette, she convinces her creator to allow her to attend high school. Odette wants to learn what it means to be human. The professor is reluctant, but he finally relents. Will Odette be able to make friends and discover the true meaning of being human?
I love this book! Through simple, slice of life vignettes, Julietta Suzuki shares Odette’s introduction to all things human. Despite having emotionless facial features and a very low key personality, she comes across full of curiosity and with an eagerness to learn. As she discovers what sets her apart from her classmates, she asks Yoshizawa to make modifications to her programming so that she doesn’t stand out so much. When events go awry, she also learns the limitations of being an ordinary human, which pushes her to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her new friend.
As Odette navigates her way through the ritual of making friends and surviving high school, she comes across as much more human than some of her classmates. With her inquisitive mind and lack of guile, she accepts everyone at face value and expects them to be as upfront with her as she is with them. That’s all she knows. Even with her restrained expressions, she manages to draw people to her once she decides that she wants to be friends. Because she isn’t very experienced with human emotions, she is incapable of making harsh judgments about others. When she learns about the school delinquent, she wants to be his friend, even though he doesn’t want to spare her another thought and even her other friends are cautioning her against it. He quickly learns, though her quiet persistence, that even he can’t remain immune to her earnest attempts at friendship for very long, and her friends learn that first impressions can be deceiving.
With its understated presentation, Karakuri Odette delivers a surprisingly charming tale. Featuring a very compelling heroine, it’s hard to stay detached from the events taking place in the story. Odette succeeds as an engaging character because she possesses the very traits she is desperately trying to understand.
Review copy provided by Tokyopop