Sunday, January 5, 2020

REVIEW: Off*Beat (OEL manga, vol. 2) by Jen Lee Quick

This time around, I'm going to say that Off*Beat is drama/mystery with potential (but problematic, due to the stalking and lying) gay romantic elements.


Colin confronts Tory about his stalking, but Tory lies and pretends that everything Colin noticed is a coincidence. They agree to meet up at Tory's house for another tutoring session (Tory doesn't even bother to ask Mandy to join them this time around), and Paul gets on Tory's case for his hidden motives for "befriending" Colin. It surprises Tory when Colin goes out of his way to spend more time with him. What he doesn't know is that Colin now has his own hidden agenda.

Whereas almost nothing happened in volume 1, volume 2 had actual forward movement. That said, it's still unclear exactly which genre(s) this falls under. It's for sure a mystery. Tokyopop has "Drama/Romance" on the back cover...and I don't know that I agree. Yes, Tory blushed anytime Colin paid attention to him, and if his interest in Colin were purely about finding out more about the Gaia Project, he wouldn't have cared so much how his hair looked before meeting up with Colin. And yes, there was a line of dialogue that indicated that Colin felt drawn to Tory as well, and that it wasn't for a reason that made sense to him. And Mandy seemed like she shipped them, which was...kind of weird (I sincerely hope that there was more of a point to Mandy's existence in this series than noticing feelings brewing between Tory and Colin before they themselves did). So yeah, there could be mutual interest. But Tory's spent the whole series stalking Colin, and Colin spent a good chunk of this volume keeping things from Tory and checking up on him, so I'm not really comfortable with calling it a romance.

And speaking of Tory's stalking, what was with Paul? On the one hand, he lectured Tory about getting closer to the person he was stalking. On the other hand, he later gave Tory all the Gaia Project files he was able to rescue, knowing that this would only feed Tory's obsession.

Although this volume included a few peeks into Colin's home life, I still don't have a clue what sort of secret he might be hiding. He mentioned something called "atunement" (Tory apparently didn't have it) and repeatedly told Tory that he wasn't sick or sickly, even though he certainly seemed like it.

I'm frustrated enough with the lack of information and answers to try getting volume 3 via interlibrary loan. It looks like only 5 libraries own a physical copy, so there's a good possibility I won't get it, but it's still worth a try. And yes, I know I could buy an electronic copy. I don't want to do that. If that's my only option, then I'm just never going to finish the series.

If this is where things end, then I'm somewhat annoyed. Volume 2's pacing was a lot better than volume 1, to the point that I'm wondering whether this could have been a 2-volume series if it had been more tightly written.


A short preview of a Tokyopop OEL manga series called Earthlight. I'm not interested in reading more of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment