Zettai Kareshi

Absolute Boyfriend (Zettai Kareshi) is a six volume manga series by Yuu Watase, first serialized in Shōjo Comic. Chuang Yi licensed it for an English language release in Singapore, with the first volume released in March 2005. Viz Media licensed the series for an English release in North America, serializing the series in its Shōjo Beat manga anthology as well as releasing the volumes.

Riiko Izawa has never had a boyfriend and she has been rejected by every boy she has ever had a crush on. When she returns a lost cell phone to an oddly dressed salesman, she mentions wanting a boyfriend so to thank her, he directs her to his company’s website. When she visits the site, Riiko finds it’s a site to create your own lover. Thinking its a game, she customizes and accidentally orders one. The next day, her new lover arrives. Following the instruction manual, she kisses him to wake him up and configure him to be in love with only her. She names him “Night.” Three days later, she is shocked to learn that she only had him for a free trial. The salesman, Gaku Namikiri, tells her that she must now pay 100,000,000 yen for Night, or they will waive the fee if she helps them to collect data about how women think and feel to help perfect future models.

Riiko must keep Night’s true nature of not being human a secret from everyone around her. She also finds herself in a love triangle between Night and her childhood friend Soshi, who declares his love for her out of fear he will lose her. As the series progresses, Night begins to develop real human emotions, enabling him to truly love Riiko but also resulting in system malfunctions. When Riiko almost loses Night due to the malfunctions, she realizes that he is the one she really loves. She apologizes to Soshi, who moves to Spain with his brother. As the series ends, Night begins to grow sleepier and sleepier. The problems developed by his exceeding his abilities eventually causes his machinery to stop working, resulting in his “dying.” Before he died, he wrote a letter to Soshi to tell him what was happening and asking him to take care of Riiko. Soshi gives Riiko time to grieve, then returns to Japan to be at her side again.

The manga series is being adapted into a live-action drama series.

A live-action adaptation of the manga began airing on Fuji TV on April 15, 2008. In the live-action version, Riiko Izawa is an office lady in search of a boyfriend, and she ends up in possession of a “robot” known as Night Tenjo, who is programmed to be the perfect boyfriend. However, this creates a love triangle with a distinguished young man at her company who also has feelings for her. Riiko is played by Saki Aibu, Night is played by Mokomichi Hayami, and Soshi Asamoto is played by Hiro Mizushima.

Video Streaming for this series, click here.

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