Otaku USA Magazine
Oshi no Ko Manga Provocatively Shows Dark Side of Entertainment Industry

Manga about idols are usually about glitz, glamour and romance. Oshi no Ko, on the other hand, is about the dark side of the entertainment industry, and it’s good for the creators to have the bravery to show it like it is.

That said, Oshi no Ko is not completely realistic. It does exaggerate things, and its premise is a bit like an isekai, in that a doctor dies and is reincarnated into another world, so to speak. But instead of being reincarnated as, say, a person in a medieval-style world, he’s reincarnated as one of the newborn twins his patient, idol Ai Hoshino, gives birth to.

He had been a fan of Ai after learning about her from one of his dying patients. Ai has to keep her pregnancy and children a secret, and now the doctor, as her son Aquamarine, gets to see what it’s like being in the entertainment industry. And the entertainment industry, like the fantasy places of isekai, really is its own world.

Being an idol is, for Ai and many others, about working nonstop and barely making any money, about dealing with the cruelty of the internet, about being in an industry that says it’s about art but is really about the bottom line, and about dealing with obsessive, stalking fans.

Oshi no Ko is provocative, expertly written, and a much-needed and devastating look at what people might go through to get famous. The first volume is especially fast-paced and strong. The artwork, which includes characters with stars in their eyes, fits the story perfectly.

Oshi no Ko is receiving an anime adaption that HIDIVE says is having the best opening on its platform. The anime’s opening song is breaking all sorts of records. The story has also stirred controversy with its very accurate portrayals of unpleasant realities. Because of its accuracy, skill and deft storytelling, there’s a reason why so many people are talking about Oshi no Ko and checking it out.

Story: Aka Akasaka
Art: Mengo Yokoyari
Translator: Taylor Engel


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.