Sexy Voice and Robo

Nico Hayashi wants to be a spy when she grows up . . . or maybe a fortune-teller. She gets practice in by working for a phone-sex hotline, pretending to be older than she is and analyzing the characters of the men she talks to. But one day, while she’s in a cafe, an old man asks her to explain why she’s telling the guy she’s talking to that she has long hair and huge breasts . . . and then, when he hears her explanation, he gives her a job finding a kidnapped child. With the help of a hapless kid, Robo, who keeps calling her phone sex hotline and can never manage to figure out that it’s her on the other end, Nico solves violent corporate crime throughout the city (acquiring another potential profession, hostage negotiator) with exuberance, charm, and her talents at character analysis. Sexy Voice and Robo is a fun and engrossing manga written for older teens and adults. (Though the premise is that Nico works for a phone-sex hotline, the language in the story doesn’t get more explicit than simply stating this as a fact–the book is 392 pages long, and there’s only one panel where a woman (not Nico) has her breasts exposed.) It’s a story that is cheerful and engaging while simultaneously dealing with the ethics of the work that Nico does. Iou Kuroda’s dashing brushwork enhances the realistic narrative feel of the book, making this a manga that feels like the story could actually have taken place.

Sexy Voice and Robo
by Iou Kuroda
ISBN: 9781591169161
Viz , 2005

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