Aoi House Review

It's rare for me to do a manga review, even rarer for me to do one on an OEL Manga, that's Original English Language for those who don't know.
OEL's are sad attempts by some manga publishers to try and use western talent to make manga to bulk up their catalogs.
Some are horrible such as Avril Lavigne's shameless cash in "Make 5 Wishes"
Some are attempts by big companies to expand into that domain such as Disney.
Others are no names with mediocre stories that are easily forgotten.
There are two exceptions however: Scott Pilgrim & Aoi House.

Aoi House is about two male college students named Alexis & Sandy, after being kicked out their dorm for the last time they end up at Aoi House, but to their peril it is in fact supposed to be called Yaoi House and are first mistaken for a gay couple but are later accepted through various incidents involving slapstick, various glomping, a perverted hamster and hundreds upon millions of references. And yes you've probably guessed from the picture, it is a harem series; but unlike other harem series, it doesn't fall into the same traps.
You do have cookie cutter females though: Rich Tsundere Girl Elle, Hyper Girl Morgan, Sexy Motherly Girl Jessica, Slacker Girl Nina & Glasses Big Breasted Girl Maria.
The story sounds like a predictable farce but no, quite early on the Tsundere girl Elle doesn't win; Hyper girl Morgan does. That's a very bold move to take for any series in that genre.
The story itself is very easy to follow in stages.
The first part shows Sandy & Alexis' struggle to gain acceptance into Aoi House as they are exposed to numerous troubles such as the traditional nude scenes, accidental glomping, watching yaoi, a date with a transvestite, more references and an incident known only as the bishounen hair.
The second part dives into the everyday life of Aoi House and the preparations for the convention, we also get a developing romance and it's at this point where the Tsundere loses.
The third part is the convention itself which shows off the most references, we are introduced to rival clubs such as Yuri Club and the dreaded American SOS Brigade (Anyone but them)
The final part wraps up the main story and dives into a fast forward sequence very much like a final closing sequence to an anime finally ending in an epilogue.
Okay I normally hate shows about Otaku culture but this one was really good, with the main reason being, I know or have met pretty much all these characters and I understand every reference in the book.
The story isn't perfect, there are some stupid scenes that defy description and some references placed in for sheer self indulgence and sucking up but compared to Comic Party this is way better.
Also it makes a change to have a character which is basically the nice guy who is pretty accepting of everything; he's not a loser like others in his position, he's just a nice guy and that makes Aoi House such an interesting read, because many male otaku including myself are the nice guy.
Final Verdict: Read as the best example of American Manga and then read Scott Pilgrim straight after.