Oshi No Ko Volume 3 Shows the Toxic Hell of Social Media

Oshi No Ko Volume 3 cover of Aqua with his hand covering the left side of his face.

Oshi No Ko Volume 3 begins the “Dating Reality Show Arc” with Aqua and five other teenagers. But as the last two volumes showed, Aqua’s not in it for fame or a partner. His goal is revenge. This volume focuses on how reality shows’ depictions of their cast can have detrimental, even lethal, effects. Oshi No Ko Volume 3 is a phenomenal series that continues to be the most realistic portrayal of the entertainment industry.

Written by Aka Akasaka with art by Mengo Yokoyari, translation by Taylor Engel, and lettering by Abigail Blackman, the story jumps right into Arima and Ruby reacting to Aqua’s introduction on the reality show. The Yen Press manga mixes hilarious moments, allowing room for teenage antics. In addition, it highlights the darker elements of an industry many want to be part of, but few know. It does not focus solely on acting or idols. But any career that puts a person in the public eye gets attention. The authenticity of it adds a lifelike quality to the story.

Oshi No Ko Volume 3 Shows the Talent and Hardship of Being a Celebrity

The cast of this reality show are not A-list celebrities. Still, they flex their talent in different fields. But as Aqua later points out, regardless of their profession, these are all teenagers. As such, they are prone to mistakes or foolishness. In the age of social media and reality shows, it’s easy for viewers to blow one screw-up out of proportion. Akane’s mistake causes a recognizable frenzied pile-on.  

Part of what makes Oshi No Ko so realistic is the references. Other series do not use social media names like TikTok or sites like YouTube. Their addition adds realism, which depictions of the industry enhance. People take one person’s misstep and run with it. They even use it to create a profile of one’s character. Sadly enough, Mem-cho’s not wholly incorrect when she points out to Akane that apologizing—though right—often increases hate online. 

The Whodunit Lurks Throughout

Oshi No Ko Volume 3 cover of Aqua with his hand covering the left side of his face.
Oshi No Ko Volume 3 cover. Yen Press.

Aqua’s goal is the same—find his and Ruby’s father who killed Ai. It comes up occasionally. But Aka Akasaka continues to show the politics, manipulation, and horror in the industry. But the end game remains, and Akane, Aqua discovers, is essential. 

Akane’s deep dive into Ai captures Ai’s mannerisms and even uncovers her upbringing. The fact that she comes up with the idea that Ai had a child shows Akane’s skill at dissecting a person’s character. It’s a stark contrast to how people online took one clip of Akane’s mistake and formed false ideas about her. So, Akane is invaluable to Aqua. 

Comedic Lighthearted Social Moments

Despite the heavier subject matter, there are hilarious moments in Oshi No Ko Volume 3. Publicists, celebrities, everyone checks online to see what people think about them, their film, product, album, etc. “Ego surfing,” as Kana calls it. This leads to a comical meeting with a YouTuber, Piyeon. The volume deals with heavy topics such as toxicity online and viewing people as products or less than human, but Oshi No Ko Volume 3 also takes time to add fun. 

Oshi No Ko Volume 3 adds moves from fictional shows to reality shows. It demonstrates how often viewers need to take everything they witness with a massive helping of salt. For producers, the purpose is a larger-than-life reality that audiences will watch. It’s one of the best series of 2023, both as a manga and an anime, and reflects everyone, from celebrities to fans. Oshi No Ko Volume 3 doesn’t waste a single panel, moving the surface and underlying story, incorporating new characters easily, and keeping it as fascinating as the first volume. 

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