Sunday, July 18, 2010

Manga Review- High School Debut



High School Debut (高校デビュー, Kōkō Debyū?, also known as Koukou Debut) is a shōjo romantic comedy manga by Kazune Kawahara (河原 和音, Kawahara Kazune?). It was serialized in Japan by Shueisha in Bessatsu Margaret from 2003 to 2008 and collected in 13 bound volumes. The series was adapted as a drama CD and as a series of six light novels written by Yuu Kuramoto. The manga is licensed in North America by Viz Media, which published English editions of all 13 volumes between January 2008 and February 2010.

The series follows the relationship between Haruna Nagashima, an enthusiastic former softball star, and Yoh Komiyama, the cool boy she convinces to coach her in romance. It has been praised by reviewers as a standard shōjo manga premise made highly entertaining by Kawahara's handling of the characters, particularly the romantic leads, and artwork. (Taken from Wikipedia.org)

I started High school debut with great enthusiasm because at that time, I had no other shojo manga to read. It was pretty good in the beginning.

Haruna (the main character) tries to wear girly clothes and act cute so that she gets noticed by a guy and can begin her own high school romance. This, however, doesn't happen. No guy looks at her twice because she looks so boyish and unattractive.

Haruna is disappointed. One day in school, he hears about a guy called Yoh Koyama who can make any girl get noticed by a guy. She pleads him for help but he refuses. Determined to show him that she can get noticed too, she goes to a spot where even teh clumsiest girls have found a boyfriend. She waits there till sundown but no one even talks to her. When she is about to go home, Yoh arrives there and tells her that he is ready to help her. Haruna is ecstasic on hearing this. But Yoh has oen condition: she must never fall in love with him.

The next day, he helps her choose clothes and teaches her some things. Things start to look beter when a guy in a supermarket asks her out. Yoh is suspcious of his intentions but Haruna forgets caution in joy. Yoh tries to warm her to think over it carefully, but she goes on a date with teh other guy without informing Yoh. The other guy, turns out to be a delinquent. Yoh rushes to save her at a critical moment. Haruna realizes that she loves Yoh but is afriad to tell him her feelings.

Later, she does tell him her feelings and he accepts them. This series is so stereotypical that you don't even have to read it to guess what happens. That is one major drawback. The heroine is the classic clumsy, happy-go-lucky shojo manga heroine and Yoh is the cool, smart, perfect shojo manga hero.

While this manga is not bad, it fails to be original and is too predictable. Also, a few chapters about the school sports day dragged on so much that I skipped those altogether.

Ratings

Story-2
Characters-2
Plot-2
Art-3

Pros
Good starting
Good art

Coms
Stereotypical heroine and hero
Predictable and unoriginal plot
The chapters about the school sports day are sheer page waste

Overall, too standard to be interesting. I am sure there are other better shojo manga out there.

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