I picked up High School Debut as part of my strong heroines manga project and I wasn’t disappointed with it. Several of the manga I have read for this project had either weaker heroines or weak writing, but this series was different. I enjoyed every single chapter of it. The manga was about 50 chapters, just long enough to be satisfying and just short enough to stay interesting. I really enjoyed this manga because it was unique while still retaining the elements of shoujo manga that make me love it. I recommend this manga to any type of shoujo reader because it has something for everyone, including humor and a wonderful love story. Read on for details.
The story follows a sporty girl named Haruna who decides that she wants to do her best to get a boyfriend when she starts high school. The problem is that Haruna has no ability to attract men and is way too intimidating with her overzealous imitations of magazine articles. Haruna meets a second year named Yoh when she is trying to get picked up and realizes that he knows what guys like. She begs him to be her coach in order to snag a boyfriend. The grumpy and sharp tongued Yoh eventually agrees to coach Haruna. Eventually the two realize that they have developed feelings for each other in the process of Haruna’s coaching. The series follows their relationship from the beginning to a satisfying end.
The plot of this series is really unique without losing basic shoujo elements. I never felt like the story relied on clichés as many manga do, and whenever a somewhat overused situation came up, it would get turned completely upside down. A good example would be when Haruna gets attacked by a guy in an alley, but she ends up being too much for him with her softball muscles. Yoh rushes to the rescue only to discover that Haruna has won the battle on her own. I also appreciate that the manga avoided easy drama by having Haruna tell Yoh the truth whenever something bad happened. She accidentally kissed another guy and made friends with Yoh’s ex-girlfriend and he knew at least ten pages later. I felt that this showed a strong relationship. The ending of the series was also really wonderful if only to show the reader that a strong relationship can last and doesn’t get stopped by silly drama.
The characters were really well written. Both Haruna and Yoh were likable. Yoh was known for having a bad temper and lashing out, but he never said anything remotely mean to Haruna and made sure that she knew that he loved her just as much as she loved him. Haruna was a great strong female and the author did not rely on her “denseness” to make things difficult. Whenever she was confused Yoh would explain to her and her inability to recognize certain feelings allowed her to be the kind and friendly person she was. Haruna and Yoh were also great in that they pursued their individual goals. The manga made sure to show the audience that people in a relationship should still pursue their dreams and not sacrifice them for their significant other. Their dreams made them have to separate for a bit, but that didn’t stop Yoh and Haruna at all.
This manga was really refreshing because it felt like I was watching a normal relationship that wouldn’t be broken by silly shoujo drama. It is true that the drama makes the reunion more sweet, but there is something nice about watching a couple be able to conquer anything because they love each other so much. The romance was really sweet but still realistic as the two addressed serious events as well. I’m excited that this manga helped me to find a great new heroine to love as well as a really great male lead as well. I recommend this manga to anyone looking for a lighthearted and funny series. Read it if you like series like Skip Beat! and Kaichou Wa Maid-sama!. I give this manga a 4.5/5 for my manga review.
- Hana Kimi Review (luciustheninja.wordpress.com)