Review by: Ai Kano
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Kaneyoshi Izumi
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shojo Beat Manga)
MSRP: $9.99 US
Rating: T+ (Older Teen)
Release Date: Available Now
Girls just want to have fun; boys just want to understand them.
Having lived near an all-boys school and having dated one or two boys from said school, it was interesting to see how relieved most of the boys were to finally get to see a girl at the end of the day. Now imagine being a boy sent to an all-boy’s school in an isolated area where the only girl you’ll ever see is in a magazine or, if you’re lucky, see one on a rare trip to the school. This is what Seiho is like in Volume 1 of Seiho Boys’ High School where the guys don’t know what to do when girls do start showing up.
Seiho Boys’ High School isn’t your typical shoujo manga and it certainly isn’t yet another romantic-comedy series. It’s not a series that borders on boy’s love either, although there are characters that actually have something of a crush on the hottest guy in school. I love a series that isn’t quite what you expect it to be and Seiho Boys’ High School certainly tries but being different shouldn’t be the only redeeming factor here.
The story revolves around a Seiho, an all-boys school isolated from the city, and the student body. There is a main character that comes in the form of a cute boy by the name of Makki who tells us that the school feels like Alcatraz and with no girls around you can bet that the boys not only feel lonely but are frustrated to the point that they all no longer know how to relate to a girl if one even did manage to show up.
As it turns out, however, Makki’s gay classmate, Hanai, is distressed over the fact that his Junior high girlfriend is coming to their school to visit him. Makki finds out that Hanai had been dating a girl to dispel rumors of his real sexual orientation and now that he is free to be himself he doesn’t want the girl to feel bad that she has been dating a gay guy from the start. The girlfriend in question is Miki Kinashi who is cute and Makki definitely is interested in her and when she tells them that she ran away from home it is Makki who puts the girl sleep in his room. Oh yeah, you can bet things get really awkward. Can Makki try to keep Miki from finding out the truth about Hanai?
Well, the chapter does have an unpredictable finale and Hanai becomes something of a regular fixture in the volume as the story shifts to the cute-yet-geeky Nogami who recently had a taste of freedom and returned to school feeling frustrated once more. Still, he sets his sights on the seemingly comely school nurse who – he often points out – has generously bountiful bosoms that are her redeemable qualities. So Nogami makes the school nurse his pet project to turn her into the hottie that he knows she is to finally give her to confidence to reveal her feeling for the school’s hottest guy.
So giving her a makeover and coaching the girl, Nogami transforms the nurse into one hot mama but when it comes time for her to tell the school’s hunk that she is interested in him she makes a different and surprising confession instead. Finally, there’s the chapter that introduces us to that hunk who is known as Rui Kamiki who is tall, dark and absolutely gorgeous that even all the boys in the school blush at the very sight of him.
Despite being an absolute dreamboat, though, he dresses like a slob so when his cute sister shows up at the school she makes it her priority to fix his fashion errors. However, Kamiki doesn’t want to cooperate and he wants her to leave the school. On top of that, the mere mention that she is going to be married soon seems to bother him but Makki learns the reason why.
Interestingly enough, Kaneyoshi Izumi continues the theme of that final chapter in a bonus story unrelated to the characters or the school. The story revolves around a young boy named Tetsu whose interest in his sister is a little bit, well, frowned upon. However, his sister is linked to his friend so Tetsu finds solace with an older woman he meets in the streets who just had a fight with her boyfriend.
The problem with the series is that first volume just doesn’t really give much room to get to know the characters more and it seems to fall in the girl-of-the-chapter formula that gets old quickly. Izumi-Sensei has a great sense of humor and it shows in her work since there are plenty of comical moments scattered throughout.
Volume 1 of Seiho Boys’ High School has its good moments but not enough to make this first volume really stand out the way it should have seeing as this is not your ordinary shoujo manga title. I would like to say that its sense of humor saved the day but it’s sense of humor is good but not great. Still, I’m still hoping this series will get better and we are certainly sticking around.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Seiho feels more like a prison than a school for the boys of this isolated school and since there are no girls around these cute guys find themselves wondering what to do when they do show up. One boy finds himself wondering what to do about a girly classmate’s “girlfriend” in one chapter while another must come to terms with his feeling over his step-sister. In another chapter, a boy spends his time giving the school nurse a makeover and might just end up liking her.
The art in the series isn’t completely original but that’s not to say that it isn’t good because there are moments where it looks good and many of the boys do look really hunky. The cover is actually really lovely.
A few funny moments aside, Volume 1 of Seiho Boys’ High School doesn’t start off as strongly as it should have considering Izumi-Sensei’s talent. In fact, it feels like a missed opportunity but seeing as this is the first volume and there is some potential for a good time, we will wait to see if this series has the potential to do better in the upcoming volumes.
Review copy provided by VIZ Media