Review by: Ai Kano
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Kaneyoshi Izumi
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shojo Beat)
MSRP: $9.99 US
Rating: T+ (Older Teen)
Release Date: Available Now
This is a tale of a cute nurse, a yaoi-crazed surfer girl and Snow White.
Lately I have been turning my friends on to Seiho Boys’ High School and so far each one of them has become fans of Kaneyoshi Izumi’s character study of boys who are desperate need of some female attention that every last one of them doesn’t know what to do with one even if a girl suddenly showed up at the school. Sure, this is a different kind of shoujo manga but sometimes different is a very good thing as we can see from Volume 3 of Seiho Boys’ High School!
Volume 2 introduced us to Fuyuka Miyaji, a girl who came to spend her break on a girls’ paradise filled with hot and lonely guys who would love to have a girlfriend. Having set her sights on the hottest guy in the school, Fuyuka made a friend jealous by having Kamiki pose as her boyfriend. The plan didn’t go as smoothly as she thought but it worked. So, that brings us to Volume 3 where it’s Fuyuka’s turn to repay her debit to the boys and her crush, Kamiki.
You see, Seiho High always holds a theater production competition at the start of each new term so each of the three dorms puts on a play with the winner receiving an increased budget for their dorm. So Kamiki, Nogami, Maki and Hanai convince the girl to be the female lead in their production of Snow White. Since this is an all-boys’ school, however, the boys are going to pass Fuyuka off as a boy named Momoi the Hermit. After all, the past productions had featured guys in drag as the female leads.
Still, it’s an insult to Fuyuka to think that other boys will think she’s a boy in drag and even more of a blow to her pride when she encounters a student named Kenta who – in drag – makes such a striking girl that he helped his dorm win each time. However, the girl is willing to do it and even more so for Kamiki so Fuyuka goes from amateur actor to really milking her role on the day of the play … and winning the hearts of many boys who think she’s a he!
The end result isn’t surprising but it is Kenta who demands to know if “Momoi” is actually a girl but Kamiki goes to her rescue. It’s clear that Fuyuka is more than just a bit smitten by the hot Kamiki … she might actually be in love with him. In the meantime, Maki finds himself heading out towards the beach whenever he can just to see this beautiful surfer girl do her thing. He’s clearly attracted to the girl but, as we saw in Volume 2, Maki just can’t get over the girl named Erika he loved back in junior high. Sure, Erika might be dead but the young man thinks he would be dishonoring her memory if he found another girl.
Still, a misunderstanding between the surfer girl and Kamiki makes Maki believe that Kamiki told her something bad about him. He starts resenting the fact that the most handsome guy in school is good at everything. Still, Maki realizes that Kamiki might be everything he’s not but that doesn’t mean Kamiki doesn’t have feelings or is capable of helping a friend. In fact, he said something to the girl that wasn’t what he originally though. It’s just that the surfer girl is a bit on the grumpy side … just like his Erika.
Meanwhile, Nogami discovers that the school nurse – Miss Fukuhara – is leaving the school for good. She’s been on the receiving end of many a complaint from the faculty that ever since Nogami helped her become even hotter she’s become a distraction to all the boys in school who go see her for the most insignificant of ailments. Since she’s been carrying out a secret relationship with Nogami, she keeps sending him notes but Nogami refuses to read them. While he’s a blunt, self-centered and feels superior to everyone around him, Nogami hides his true feelings and on the day Miss Fukuhara is giving her farewell speech it is Nogami who makes a case for her to stay in front of the entire school that is actually quite romantic for Nogami.
As for Maki, his friend from back home keeps rubbing in the fact that he has a girlfriend so Maki asks the surfer girl to pretend to be his girlfriend temporarily. As it turns out, though, the girl’s name is Erika as well and she’s a friend of Fuyuka. She also thinks (read: wishes) Maki is gay and decides to help the boy out and, in turn, listen to his gay encounters. You see, Erika is a hardcore yaoi fan and her delusional mind has her thinking she’ll get real-life insight on some juicy Boys Love. What she finds instead is a young man who cannot let go of the past and the ghost that still haunts him.
Volume 3 of Seiho Boys’ High School! still continues to be a very different and outrageously funny shoujo manga that still doesn’t follow the familiar romantic manga formula. This is actually a good thing because Kaneyoshi Izumi manages to tell the story her own way and makes it work in ways that makes the comedy and romance quite refreshing. Plus, the boys in this manga are just too much fun.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Fuyuka is back and this time she’s doing the boys (and Kamiki) a favor by filling in as their Snow White in their school’s theatre production competition as she pulls double duty pretending to be a guy who is playing a girl’s role. Meanwhile, Nogami hears that the school nurse he’s been secretly dating is leaving the school for good. Later, Maki meets a hot surfer girl who happens to share the same name as the girl he loved but as he asks this surfer cutie to be his temporary girlfriend he finds out that she is doing it for all the wrong reasons.
Kaneyoshi Izumi’s artwork is best appreciated in the delightfully comical expressions of her characters that will not let you down if you’re looking for a really good laugh. Hilarious visual gags aside; her artwork is handled wonderfully throughout.
Seiho Boys’ High School! is a radically different kind of shoujo manga and thank God for that because what is presented here is starting to feel even more meaningful than most romance manga out there. Volume 3 continues its comical view of boys being boys and the girls that enter their lives and it works well since there’s no shortage of funny moments mixed in with romantic ones that feel genuine. Isn’t that worth the price of admission?
Review copy provided by VIZ Media