HIGH SCHOOL DEBUT (Kôkô Debut, “High School Debut”) (??????) • Kazune Kawahara • VIZ (2008-ongoing) • Shueisha (Bessatsu Margaret, 2003-2008) • 13 volumes • Shôjo Romantic Comedy • 13+ (mild violence, mild sexual situations)
Haruna, a sporty girl whose limited ideas of romance come from shôjo manga, goes to high school and vows “I want to be attractive to guys! I want to fall in love!” After several inexplicably failed attempts hanging out on street corners waiting to get picked up, she hires a “dating coach,” Yoh, an Izumi Sano-esque “cool and moody” guy who first mutters “I hate girls…girls are so fickle…” and warns her “You better not fall for me!” before agreeing to train her. Like Otomen, High School Debut is a self-referential shojo manga, which pokes fun at its own story and gender stereotypes while ultimately embracing them. As Yoh and Haruna’s circle of friends start to pair off, Haruna learns to be more feminine and more in touch with her own feelings, but she never stops kicking ass at sports. Over time, some nice twists and characterizations overcome the clichéd premise, making High School Debut one of the better and more enjoyable “love-learning manga” about the ups and downs of a relationship. The plain art is one of the downsides.
Today’s winner is Kyle N. of Wisconsin. As you all probably know, here on the communistic manga free-for-all that we call 365 Days of Manga, you have two chances to get manga: first, by winning the random draw by submitting your name over on the left; and second, by sending us a photo of yourself with your spoils. Today we are proud to present a photo of Maria W., one of our second-stage winners!
Thanks for sending us your photo, Maria! I realize that it might be a little strange to expose your manga life before everyone at suvudu, but I always really appreciate it and I love seeing everybody’s photos. This might sound presumptuous, but it makes it feel a little like I’m giving manga away to people I know.
In other news… new King of RPGs sample pages are going online daily (Monday through Thursday) at the King of RPGs website! Please check them out!