Seiho Boys’ High School 1Posted: July 12, 2010
Kaneyoshi Izumi – Viz – 2010 – 8 volumes
I had fun picking this up since I had absolutely no idea what it was about. It’s set at a remote boys’ boarding school, and cut off from all major towns and forms of transportation, the boys there are starved for female attention. I kept waiting for the other shoujo shoe to drop, such as finding out the main character was actually a girl, or that he was dating the resident smoking hot popular bishounen, but so far, it’s just a series of loosely related one-shots about the different boys at the school.
The stories are fairly solid, but nothing new. The first is about a boy who came out of the closet once he got to high school, but wants to keep that a secret from his former junior high girlfriend, at the school for a visit. The second involves the usual prickly bespectacled boy who is… well, trying to fix the nurse up from plain to pretty, but the nurse plans on asking out the aforementioned smoking hot popular guy. He’s very rude and crass, but in a funny way, much like the glasses-wearing otaku in Fumi Yoshinaga’s Flower of Life. The third story is about the attractive boy and the close relationship he has with his step-sister, but it doesn’t venture into the territory you think it might. There is a fourth story, but it’s unrelated, and involves characters from another one of Izumi’s series, Sonnanjaneyo.
I grew very tired very quickly of the boys constantly griping about how they wanted girlfriends, or how unlucky they were to be in such a remote school. A lot of the humor is based on how attention-starved the boys here are, but it thankfully is staying out of goofy shounen ai territory for the time being. Past the shallow humor and relatively simple premises, the stories did wind up to be relatively touching, more often than not. There’s a slight taste of Fumi Yoshinaga’s character observation and development skills, and that was what got me to stop hating it after the first chapter. All the stories end on a relatively touching note that goes against genre conventions, but again, there’s an awful lot of bad humor and somewhat plain story to get through before you get there.
Each story focuses on a different character, and all the boys are friends with one another, but strangely, the boy who appears to be the main character doesn’t have his own story. We see hints of future plot development when others hint that he might have a girlfriend, so at least the stories are eventually going somewhere.
It’s not… the best, really, not yet, but it does have hints of amazing stories to come in it, and I can see it going places once it gets all the usual stuff out of the way. The griping boys got on my nerves quite a bit, but at the same time, the very sweet twists at the end of the story were usually worth the price of admission. It was a fun read, and I suspect it will improve over time, but it doesn’t really come highly recommended as of volume one.
This was a review copy provided by Viz.