Seiho Boys’ High School 8

November 2, 2011

Kaneyoshi Izumi – Viz – 2011 – 8 volumes

I loved this series all the way through. It’s all about the characters, and the one-shot-ish stories are all the right mix of humor and sweetness and romance. It’s one of those types of series where I can’t point to any one thing and say that it does it better than other shoujo manga, but it just does everything really well, and it was fun to read.

I was a little disappointed by the ending. The humor fled the stories here, in favor of taking care of serious business and wrapping up the story. Actually the story didn’t really “wrap up,” and the series finishes with the characters still in high school. There’s just some Very Serious Developments between Maki & Erika and Kamiki & Miyaji. The developments are well-trodden shoujo ground, but it does pull a few fake-outs, and just when I thought it was going to take one way out, it turned around and picked a completely different path.

While I do appreciate some character development, it’s the humor I love most in this series. The way the characters make jokes and interact with each other is just so… them. It’s perfect. And if the series was going to have a non-ending anyway, I would have liked it to go out on a happy note, which is why I liked it best.

Still, Seiho Boys’ High School is worth reading. Don’t let my disappointment with the ending dissuade you. The last book is still okay, and the rest of the series is fantastic. Well worth reading for any shoujo fan.

I also liked the last, unrelated story that fills out the volume. It’s set in the “universe” of Seiho Boys’ High School since the girl mentions the all-girls school that Erika and Miyaji go to, and I thought I recognized the male character, but it’s obvious that the two characters attend a co-ed high school, something that doesn’t come up in the series. It’s a lot… spicier than the main story, which is strange given Izumi’s comments in the side bars about not wanting to write all-boys’ high school stories that were too raucous for shoujo manga. It’s got an asshole love interest, unfortunately, but I love that the female main character more-or-less acknowledges this. Liking it probably makes me a bad person, but what can I do.

But yes. This series gets high marks for me. There are series I like better, but this one definitely ranks near the top, and is one of the funniest to boot. Give it a try.

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