Gakuen Prince 3

October 7, 2009

Jun Yuzuki – Del Rey – 2009 -6+ volumes

I reviewed this for the weekly Manga Minis column at Manga Recon, so you can check out my review over there.

I’ll be the first to admit this series is terrifying and unwholesome and one of the trashiest you can find.  I’m laughing all the way through every volume, though.  I’m not entirely sure if it’s self-aware or not.  It might not be.  But the depths of depravity it manages to sink to are an absolute delight.  Know what you’re getting into, but if you’re looking for something that’s the complete opposite of every nice hand-holding shoujo manga you’ve come across, walk this way, my friend.

Also, it’s kind of a hilarious reversal of another popular series, Maid-sama.  Maid-sama has a girl trying to whip a formerly all-guys school into shape to make it better for the female population, stoic, handsome love interest quietly watching out for her so she doesn’t go overboard.  Gakuen Prince has a population of girls at a formerly all-girls school sexually abusing the males on a regular basis, with a female character just trying to keep her head above water and a really selfish, unhelpful love interest that couldn’t care less about her and she has to bail out of situations all the time, usually not with funny results.  And there you have two very different takes on the challenges of making high schools co-ed.

Gakuen Prince 2

July 30, 2009

Jun Yuzuki – Del Rey – 2009 – 6+ volumes

I reviewed this title for this week’s Manga Minis column at Manga Recon, so check out the review over there.

This runs contrary to Papillon as being the most insane, trashy shoujo drama you can possibly think of, and I absolutely love every page of it.  Well, maybe love is a strong word.  My conscience screams at me as I read it in a way that it does only when I read, say, the Merry Gentry novels.  I know it’s terrible, and I know what’s going on is horrible, and I know that my brain is dying a little with every page.  But that doesn’t stop me from loving it dearly.

I also love the added touch of making all (?) the chapter titles relate to novels.  “The Sorrows of Young Rise Okitsu” and “Azusa Mizutani, or the Unbearable Lightness of Mind,” and “Noriko Fuwa – Perhaps a Vice Amply Rewarded” comically invoke de Sade, Kundera, and Goethe.  According to the notes, the chapters themselves have nothing to do with the novels, but the fact the references are there for no reason is pretty cool.  The fourth chapter in this book stumped me, though – “I’ll Leave You Without Hesitation.”

Gakuen Prince 1

June 1, 2009

I reviewed this for the Manga Recon, so you can check out my review over there.

Ahh, this was kind of a scary series where the students at a formerly all-girls school chase around the boys and have sex with them in groups, but it used a light touch, and it was also pretty funny about doing it, so I wasn’t horrified so much as I was fascinated.  Plus, you know, drama and taboo subjects always make for a more addictive shoujo manga.  You had me at hello, Gakuen Prince.  My review at Manga Recon mostly focuses on justifying the more gruesome aspects of the story, but I was totally sucked in after the first twenty pages.