Here is a small review of recent series I've read recently. I'll probably have these every once in awhile in between other postings. Hopefully I won't do too badly, lol!
I'll probably be mostly reviewing shoujo manga since that's what I've been reading lately. First up, High School Debut!
title: High School Debut (aka Koukou Debut)
author: Kazune Kawahara
genre: romantic comedy, drama
plot summary: "Haruna Nagashima gave her all to softball in middle school, now that she has made her high school debut, she has decided to give her all for a new goal: getting a boyfriend and falling in love. However, she has one small problem—since she never paid any attention to fashion or trends in middle school, she has no idea how to go about attracting her yet-to-be-found love. But a chance encounter with the popular Yoh Komiyama provides her with the opportunity she needs. If he coaches her in how to become attractive, surely she can find herself a boyfriend. He agrees to coach Haruna after her great persistence but on one condition: she mustn't fall in love with him." -- Wikipedia
I have a little bit of a bias toward this series since it's one I really like a lot. I've read it multiple times and still get enjoyment out of it. The overall story is good with the travails of a formerly athletic (and a little bit dorky) girl who tries to change her image once she enters high school.
The characters are very likable, in particular the main character of Haruna. She's not drop dead gorgeous or perfect. She's very much flawed and insecure, but her earnestness and general personality make it that you want to root for her.
The artwork is pretty decent. I will admit I've seen better rendered characters, but it's pretty pleasing and the characters are very distinct, and you can tell the characters apart pretty easily. Normally I tend to be a bit of an art snob when it comes to manga. If the story is good, yet the art is terrible, I don't tend to read it. Manga is a very visual medium, and if it's not pleasing to the eye, then it's difficult to read. At least for me.
There are a total of 13 volumes, all of which have been released in English by Viz Media. The volumes are difficult to find in bookstore since the series has been finished for awhile, but they can all be found on Amazon.
Instead of being made into an anime like the majority of manga tends to be, this series was adapted into a live action movie. Now, I've seen the movie, and despite a few minor changes here and there, I enjoyed it and found it to be cute.
So I highly recommend this series if you like a nice fun and cute story with humor and a touch of drama.