High School Debut Volume 3 (amazon)
High School Debut continues to be one of my favorite new shoujo series. Although most shoujo manga series often seem to blend into each other due to the reliance on recycled plots and character types, there are enough unique twists in High School Debut to keep me interested.
One of the things I think is amusing is the character design for the male lead, Yoh. I’m not sure what he’s doing to keep himself up late at night, but he perpetually has bags under his eyes.
I was expecting Haruna’s silent crush on Yoh to be spread out over several volumes, but the third one moves things right along. She eventually confesses her feelings to him and they embark on a unique kind of romance. Since neither of them have really dated before, they have no idea what to do now that they’re boyfriend and girlfriend. Although Yoh was perfectly capable of serving as a coach to improve Haruna’s outward appearance and mannerisms he never bothered to date much himself because he found girls so annoying.
Yoh and Haruna struggle a bit dealing with what the conventional expectations for a couple are. They try activities like going to the movies or visiting the seaside, but Haruna never acts like a conventional girlfriend. Yoh offers to read a bunch of Haruna’s manga in order to take notes on what a proper boyfriend would do, and Haruna rents some classic romance movies to see some examples of couples in love.
A shoujo staple plot line is used when girls start to bully Haruna at school, but she deals with the situation in such a forthright and confident manner that I didn’t mind reading again a storyline I’ve seen in plenty of other shoujo series. High School Debut continues to be an engaging read.