English: High School Debut
Synonyms: Osananajimi wa Gakunenchou, Enren Debut, Koukou Debut Enrenhen
Published: Aug 13, 2003 to Jul 11, 2008
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, School, Shoujo, Slice of Life
Authors: Kawahara, Kazune (Story & Art)
I really enjoyed this manga!
I was captivated from the first chapter~ Koukou Debut will fill you with tears from laughter and warm your hearts!
This is such an enjoyable manga in every way possible. The story is lighthearted, but not superficial nor dumb; it is a typical shoujo manga that should satisfy any fan of the genre, yet there's still a freshness to it that won't make you feel like you've already read this a thousand times before.
The story's premise is fairly simple. Haruna is a tomboyish girl who spent most of her junior high school involved in sports, and now that she's in high school, she wants to get a boyfriend and learn how to act and dress like a girl. The problem is, she has no idea how to do it. Even though she tries her best to follow magazine's advices and her own misguided intuition, it all ends in disaster.
By chance she meets Yoh Komiyama, an attractive guy who knows how to improve a girl's appearence to boost. Fortunately for Haruna, Yoh goes to her school, and after she begs a bit, he gives in and accepts to be her "coach" in the whole dressing-up/ dating deal but with a catch, she should not fall for him.
As far as the plot goes, I give full points to the mangaka for thinking up very innovative and realistic situations to immerse our couple into, from first kiss and it's after effects, to first date, first parent meeting, first overnight trip, even the first time Yoh steps outside his comfort zone. You really devour the manga because as it usual in shoujo, the couple aren't constantly kissing (even though I would have liked it if they did!), or caressing each other. In that respect, I think this is one very chaste couple! Almost any touch or physical intimacy is a big deal to both sides!
The way the relationship between Haruna and Yoh develops and make them evolve and overcome their flaws is done with care and love for the characters, which is a bonus for this mangaka. She definitely knows her characters and never betrays their true nature.
I think that one of the most attractive aspects of this manga are the characters. They are all so interesting and well developed! Haruna is not the stereotypical shoujo heroine, even if by description she might sound like it. She's so naive, pure-hearted and clumsy, and yet so strong, determined and brave that you can't help but love her. Yoh seems like the typical cool, reluctantly popular hero, but he's endearingly honest, sharp and full of issues regarding relationships. The supporting characters are equally complex and charming and not just faces to help move the plot along.
The art, although very reminiscent of shoujo-type art, is very rough. As with all manga, the art improves as the story goes along, however, I feel the art actually worsens once you hit the last few chapters. Character designs seem really rough and incomplete at times, but I assume that's to be expected with 40+ page releases every month.
As a conclusion, I can say that this story will make you laugh, get involved with it and leave you with a warm feeling when you've done reading each chapter.