Nadouki Koujima fun, just a little darker and a little more explicit.
Writer/Artist: Naduki Koujima
Translation: Sachiko Sato
Adaptation: Sachiko Sato
What They Say
It's the renowned Great Place Academy, home of the most famous, most terrifying student council president, Rin Amanohara, and vice-president, Eichi Shidoh. Is there anyone - within the school or without - brash enough to oppose them!? That's what's been bothering Amanohara lately, with the emergence of the information processing group, whose members are independently organized. Every day they meet it's like a rebellion. But even there, the fires of love find ways to ignite. And how will this partnership progress as a secret love grows bolder?
This volume really shows off the new look that DMP is giving its volumes. Gone is the ugly pink band that disgraced the bottom horizontal edge, replaced by a vertical band with an elaborately cursive identifier done up in colors complimentary to the color scheme of the cover drawing. And what a attractive cover it is with black and a multitude of grays set of by a dusty pink. DMP's recent covers have been vastly improved over previous offerings, but this is the best yet. However, nothing has changed inside. The print quality is still good and on a quality paper. Sfx are subbed unobtrusively. There is an author after word and the expected slew of advertisements.
Chibis have always been a large part of Naduki Koujima's work, and it's hard to believe that she could have improved on them but she has. They're cuter and sassier with more energy and greater range of emotion than in previous works. However, praise-worthy her artwork is overall, Koujima's drawing has a small negative in her character designs. With her style so distinctive and her character count high, the differentiation between characters may be minor and difficult to distinguish at times. The slight temporary confusion is a small price to pay for so much fun.
Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Well, let's put some possible confusion to rest. Yes, DMP/June has already released Nadouki Koujima's Great Place High School. This single volume centered on the introduction of sweet, naive and clueless Minami Wakamatsu to GPHS and his involvement in the Information Management Club that he joined, not out of any real interest in computers, but that the fact that they seduced him to join with candy. The Information Management Club, barely maintaining its club status with the inclusion of marginally interested members, is headed by Ryouichi Tsuruga, a sober, serious and dedicated sophomore, who is much put upon by his twin, Naruhito, also a member, a narcissist with a brother complex. Also in the IMC are Kotone and Suzune, cousins who are referred to as the "twins" due to unusual circumstances in their relationship. The tender and fearful Suzune, most put-upon by Kotone in a fashion that is so familiar to Kojima readers, is a member of the IMC for one reason only - to be near Kumatsuzura sempai, a senior enamored of all that is cute and the source of goodies that Minami covets. Hovering in the background with an influence inversely proportional to their page time are Rin Amanohara and Eichi Shidou, president and vice president of the Student Council, a duo whose dictates leave not only their fellow students in fear but gain them some watchful respect from teachers as well. But no matter how ominous and creepy their behavior, their machinations are always played for laughs.
In Great Place High School: Student Council, Naduki Kojima makes Rin and Eichi the focus and in doing so introduces a darker and slightly more sexually explicit relationship with her characters than we have previously seen, something that would be difficult to accomplish had Minami and the IMC remained the focus. As in GPSH, there's a lot of funny business, literally and otherwise, but in exploring the relationship between Rin and Eichi, often in flashback, there is a seriousness that takes over and the good natured malice of GPHS loses some of its playfulness and becomes darker. However, this is still primarily a comedy and the IMC is still around in force as fodder for the pair's sadistic activities .
GPHS:SC is a nice change up for Kojima. It's good to see her take up the challenge of a more emotionally complicated relationship along with a bit more graphic explicitness than we have come to expect from her Koujima fans will appreciate the new direction . Those new to her work will find no barrier to appreciating this volume, but I do recommend reading Great Place High School. It provides a lot more background on the IMC and its relationship with Rin and Eichi, and it's funny. Also recommended is Naduki Kojima's multi-volume Our Kingdom, an ongoing series that shows off her unique sense of humor and her skill at the longer story format.