High School Girls Vol. #02 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Released By: DrMaster
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 206
  • ISBN: 1-58899-201-2
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

High School Girls Vol. #02

By Eduardo M. Chavez     February 19, 2005
Release Date: February 01, 2005

High School Girls Vol.#02
© DrMaster

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Oshima Towa
Translated by:Michiko Nakayama
Adapted by:

What They Say
In this second volume of High School Girls, the trio and new "insider" friend Kouda deliver more all girls school growing pains. When dieting becomes a major preoccupation, the girls discover that sex burns calories best, and so engage in "pretend" positions with one another to peel away the fat! This volume's climax escalates when Yuma's lovely little sister arrives at school. But this little girl, who seems so innocent, has devious plans to wreck Yuma's friendships... And no one wants to believe it!

The Review
Packaged in a B6 sized GN, High School Girls is printed in its original format, right-to-left. ComicsOne basically used all of the original cover design concepts. On the front cover is a member of the Baka-gundan (Idiot Army Corps) character Suzuki Yuma, with pink tone panel art on the background. The opposite cover features some more panel art in pink tone, beneath a short volume description. Inside the printing is pretty good for most of the GN. Pages that were once originally in color are not so clean, though. This is a problem with many studios that scan their manga, instead of using digital files or original plates (lots of bleeding and the penciling is almost non-existent). Fortunately I did not notice any alignment problems, so overall a decent printing job. ComicsOne left in the original chapter headers. ComicsOne includes a staff listing and an extra side-story manga called Daichi's Melancholy (starring Eriko's brother Daichi).

Character designs are very cute. Drawn to scale and at normal proportions, these girls look really like healthy high school freshmen even though this initially ran in a seinen magazine known for busty designs. Characters have a great deal of variety in their designs, with varied body types, hairstyles and color, and personalized school uniforms. What I really liked is how there are so many different personalities that match the designs: sporty, genki, high fashion, trendy and plain Jane. This even involves the adults as well, so the entire cast looks as fun as their personalities are. Backgrounds are okay. In all truth they are pretty stale, and apart from a few pages here and there they are rarely given much detail. Normally I would not mind too much but with the main characters making a fuss about Yamasaki Girls being elite private high school I would have thought the mangaka would try to show it off more. The layout makes up for the backgrounds. Character placement especially can be pretty fun, but overall
Oshima shows a lot of variety with panel placement and size, and interactive perspective (that would be better suited for action manga but works well with comedy as well).

I wanted to also note that this volume does have some frontal nudity - bosoms. There is some sexual innuendo - girl on girl dieting - and there are some gratuitous crotch shots and camel-toes (all done purposely to highlight the raunchiness of all girls high school life from the mangaka's personal experiences).

Over the past year ComicsOne's translations have been better and better but they continue to have problems with typos and the occasional syntax error. Fortunately, they do not come as frequently as they used to so they are not too distracting but ComicsOne's history of errors is frustrating. What C1 does well with this title is how they keep some of the original jokes intact. Most of the nicknames have not been changed and they use notes here and there to describe items/concepts unique to Japanese culture. SFX are all translated. With this series ComicsOne has used a mix of subs and overlays. This concept works but it is not very consistent.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Aside from blood relations, nothing is stronger than a good friendship. Good friends are always there in times of need and there is little that remains hidden from them long. Good friends tend to know each other almost as well as the individuals know themselves. They take pride in their closeness, but also respect their independence... Until it only hurts the friendship, that is.

Something like a relationship on the side would do it. Not only do those take time away from friends, but also sometimes people might end up ignoring their needs for they do not have the support system that covered that. There are times when people might end up living a different away from their friends. Sometimes that could lead to personal growth; then there are times when people lie to themselves for their new relationships.

Ayano has a boyfriend and she is ecstatic. Her friends are not so happy; they want payback. They want to meet this guy. They want him to get their approval. They want him to hook them up with guys. They want him to make a woman of their precious friend. What does Ayano want? Who cares! She has a boyfriend; she should shut up and listen to her boyfriend-less friends for advice on how to keep him!

Friends are at their best as a support system. They are there for help when their friends need advice, assistance and moral support. If someone needs help making a special valentine gift, a friend will be there. If someone needs help with a diet, a friend will be there. If the diet calls for sexual activity, a friend will be there! If a friend needs assistance with cheating on a test or two, one will be there! If a friend needs to sneak out of school for lunch, there will be friends waiting at the ramen stand at noon ready to plan how to sneak back in. Never underestimate the power of a true friend; they are all knowing and stupid enough to do anything.

Ahhhh, yet another high school comedy hitting our already crowded shelves. What is the catch this time? Sports action, gender-bending, detective thriller, intergalactic fighting battalion or is it teenage gang romp through the alleys of Tokyo… The answer is none of the above.

High School Girls does not use any popular gimmicks. It is not set in the distant future or in the Meiji Era. High School Girls focuses on normal high school girls and their issues growing up. This volume in particular zeroes in on the strength of friendship amongst high school girls. Friendship, how it benefits people, its power and the few downfalls it brings is all presented with so much honesty that the mangaka admits to have based these stories from her youth. Being a high school girl can be full of elegance and charm, but there will also be times when it will mean silliness, desperation and self-destruction. Getting to see both equally from Towa-sensei’s perspective has made this a series I impatiently wait for.


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