High School Girls Vol. #03 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Released By: DrMaster
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 1-58899-202-0
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

High School Girls Vol. #03

By Eduardo M. Chavez     July 12, 2005
Release Date: May 01, 2005

High School Girls Vol.#03
© DrMaster

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

What They Say
Things begin to heat up as Erika and her gang continue to live out the autobiographical tale of Oshima's real life high school experiences. In this volume a seemingly average P.E. swim class, becomes a masculine workout for a brawny instructor, and a typical day out on the town is reduced to a boy-watching fetish! More adolescent turmoil, academic woes, and relationships hanging in the bitter balance as the girls take an extended break at the beach where the heat is not the only thing making them sweat.

The Review
Packaged in a B6 sized GN, High School Girls is printed in its original format, right-to-left. DrMaster basically used all of the Futabasha cover design concepts. On the front cover is a member of the Bakagun-dan (Idiot Army Corps) character Satoh Ayano in front a piece of blue tone panel art. The opposite cover features some more panel art in blue 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 the printing is not bad. DrMaster left in the original chapter headers and volume header. There are no extras outside of a one page 4-koma strip (4-panel manga strip) and there are no ads in this volume.

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 and they are improving. I was initially surprised by how stale they were but Oshima seems to have picked up on how to best integrate the elite private high school to show off the high class world 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 and there are some the most gratuitous crotch shots and camel-toes I have seen in older teen rated manga (all done purposely to highlight the raunchiness of all girl high school life from the mangaka's personal experiences).

One thing I noticed has happened since DrMaster picked up some of ComicsOne's titles is how the translations have continued to improve. I believe this volume was free of major errors, which is something to applaud. DrMaster has also dome well with how they keep some of the original jokes intact. They might sound strange but they are often dissected in the gutters. 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 DrMaster 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)
Summer is around the corner again and with summer comes some of the most potentially horrifying moments of a high school girl’s life. There are times when being a regular high school is not good enough for most. More and more young ladies must live up to an ideal that few of them can achieve easily. Instead young ladies have to transform themselves into an image that they know is unnatural, difficult to maintain properly and for some impossible to attain. Yet every year young women continue to struggle with this and many may feel they have no other option than to conform. Eriko is going to conform. She has resolved to take on the pain and mental anguish that could come from her decision. She knows that her body and mind will be put to the test and whatever the whim of her comrades she must accept to reach this ideal she hopes for. She will have to this with the help of her closest friends because there is no one else she can share a traumatic moment like this with.Ayano must quickly take on the challenge herself dependent on the situation to keep up with the norms. To Ayano not conforming is to embarrassing to consider. The risk she takes could have backfired but that was a risk she willing to take. For Ayano the stakes are pretty high. She already has someone very important to share her youth with. To keep him active in her life she feels she must develop herself. However, if she feels she must do all that she might not be ready for it all.Kouda-chan's summer is the start to the road to her future. She has to take this chance to make a name for herself. While she needs the support of her friends, she also has to separate herself from her friends to create her individual personality. It runs in her family so hopefully her dreams will come true.After this summer, there is only one left. Once they return to school their high school careers will be half over. They must make the best of the little time they have left together before it is too late! Cause college is a completely other manga series all together.

The secret life of high school girls are revealed in what has to be the most brutally honest manga I have ever read. Oshima digs into her personal experiences to create stories that are humorous and so easy to relate to they are often twice as funny.

When I first started reading this series, I immediately fell in love with how honest it is. The level of crudeness and raunchy behavior exhibited from the halls of an all girls’ high school was too much for me to ignore. I was just smitten. Now I am hooked for a few more reasons, for Oshima has stealthily been able to change this series from a slightly episode comedy to a slice of life dramedy. Moreover possibly one of the better slice of life stories I have read in a while. It is her unique perspective, where she takes her own simple life and presents moments that are very complex full of questions to be asked, problems to be solved and fun to be had.

Best of all it is told from the perspective of a cast of nobodies. No one is an idol, though some of them want to be. None of them is uniquely talented or smart, but they are quite inventive and curious. One of them is rich, but she seems to be the brunt of most of the jokes. This is as normal as normal can be. It is slice of life from the biggest slice of the pie and that is why it is so easy to relate to. I can give this to my girlfriend and she can laugh at the feminine hygiene jokes. I can hand this off to the fan service freaks, whose noses bleed with each camel toe. And in the end I can read this series and I can remember the random times I shared with my friends in high school. That is important to me and that I why I have to go back to this series and why I recommend it to everyone.


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