Can the super-serious Shindou convince tough delinquent Yousuke to show a bit of his softer side?
Writer/Artist: Kazuhiko Mishima
Translation: Ken Wakita
Adaptation: Ken Wakita
What They Say
Shindo has just transferred into an extremely individualistic school. The ideal honor student, Shindo appears to sparkle with his perfect poise and presence. Yosuke, on the other hand, is the school delinquent preferring to spend his time hanging out on the school roof. But, Yosuke has a dark secret. The stereotypical tsundere, he may appear hostile on the outside, but his gruff hides a very sensitive interior - an interior that Shindo is determined to uncover!
DMP's books look fantastic, and this is no exception. The print and paper quality aren't the best they're capable of, but the lines are still sharp, with nice, deep blacks. The dust jacket is an excellent touch, as always. The cover on this volume is more than slightly busy and full of color, but it works surprisingly well.
The art here is heavy on the sharp, crisp lines, very precise and clean. Other than some screentone, shading is limited to hatching with those same crisp lines. It's a look that works very well, even with the relatively basic page layouts. The character designs are nicely distinct, especially the side characters. The character eyes especially are very well done - this is a nice looking book, no doubt.
All sound effects are subtitled on the page in a font similar to the original. The translation flows smoothly without any notable rough spots.
Yousuke is a tough delinquent at a school that isn't exactly known for being in the academic top ten. But when clean, studious, and entirely too literal Shindou transfers in (it's the closest school, so it's only logical! For very strange definitions of logic.), he finds his world turned upside down. Shindou firsts declares that they must be friends, despite Yousuke's strenuous objection, and then decides that he'll tutor him as well. Yousuke's thoughts on the matter appear to be entirely irrelevant.
Or are they? Despite Yousuke's rather vocal objections to Shindou's every action, he seems to actually like the attention, but buries his feelings rather than admitting them even to himself. When Shindou comes over and confesses his love out of nowhere, rather than rejecting him, Yousuke finds himself unexpectedly taken aback by Shindou's show of weakness, and the two wind up together.
Of course, there has to be a rival, in the form of Yuki - in the same grade, but cute, clean-cut, and absolutely determined to be Shindou's friend. Yousuke, convinced that Yuki is out to get Shindou, gets jealous and does his best to keep the two of them apart, but Shindou is kind of like a force of nature, and agrees to be Yuki's friend. As if that weren't enough, Yousuke also has to deal with Shindou's family - how can a delinquent like him possibly live up to their expectations? Comedy and tragedy abound.
In "Sensei," Mimori's teacher is attractive, but he's usually fairly harsh and cold. When Mimori finds him crying one day and discovers that he had just been dumped by another man, he finds himself drawn more and more to him, and makes it his goal to make his teacher smile. But somehow, something else might be growing between them.
Shindou sparkles. For some reason, that was one of the things that made this so very funny - his deadpan declarations, complete with sparkles, were just so absurd that I couldn't help but laugh. Yousuke isn't really a reader-proxy character, but it's easy to empathize with his reactions anyway. Shindou is supposed to be "normal," but he's really anything but. And Yousuke's two friends as the delinquent Greek chorus were just funny. There were some fantastic scenes and panels, both in the main story and in the second story in the book, that brought this up from strictly average to something more memorable. Still, it's not the best thing out there, and there were more than a few flaws that I could spend hours picking apart. Really, this book had nothing going for it but a bizarre sort of humor, some surprisingly effective (if not particularly realistic) characterization, and a heavy dose of the absurd. But sometimes that's enough. This is a light, enjoyable read that isn't necessarily high art, but is definitely fun.