Haruna is a former soft ball star who’s decided she’s had enough of sports. It’s her first year of high school and she’s focusing all her efforts on snagging herself a boyfriend. The first page of the manga has her dressed up and waiting at the school’s notorious “pick up spot”, and not a single guy hits on her. In the tradition of nutty romance plot lines, Haruna decides to hire herself a dating coach to teach her how to get her milkshake to bring all the boys to her yard.
Her love coach is Yoh, a slightly emo upperclassmen who’s too cool to care how popular he is and too traumatized by love to realize that he’s into Haruna. He spends most of the first couple issues of the story telling Haruna how annoying she is while he takes her shopping and follows her around on her dates to text advice. I hate to admit it, but I’m into the brooding jerk hero type, so I really like Yoh’s character. It feels rewarding when Haruna manages to squeeze a few drops of emotion out of him, and in terms of cartoon drawings of men, damn he fine.
High School Debut is a flawlessly drawn, fun to read shojo manga. If you’re into manga, then little things like characters flaking out on each other, over or under reacting to things, and a lot of passive female characters aren’t going to bug you. Speaking of the later, I’m all about Strong Female Characters, don’t get me wrong, but it’s fun to put myself in the head of a character who’s so completely opposite of me. Another great thing about High School Debut are the author’s notes in each issue. If you read manga, then you know what I’m talking about: in each issue, there’s a small margin on the left page where the author writes completely random stuff, and the author of High School Debuts’ notes were particularly hilarious to me as she used them to sort of passively insult her sister’s parenting. Classic!
Anyway, yes, High School Debut. It’s a charming read and it will lighten your day. Definitely the kind of book you want chilling in your purse for lunch breaks and long lines. Check it out it if you love a good, fluffy romance.