Haruna Nagashima gave her all to softball in middle school, and now that she's made her high school debut she's decided to give her all for a new goal. Getting a boyfriend and falling in love!
However, she has one small problem. Since she never paid any attention to fashion or trend in middle school she has no idea how to go about attracting her yet-to-be-found love. But a chance encounter with with Yoh Komiyama provides her with the opportunity she needs. If he coaches her in how to become attractive, surely she can find herself a boyfriend!
Koukou Debut was published in English by VIZ Media under the Shojo Beat imprint in 13 volumes between January 31, 2008 and February 2, 2010; and again in 5 3-in-1 editions between February 4, 2014 and February 3, 2015.
The series was also adapted into a drama CD on June 10, 2005; a novel written by Kuramoto Yuu; and a Japanese live-action film adaptation on April 1, 2011.
The manga was a best-selling series during its publication in Japan and was well-received by critics in North America.
This is such an enjoyable manga in every way possible. The story is lighthearted, but not superficial nor dumb; it is a typical shoujo manga that should satisfy any fan of the genre, yet there's still a freshness to it that won't make you feel like you've already read this a thousand times before.
The story's premise is fairly simple. Haruna is a tomboyish girl who spent most of her junior high school involved in sports, and now that she's in high school, she wants to get a boyfriend and learn how to act and dress like a girl. The problem is, she has no idea how to do it. Even though she tries her best to follow magazine's advices and her own misguided intuition, it all ends in disaster.
By chance she meets Yoh Komiyama, an attractive guy who knows how to improve a girl's appearence to boost. Fortunately for Haruna, Yoh goes to her school, and after she begs a bit, he gives in and accepts to be her "coach" in the whole dressing-up/ dating deal.
I think that one of the most attractive aspects of this manga are the characters. They are all so interesting and well developed! Haruna is not the stereotypical shoujo heroine, even if by description she might sound like it. She's so naive, pure-hearted and clumsy, and yet so strong, determined and brave that you can't help but love her. Yoh seems like the typical cool, reluctantly popular hero, but he's endearingly honest, sharp and full of issues regarding relationships. The supporting characters are equally complex and charming and not just faces to help move the plot along.
The way the relationship between Haruna and Yoh develops and make them evolve and overcome their flaws is done with care and love for the characters, which is a bonus for this mangaka. She definitely knows her characters and never betrays their true nature.
As a conclusion, I can say that this story will make you laugh, get involved with it and leave you with a warm feeling when you've done reading each chapter.read more
Think She's All That meets My Fair Lady meets emo hottie! Haha, okay it's kind of hard to visualise all that. The story is touching because you feel so dearly for our heroine Haruna and love that she isn't clumsy, can lift 70Kg!, doesn't expect her boyfriend to come protect her, knows how to deal with jealous classmates and doesn't cry at every obstacle. The male lead was a bit well, unlikeable in my opinion but I suppose that's because he isn't a dashing Sir Lancelot like we've become accustomed to. He's equally shy and awkward when it comes to dating (though highly knowledgeable about the how to's and what to wear when), he's sweet and caring in a sort of uncommunicative manner, which is very realistic, and he always stands up for the heroine.
As far as the plot goes, I give full points to the mangaka for thinking up very innovative and realistic situations to immerse our couple into, from first kiss and it's after effects, to first date, first parent meeting, first overnight trip, even the first time Yoh steps outside his comfort zone. You really devour the manga because as it usual in shoujo, the couple aren't constantly kissing (even though I would have liked it if they did!), or caressing each other. In that respect, I think this is one very chaste couple! Almost any touch or physical intimacy is a big deal to both sides!
The story deals with real life routine very well. Each character is constantly changing clothes within one chapter which makes it very charming. The supporting cast, which I wouldn't exactly label 'supporting' as they are equally enchanting, are thought up carefully and very deliberately add to the main storyline. I particularly like Asaoka, Yoh's good friend and his quiet mirth. Unconventional issues such as an overbearingly possessive sister, a girl taking on the protector role, parting due to college and hoopla over a mistaken kiss are refreshingly introduced, which are disarmingly entertaining.
I think the best part of this story though lies in the fact that the couple did not fall in love at first sight (Though returning a shoe is a very novel premise!). They each saw appealing qualities in one another over time and love blossomed once friendship grew. That to me was very sincere. Of course the fact that the female lead wasn't a hopeless whimpering damsel is an added plus!
You have to love these personal unconsious habits characters remain loyal to. Yoh and his mother tend to itch their chin with the opposite hand often. Asami always hides her hands in long sleeves and I Haruna's expressions are ... priceless always, especially when she's repeatedly told not to fall in love with Yoh (rather PRESUMPTUOUS of him I think!)read more
Seldom have I read a long running shoujo manga that I've enjoyed so immensely. Everything from Koukou Debut from it's characters to it's art was really enjoyable for me!
The premise is simple, yet refreshing - Haruna, whom devoted all her time to softball in middle-school, wishes to get a boyfriend in high-school and lead a "normal" teenage girl's life. She bumps into Yoh, resident aloof hottie and teenage heartthrob, and gets him to be her "coach", but with the condition that she mustn't fall in love with him!
Although we all know that the condition will sooner or later be broken, Koukou Debut still manages to keep things fresh after that, from thrusting the unknowing couple into peculiar scenarios (and often to hilarious effect), to quieter scenes where they share their thoughts. The mangaka manages to make each character believable and lovable through their interactions and that I think is one of this manga's strong points!
On the down side though, some people will find certain scenes cheesy, although I personally feel there's a fine line between cliche and an "Awwwww that's so sweet" moment!
So if you're prepared to laugh your head off, squeal like an excited fangirl, and even feel tears well up in your eyes, then I definitely recommend you come on board the Koukou Debut emotional rollercoaster!read more
I have read 8 volumes of this title so far,so i thought i was good to write a review about it :)
Story:This is a typical high school comedy-romance with some small dramatic elements.The story is about a tomboish girl,Haruna ,that entering High School is decided to find a boyfriend,and thats when she meets Yo,a superpopular guy,with an 'eye' about this stuff,and asks him to be her trainer.It really is cliche as story,but enjoyful.As the story goes,the relationship between Yo and Haruna develops more and more.
Art:The art is good enough for a shoujo manga,but i have seen better.
I didnt like how the artist designs them with the mouth open sometimes for example,looked a bit unnatural.The eyes-design though is pretty good,and makes nice hair.
Character:That is the strong part of this series.The characters.
Haruna,the tomboy,masculine girl that was playing baseball in middle school and had no time for anything else.She is incredibly optimistic,good hearted,and naive.And when it comes to a hard situation,she always gives her best shot.Yo,is the popular pretty boy type as teh series start.He seems to have some bad experiences with girls in the past,and he seems that cant stand them.Besides that,he is incredibly smart,doesnt misunderstand serious situations,thing that happens to many shoujo manga,and has a good personality also.Their friends are also quite interesting characters too.
Enjoyment:There goes another 10.Because this manga is really enjoyful from first to last page.I cried and laughed in different parts of the story(ok i cried only once,i know that at the end of each volume all goes good :D ).I really couldnt stop reading it,i read all 8 volumes that were realesed there as fast as possible.And,i am still asking for more :)read more
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Ao Haru Ride is your standard shoujo series, featuring a gutsier-than-average heroine, a cold male lead and lots of unspoken words between them. It pulls at your heart strings and gives you a little window into the challenges of (Japanese) teenagers in their spring of youth.