Taiga Shishio, the Student Council President, is a notorious tyrant. And yet, the only person that can stop him is his faithful Vice President Momoko. School, love, and trouble collide in this amazing story of student leadership!
Hyakujuu Kingdom created that rare and hitherto unknown conflict in me. Do I rate it based on how I was revolted with the underlying theme creating some unnaturally misogynist personalities or am I obligated to rate it according to the story and the characters and the development of the premise? I'll let you know when I figure that one out!
The premise is interesting enough. A delinquent type Kaichou (student council president) is basically making life miserable for most of the student body but is grudgingly tolerated for practical reasons by the staff and school. Enter female foil who pulls his ego trip down a notch
or two... or at the very least tries her best to. Let's see how they both handle the trials and tribulations at a high school in a violent neighborhood and an entire school at unrest with the autocratic indulgent dictator. Can their clashing personalities actually end up helping the school or will they ride into the proverbial sunset fangs bared and punches flying?
It's not a run of the mill premise, but it's not terribly original either. PUH-lenny of manhwas and romances are based on such initial plots. 'Course this discord normally ends within the first two chapters, so in this mangaka's defense, she dutifully follows her plot through till the end. Did it create something enjoyable for the reader? Not for me no. I personally didn't love how the heroine was constantly having to "understand" this moronic despot's perspective, even though her compliance clearly came after much arm twisting. Apparently by the end of the volume, she's made considerable difference in the student council but I didn't see any. Bottom line, feminist or even slightly righteous female readers will definitely develop a bit of hatred for the male lead in the first chapter which carries forward.
Art... Aah the very reason one picks up any of Tagaki-sama's works. She knows how to appeal to the next generation of shoujo lovers. She knows how to draw the smexy bishies without making them girly or butch. And their eyes! Zoowie Mama! Orgasmic truly. I don't expect a single disgruntled fan as far as the art goes. She's a whiz at her expressions (and she had a nice niche of expressions to work with here) as well as body movements. I couldn't make much out of the "action" shots, but maybe I don't have an active enough imagination for that stuff. Clean panels and interesting costumes.
Characters... Now she's tried to be original here in making her shoujo lead surprisingly strong willed, but the reader needs more than a girl screaming herself hoarse, we need to see consequent results too... Alas you'll be disappointed there. Others than the leads, both of whom are mediocre at best, four chapters don't much allow for secondary character development, but one of them is given a bit of a personality, even if it is that of a stereotypical skirt chaser.
I expected Momoko to kick ass, drag some boys around by the collar, bang down a door or two or at the very least punch (or bite!) some wrongdoer, but maybe I hoped for too much. She stays introspective and wistful at best. Whatever little internal monologue exists, is dull.
Enjoyment. If you haven't figured it out till now, YOU'RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION! I couldn't get past my hang ups of Momoko being treated like a troublesome accessory and the narcissistic kaichou not getting what he deserved (A swift kick to the gonads). But if these issues don't rank high with you, you may enjoy the occasional humor and sporadic chemistry between the leads. It's not liberally sprinkled though. Almost all the chapters follow one pattern and don't offer much in way of progression.
Overall, I recommend this to readers who don't invest emotionally in the leads, and if you're in the mood to see an obnoxious boy and his trouble making posse run amok. If you're a fan of Takagi Shigeyoshi, this title lacks her trademark tingling romance and lighthearted feel good factor. If you still insist on a fix, tread carefully. PS, I'm a romance enthusiast and perhaps the severe lack of doki doki in the story may have somewhat marred by opinion.
Oneshot: Bitter Trap
Nanao is a formerly rich well bred girl, whose family has fallen on hard times. So when a marriage proposal from a prestigious family shines a ray of hope in her father's destitute business, she's pushed into attending. But she may just have an agenda of her own to meet with Yoshito, the groom to be, as well. HINT It's not to seduce him, has nothing to do with his dashing looks but everything to do with their limited interactions at high school together.
*Rubs hands together* Looks like it has all the makings of a delicious feisty quick read.
Very well executed in the limited space provided. Surprising twists and turns keep the jaded reader going "Whoaa", while it doesn't try overly hard to be iconoclastic. The heroine has enough brains and gall to show a spoiled and distrusting kid who's boss and how she won't be pushed around! The bishie in his turn knows how to distinguish a gold digger from a koibito (sweetheart) and really creates swoon-worthy moments whenever he lets his guard down or whenever he gets truly dazzled by the heroine's charm. Which is often. Plenty of crazy scenes and one liners to impress the toughest critic, do yourself a favor and definitely read this. A+++
Most of my review is for the second story of this manga Bitter Trap. I had written one before but something weird happened so I'm reposting it here. The rating mostly comes from Bitter Trap.
I will make a small comment on the first story though. It was pretty good. Of course you've got the bad boy in position of power and the good girl subordinate. The artwork is good and the story is a good read. So check it out!
On to my original review--Bitter Trap
The story line is pretty common--damaged rich boy hurts poor girl, girl wants revenge. Although
it isn't too clear that her revenge is fulfilled on first reading. However, if you look a little further you can somewhat see it. A little more development in that area would have made it easier to understand.
Don't get me wrong this isn't a whole back and forth revenge thing. The male lead, Yoshito's, brothers add humor to our constantly picked on heroine who is strong willed, honest and fun, while at the same time being soft and sympathizing. Instead of giving in to Yoshito's distrusts she pushes and challenges him, a welcome relief from this genre's wilty heroines.(the ones I've been reading lately seem to have the helpless, naive girl syndrome)
I can't comment too much on the art, in one cel the body position looked awkward but all in all I enjoyed looking at everyone and everything. The drawings are simple with clean lines and a clear picture.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story and really liked how the end was presented, it suited the story and the characters.
I would have loved to see this as more than a one shot.