What's a guy to do when he attends an all boys' school that's next to an all girls' school? Especially when the girl he likes attends that same all girls' school? Form a strategy, make friends in high places, and concentrate on running.
Many realistic portrayals of high school life involve bullying, isolation and in the end a very distressful experience. Yet, I have never experienced that. You can say I'm lucky, but there are people who have a great experience in high school because of their classmates and friends that are around them.
Going to an all boys' boarding school can really suck, especially when it comes to relationships. It's so hard to get girls because whenever you get a chance, you have to make the decision at that instant otherwise you'll probably lose it. You won't get it back because it's rare for you to ever see that girl again unless you make it happen. When I was in an all boys' school, we always complained about how unfortunate we were because there were no girls in our school We felt as if we were probably missing out on the most important thing of our high school life. Yet after 2 years of leaving that school and entering a co-ed to finish up my high school life, there is no doubt in my mind that I was the happiest in that boys' school.
I was actually taken aback by how perfect Akizuki got the little details of boys in an boys' schools that I had to check if this mangaka was actually a girl. I felt like I was remembering the loud shouting of Uemuram, the perfect teasing done by Nogami, the joy of getting free periods and that group of friends playing mahjong in the back of the class. The way the boys interacted with girls was also spot on. There are so many times I see a girl in the middle of the street and get absolutely obsessed for no reason and keep thinking about her for days. When you're in a boys' school, its just so easy to get obsessed. Falling in love at first sight is such a common occurrence. Then, at the rare chance you see the girl more then once, she immediately becomes that special someone that you think of all the time even if you've never talked to her. Those Madonna jokes, they brought back memories of when my friends and I nicknamed practically any girl who came close to anyone. We had tons of embarrassing names. And finally, the confessions are just perfect. For boys who have no experience with girls, the best way to prepare for a confession is to make an utter fool of yourself before you confess, that way, you can't go back because you've already embarrassed yourself. I actually found it a bit ironic that this manga is aimed for girls when I can see so many things that only boys would really get.
Yet, it's not like this manga doesn't have something for everyone. When I think about my life, one of the biggest things I regret is spending my last year of my high school life in a school I really don't feel a connection to. Seishun Kouryakuhon is a scenario which I would have loved to have, a group of friends trying to enjoy their last year in high school even though they future of exams and university is stressing them. It's a scary year, especially for the students experiencing it, because you really don't know what's going to happen in the future. Still, you're students and you don't want to think like that, so you use exams to distract yourself. Yet, those little moments when you fail to keep those hidden feelings inside really bring out some of the most saddest emotions of nostalgia. When you have friends that are this great to you, it really is hard to leave them, but they are also the reason you can get through those emotions and move on. This is why despite all the uncertainty and anticipation the characters have, there is a cheerful atmosphere which is the dominant emotion portrayed.
I do have some minor issues though many of it is due to personal opinions rather then quality. For example, I wanted a bit more romance, especially since the first chapter was one of the cutest short romance story I've ever read. Meeting a girl everyday through a window was very realistic but definitely very cute at the same time. However, it is understandable because they are in their last school year which is a bad time to get in a relationship. I liked the characters too, they were realistic and acted similar to boys in a boys' school. I can easily see myself becoming friends with any of them. The way they were developed was also interesting as each boy was a narrator for one chapter, and it would switch to another boy in the next chapter. It was a great way to really understand each of their feelings of their last year at school.
Seishun Kouryakuhon is by no means written to be a happy story but instead a story you never want to forget because even the sad parts of the story are important. It is through the hardships that the four friends go through that they realize how fortunate they are to have such friends. It's a realistic portrayal about growing up, and one of the more life changing years that every schoolchild must face. To those who have not yet reached that year, it serves as a reminder of how special everyone is around you and the fact that saying goodbye to them is quite possible. To those who have already passed that year, it serves as a nostalgic memory of the good times many of us had in high school. read more
Seishun Kouryakuhon is a really well done slice of life about friendship and I just finished it and saw it had no reviews yet.
It is by the mangaka of Akagami no Shirayukihime.
I am giving it a 10 because of the strength of the characterization and depth of feeling in the story.
Overall I would say it is about an 8.5 to 9.
It is basically about the strong ties of friendship that can be made in high school and in this all guys high school it is more so, since they are more like cheering each other on rather than competing with each other. They are real "buds" or "bros". They push each other to make confessions to girls they like, they encourage each other in clubs and on tests. They are not jerks - there are no characters in it that I can't stand either.
I have found that often shoujos with male main characters can be really quite good.
I was glad that the writer wrote about friendship and did not cheapen it as so many writers do as the way to get readers.
There is no bl or smut in it, just friendship and nostalgia.
I wanted to read it because I have been reading Akagami no Shirayukihime by the same mangaka and I really like her characters in that too.
This writer does an excellent job with characterization and writing a character driven story, so you remember them like friends you have met. Rather than just being dazzled by some plot, it is more like her stories come alive because of the characters themselves and their personalities. So if you like stories with really well developed characters that drive the story, give it a shot.
The art is good but not great and the story itself is not plot driven.
If you are in the mood for a good story about friendship itself and want a nice slice of life - give this a read. read more