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February 1, 2010

Bento Bako Weekly: Great Place High School Student Council vol. 1

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Written by: Kristin
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Title: Great Place High School Student Council
Author: Naduki Koujima
Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing, on their Juné imprint
Volume: This is a sequel to Great Place High School, which was a collection of four-panel comic strips involving the school’s Information Management Club.  This is the first volume centered on the Student Council, and uses more full story chapters rather than four-panel strips (though it has some of that too!).  It is the first volume of an ongoing series in Japan.  $12.95
Vintage: Published in Japan as separate chapters starting in 2006, bound as a volume in 2008, and published by DMP in America in the fall of 2009.
Genre: Yaoi (18+), romantic comedy, a touch of drama

Supposedly this series is meant to focus more on the Student Council, but there’s a pretty even spread between the time spent on the Student Council President and Vice President, and the Information Management Club.  I haven’t seen the first series, so I can’t speak on the difference, but the main plot elements at least center on “Sir” Student Council President Rin Amanohara and “Sir” Student Council Vice-President Eichi Shidou.

The story picks up right after the Information Management Club miraculously won the club vs. club ball game.  Club President Ryouichi Tsuruga has just been informed by Rin and Eichi that his club now falls under the jurisdiction of the Student Council.  No one wants to be under the control of the tyrannical Student Council, including the other members of the club – Kotone Kimura (who also happens to be Secretary of the Student Council), his cousin (by their twin mothers who married unrelated men with the same name) Suzune Kimura (a space filler), Haruki “Kuma” Kumatsuzura (a tough looking guy with a soft spot for cute things), Ryouichi’s twin brother Naruhito Tsuruga (a narcissist with a rather unhealthy brother complex), and energetic (and the object of Ryouichi’s affections) Minami Wakamatsu (who loves to eat sweets).  But under the thumb of the Student Council they will be; they’re given no choice at all.  Why the Student Council wants this is never made clear (at least not in this volume), though it would seem they want someone around to do their dirty work.

There was another outcome of the ball game.  Eichi made a bet with Rin, and won.  The result was that Rin had to tell Eichi he loved him in a satisfactory way…which is proving more difficult than Rin imagined.  The plot that divulges from this explores the childhood relationship between the two friends – Rin’s difficulties after his family went bankrupt, and Eichi’s rescue of him.  Essentially Eichi wants Rin to confess to him in the innocent way he did when they were younger.  But twisted, traumatizing events have since occurred, and Rin is not the same person he used to be.  Their relationship is actually rather complicated, given that Eichi’s family destroyed Rin’s in the first place.

An example of the gag panels in the first volume of Great Place High School Student Council.

This volume also explores the relationship between the Kimura cousins, which is a little weird given that they were raised as brothers.  Their mothers are twins, who married two unrelated men with the same last name; the boys were born on the same day, and their families live next door to each other.  Kotone behaves very much like an older brother, but for the obvious exception that he wants to screw Suzune.  If that isn’t enough, the two main adults in the story, science teacher and supervisor of the IMC Goro Igarashi and school nurse and Student Council supervisor Dai Igarashi, are also in a relationship, though it’s a little one-sided (on Goro’s part; by the way, they’re not related).

Here is my problem with this book (and other similar stories).  I cannot create a “suspension of disbelief” strong enough to make me buy into the fact that an all-boys school is full of all-gay boys.  And teachers, too.  Even the young friend of Kuma’s little sister has the hots for a guy (Kuma).  All it looks like to me is a bunch of over-privileged pretty boys who have nothing better to do but literally screw around with each other.  It’s why I don’t care for Gakuen Heaven either.  If you want a good all-boys school story, that is genuinely humorous as well as touching, look to Here is Greenwood.

I also have some problems with the character designs.  The art is fairly solid, but some of the characters have very similar designs (and I don’t just mean the twins, though they are only physically differentiated by the fact that one wears glasses), and are occasionally difficult to discern.  Otherwise they’re all appropriately handsome (or pretty, even).

Should mention here that I don’t think it’s necessary to have read the previous series before reading this one.  The characters refer to some previous events, but they’re basically reexplained at the same time.  So if it interests you, don’t feel as if you have to hunt down the other books to enjoy this one; though if you end up enjoying it, there’s no reason not to go search out the earlier books.

I believe that wraps up the batch of books DMP sent my way, and I just got another that is rather less yaoi oriented.  Get ready for some supernatural horror and fantasy stories!  I’m really looking forward to reading them myself, and I think you’ll find them interesting as well.

Come back tomorrow for my monthly look at upcoming manga titles in Diamond’s Previews catalog.  Next Monday, look forward to Natsuki Takaya’s Phantom Dream

Kris
kristin@comicattack.net

Review copy provided by Digital Manga Publishing.

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5 Comments



  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by girlg33k_Kris: New Bento Bako: Great Place HS Student Council 1: http://comicattack.net/2010/02/bbwgphsstudentcouncil1/


  2. billy

    Horror and Fantasy coming next. I can’t wait!



  3. Read one the other day; it’s got blood, demons, and boobs. Think you guys will like it. Will go up in about…2-3 weeks though.



  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Digital Manga , John Mulder, ComicAttack.net, ComicAttack.net, Kristin Bomba and others. Kristin Bomba said: New Bento Bako: Great Place HS Student Council 1: http://comicattack.net/2010/02/bbwgphsstudentcouncil1/ #manga […]



  5. […] Our Kingdom Author: Naduki Koujima (Great Place High School Student Council) Volume: Volume 1 (of 6) Vintage: 2000 by Biblos Co. in Japan, 2005 by DMP Genre: Romance, comedy, […]



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