Koukou Debut (MANGA)
13 Volumes - 52 ChaptersHaruna Nagashima devoted all her time and energy to softball in middle school, and now that she's made her high school debut she's decided to give her all to a new goal: Getting a boyfriend and falling in love. However, she has one small problem. Since she never paid any attention to fashion in middle school she has no idea how to go about attracting a boyfriend. A chance encounter with Yoh Komiyama, a handsome and popular boy from her school, provides her with the opportunity she needs. If he coaches her on how to become attractive, surely she can find herself a boyfriend! Due to Haruna's persistence, Yoh eventually agrees to coach her, but only on one condition: if she promises not to fall in love with him.
((summary taken from wikipedia & onemanga.com))
Koukou Debut / 高校デビュー / High School Debut
A one-chapter short story called "Enren Debut" ("Long-Distance Love Debut") was released soon after the manga finished it's run. It takes place shortly before Koukou Debut's original ending.
Author/Artist: Kawahara Kazune
Genre: Comedy, romance, school life, shoujo
Status: Complete, August 2008
High School Debut is easy to love. The main character, Haruna, is adorable and endearing, while Yoh is cool, quiet and surprisingly sweet. The plot may sound predictable and overused, but the characters are so entertaining and fun, that the 52 chapters fly by before you even realize that you're almost at the end.
And sure, you can tell what's going to happen just by reading the description... but here, part of the fun is seeing how the characters get there, not whether or not they do. And honestly, I loved how it wasn't all about drama and angst. Even when you think the drama is building, that misery is on its heels... it would go out with a whimper, and be all the more hilarious (and sweet) because of it. Really, many of the problems these characters face are all in their heads: its a result of their own poor choices, and a tendency to make mountains out of molehills. In the end, it's a nice reminder that sometimes the biggest impediment to a relationship isn't incurable diseases, back-stabbing friends, and crazy exes... but your own insecurities and fears.
I LOVED Haruna's character. Sure, she may be a tough tomboy with no fashion sense... but she's loyal, optimistic, funny, naive, and sweet. That's one reason why I loved the ending so much (though I know some people complained about it). For me, it summed up everything Kawahara Kazune was trying to say: That no matter what your flaws, there's someone out there who will love you despite them, and that it's okay to be yourself.
What I loved most about Haruna and Yoh's relationship, is that Yoh was able to love Haruna for who she was, horrible clothes and all. He didn't care if she looked weird or scary while pitching; he admired her perseverance and her good heart. Because of her, he was able to open up to people and become a better person. They each compliment the other perfectly.
Besides, Haruna doesn't need to know how to dress herself. She'll always have Yoh to help her. ^_^
On a personal level, one thing I really loved about this manga, was that it made me feel really nostalgic: It reminded me of series from the past, like Kodomo No Omocha, Marmalade Boy, Peach Girl, Imadoki, Hana Kimi. All series that I read online, and loved so much that I actually went out and bought the entire series--something I intend to do with High School Debut when the official translations are finally released.
For me, I loved this.