Jyoshi Kousei, aka High School Girls, is billed as a realistic depiction of life in an all-girl’s school in Japan. The author makes a point of commenting when things that seem especially bizarre actually happened to her. All I can say is, thank heaven I was a coed public school student. (Actually, I think that quite often. I lived between two private schools, one all-boys, one all-girls, for 15 years. In that time I learned one thing – private schools are good for boys…but so very not good for girls.)
I originally began following this series in Japanese, but it’s out in English now and since I could, I picked up the first three volumes. The first two volumes were put out by Comics One and the third by DR Master, with the added bonus of interesting typos and lack of cultural understanding. I recommend getting all three, so you can enjoy how bad Volume 3 is in comparison. :-)
So, High School Girls, as I mentioned, tell the semi-autobiographical adventures of three girls who transfer into an all-girl high end high school. They expect to find a Maria-sama ga Miteru atmosphere of refined culture and instead find a cesspool. And it goes on from there. The clubs are creepy, the talk is filthy and there are many, many references to menstruation. LOL
Of course the girls, who are apparently all straight, obssess about guys in the way straight high school girls do. All the yuri is played entirely as fanservice and laughs – no one with a brain cell would ever think anything of it. Except….
Eriko, Yuma and Ayano have been friends since youth. Ayano (who nabs herself a boyfriend early on, but more than six months later has yet to kiss him) and Yuma are especially close. So close that several characters, including Ayano’s boyfriend and her mother, assume that the two of them are an item.
More subtle, but to me more interesting, is the relationship between “insider” Kouda Akari and Eriko. It wasn’t until I had read all three volumes at a go that I saw it, but I have absolutely no doubt at all that Kouda has a thing for Eriko. They pair up all the time, including for “special” moments like hair removal, and pretend dating. In one scene Kouda play acts the boy and tries to molest Eriko to “help” Ayano along with her boyfriend. In another, Kouda is the girl to Eriko’s impatient boy, as part of “acting training.” When asked what she wants to do for her date, Kouda happily suggests a love hotel.
By the time Ayano’s mother asked her if she and Yuma were an item, I was all for watching Kouda’s clumsy, (but somehow charming, because she probably doesn’t even realize she’s trying) attempts at nabbing Eriko.
So, no, no real yuri, but some amusing fanservice (like the time they all pretend to have sex to lose weight…for which they all remove their shirts, for some reason) and an interesting dynamic between the two couples. It won’t go anywhere, but it won’t kill you to follow it, either. :-)
Art – 7
Story – 7
Characters – 7
Yuri – 5
Overall – 7 for fun.