Seigakuin Kouka Daigaku Yakanbu by Morishima Akiko-sensei (星学院工科大学 夜間部) made me giggle. Constantly, uncontrollably.
Hanasaki Tsukiha had attended a Catholic girls’ school until graduation but now she’s a student at a Engineering College in Tokyo. From the rarified girls-only atmosphere, Tsukiha now find herself surrounded by…men. She feels very alone in this manly environment.
Until a chance encounter brings her in contact with Seita and Kei, two very good looking and friendly guys. Seita, it turns out is gay, which surprises Tsukiha, but hey, it’s the big city. Seita brings Tsukiha to his “circle,” the Yakanbu. The Yakanbu is headed by grungy Tastumi-senpai, a design genius. Along with Seita and Kei…who turns out to be a girl (!) who happens to be bi and is currently seeing and blissfully happy with a woman, there’s Kaito, the young father of a young boy, happily married, attending school at night, and creepy Yuri Fanboy Orishima.
Each chapter deals with Tsukiha’s relationship with these people, slightly focused on one of the various characters. Tsukiha slowly falls for Seita who, it turns out is not gay, he’s actually asexual. She has a hard time getting past this, but with the help of everyone in the group, she manages to make herself be friends with Seita. In the meantime, her Onee-sama Nijika visits, and poor Orishima practically dies of Yuri overload, as Nijika is the Sachiko type, while Tsukiha is a perfect Yumi. Nijika also happens to be a fujoshi, and Tsukiha asks Orishima to guide her around town. When Tsukiha names Orishima her hero, he’s motivated to lose weight and get himself some style. He becomes a bishie in order to be Tsukiha’s knight.
Tatsumi-sempai is the source of most of my giggling. He’s a flaming freak, with no social skills, no understanding of woman…or other men, really, and a soul-rending sincerity that’s Victorian at heart. Tsukiha adores him, and even declares him “cute,” to his great consternation.
The book wraps up in an unlikely, yet still slightly pat manner, but I’m not going to spoil the end so you can giggle through it too. The omake chapter follows Kei and her girlfriend Sayuri having heart to heart talks with Tsukiha. The books gets bonus points for giving Kei and Sayuri a love-love ending that had nothing to do with the rest of the story, but is nonetheless a nice way to end the volume.
Nothing about this book was typical, except Morishima-sensei’s adorable art and interest in teaching a new audience about sexual minorities in an exceedingly cute narrative. The word “cute” is repeated about 8700 times in this volume…it’s a fitting description of the whole damn thing.
Art – 8
Story – 8
Character – 9
Yuri – 9
Service – 3, plays with the tropes, rather than wallows in them
Overall – 9
Seigakuin Kouka Daigaku Yakanbu is an unexpected, giggle-making delight. And teeth-rottingly cute. ^_^