Seishunchuu!, by KURIHARA Mamoru

Seishunchuu!, by KURIHARA Mamoru Title:Seishunchuu!
Author:KURIHARA Mamoru
ISBN# 4-06-341014-5
KC Dessert Comics, 1996

When I first flipped through this manga, I wasn’t sure if I was going to bother even looking at it more closely because the art in it seemed so… strange ^_^ And the story looked a bit bizarre ^^ But sheer boredom and procrastination prompted me to sit down with the volume and give it a closer look. I am glad I did, it is a rather interesting story, once you get past the really strange looking characters. Well OK, actually all the characters look normal. It is when they go into freaky reaction mode that they look strange. Instead of going SD or something in reaction to strange or startling events, the characters in this series suddenly change to really bizarre character designs. I know I am not explaining it well, sorry ^_^;; I think the art reminded me of one of those shounen manga series like Ping Pong Club or Chameleon. But the story is very shoujo-manga-ish despite this ^_^

Okay, Kiriko is a high school student whose family has just moved to a new town. She and her older sister Eiko are about to start a new school. However, while Kiriko is a student, Eiko will be starting there as a teacher. Now Kiriko is a cute enough girl, but it seems that all her life she has been overshadowed by Eiko’s perfection. Eiko is smart (though you wouldn’t guess it from how bubbly and cutesy she acts), Eiko is beautiful, Eiko is popular, etc. etc.. Kiriko is pretty too, but compared to her sister, she seems to fade a bit. Kiriko has always tried to be like her sister, growing her hair out long, like Eiko’s hair, etc. And now that the 2 of them are both going to be at the same school, things don’t look that great for Kiriko. During their introduction to the school, Eiko is beautiful and perfect. Her charmingly cute personality wins the instant love of all the guys at the school.

Meanwhile Kiriko manages to trip when approaching the microphone to introduce herself, giving the entire school a nice panty shot. ^^; Things in class don’t get any better. Kiriko is not accepted by the students because she is Eiko’s sister, (and won’t give out Eiko’s ‘3 sizes’). Talk about depressing. Kiriko has a moment of hope in finding someone to bond with when one of the guys in her class refuses to acknowledge Eiko’s cute attempts at making friends with everyone in the class. Will this guy be Kiriko’s friend and ally? Is there hope? Meanwhile, there IS one guy in the class who openly pursues Kiriko, but Kiriko doesn’t think much of him. Alas, things go from bad to worse. But despite this, she manages to make one friend (who has a habit of imagining things in funky 70’s-shoujo-manga style). Will Kiriko live forever in the shadow of her sister?