Another one of my oh-so-not-pretty boy manga.
Alas, this series only got three volumes released in the US before Digital Manga decided they liked the gobs of money they made from printing flowery boys’ love manga and dropped this ugly boy manga like a hot potato.
This is set in the world of Suzuran high school, an all boys’ high school notorious for its thugs, gangsters, and fighting. (Maybe that’s what happened; DMP saw “all boys’ high school” and just assumed it would lead to massive amounts of smutty gay romance, but then realized too late its error…) Hana Tsukishima, country yokel, has just arrived to Suzuran. Innocent, doofy, and good at heart, Hana instantly befriends his dormmates… by beating them up. You see, underneath all that puppy dog boyishness is a gifted fighter. Hana LOVES fighting. Even if he doesn’t really like hurting people. He just loves to fight. Gets his blood boiling.
Anyway, the manga just starts getting good when it was terminated… so I don’t know what happens. It was leading up to this totally epic brawl between Suzuran and rival gang school Hohsen when volume 3 ended.
Even though this manga is filled with badass, tough-looking guys that spend most of the time beating each other up, it’s still a great manga, just because of Hana’s personality and how others respect him, despite his occasional innocent silliness. He’s like a spot of sunshine in the gritty school, and brings out the good in these guys that had no real reason to be good for a very long time.
Like Fumi Yoshinaga though, Takahashi has a problem of making distinctive faces. They all have scars and narrow slitty, evil-looking eyes. They’re evenly divided between shaved heads and pompadour hair-styles. They’re all huge and bulky and look more like 35 year olds than 17 year olds. So… a lot of them look the same. And when there’s about 40 characters in just three volumes, that gets REALLY confusing REALLY fast.
I really wish DMP had continued publishing this manga. I only just found out about it from Gilles Poitres “Manga for Grownups” panel at Fanime, so it had been long out of print by the time I discovered it. I still wrote DMP a letter though begging them to restart it. Fat chance.
Side note: manga has a weird idea of what teenagers look like. They either look way too young, or way too old.
All three of these guys are supposedly 16-17. Uh huh. I suppose Sano from Hana Kimi (the middle one) looks most like a 17 year old.