The Gentlemen's Alliance +, Vol. 1 Paperback – Mar 6 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
As collateral for her family's business debt, Haine has been taken in by the Otomiyas and sent to a fancy rich kids' school where she's at the bottom of the ladder. Still, she's outrageously cheery and somewhat simpleminded. She's also in love with the new student council president and school leader, but their differences in status mean she has to work hard to reach his class (in more than one sense). It's an old-fashioned premise—child swaps as business deals—that might fit in better in an old superhero title than in a modern shojo title. Haine's crush mostly ignores her, but why shouldn't he? She doesn't have much to recommend her, just unthinking determination. Tanemura's busy pages leave little white space, and the characters, drawn in stereotypical cute style, can be difficult to tell apart. All this overheated broad comedy—at one point, student outcasts let loose snakes on the council members—would be more palatable if the story didn't pretend to be set in a realistic present. Fans of Tanemura's previous hits, Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne and Full Moon, will doubtless find more to enjoy in this energetic but broadly comic story. (Mar.)
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About the Author
Arina Tanemura began her manga career in 1996 at the early age of 18, when her short stories debuted in Ribon magazine. Tanemura gained notoriety with the 1997 publication of I-O-N, a high school romance with a supernatural twist. From 1998 to 2000, she worked on the popular series Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, about a young girl who is the reincarnation of Joan of Arc, followed by Time Stranger Kyoko in 2000-2001 and Full Moon o Sagashite in 2002. Despite Tanemura's intentions to draw in a style that makes her stories difficult to animate, both Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne and Full Moon o Sagashite have been adapted into TV series.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Haine harbors endless resentment for the business deal her father made, trading her for 50 million yen. Although her adoptive family is loving, she can not get over her anger, even after many years. But she hides it well...
Haine is bold, which is what makes her appealing to me. She understands Japanese societal conventions, and does her best to fight them. She is in love with the student council president, Shizumasa, aka "The Emperor". Unfortunately, he doesn't deign to notice her and comes across as a real jerk (hopefully his story will come out too in future volumes!).
Haine has a beautiful friend, Ushio, who loves her dearly and tries to look out for her interests. The assortment of characters also includes the "Postman", who I think is crushing on Haine; token gay guy Maguri, who is in love with "The Emperor"; and my favorite character - eccentric Maora, who walks around with her constantly-growling mini-sheep, Okorimakuri (meaning "always angry").
There is a pervy school doc to add some spice to the story, and I think I detected a bit of romantic tension with Haine's slightly younger adoptive brother.
The art is busy, which I personally find appealing. Backgrounds and effects are details. While this manga may come across as sweet at first, don't let it fool you. There are sad and dark pasts to be explored, sexual situations, and unexpectedly violent outbursts from cute Haine.
I am looking forward to volume 2.
Haine, determined and resourceful, has worked hard to get into the prestigious Imperial Academy, the school where Shizumasa is the student council president and Emperor of the school. Her friend, Ushio, is the secretary of the council and her new friend, Maora, convinces her to join the student council to become Shizumasa's personal bodyguard. But can a mere bronze student hope to win the attentions of the school's only gold student?
This is a fun shojo story about the perceptions, false hope, and communications that constitute unrequited love. There are many triangles going on in this book, and it all hinges on appearances. For example at the beginning of the story Shizumasa is seeing his male friend, Maguri, but it's only a front to ward off the girls. His best friend, Maora, is in love with him... while Haine's friend, Ushio, seems to have a thing for her as well. The whole storyline hinges on misplaced love and the things that go along with it, but it is still a very interesting series. I look forward to reading more in the future.
I felt as though this manga really developed a full story. Each character was introduced well and given enough "Stage Time", and each character is unique. We have straight people, random gay guys that I wish were straight (haha), and guys who are gals! It's never a boring story and anyone looking to start reading manga, should make this their first choice. It is a legend.
The artwork is beautiful, and I just love how the story turns out. I kept in suspense, never sure what was going to happen. And unexpected things DID happen, which kept me craving for more to read!
It ends!!! Oh nooo!
Anyway, I would definately suggest this for any young person (at least age 13) or old person that wants to continue finding great manga, or wants to begin reading, that THIS is the one to choose. And since the story has 11 volumes there are plenty of volumes to stretch out, so the story isn't cramped.