Ha ha, I’m greedy, so not one, not two, but three answers this time.
Favourite School Life Shoujo manga : Gokinjo Monogatari (Yazawa Ai)
The story of a group of students in an art school - the heroine, more specifically, studies fashion. I love this one because the characters are actually passionate about what they do in school. And because the heroine and her love interest get together before half the manga is passed, and they’re maybe even more interesting when they are together than when he was pining. And also, I love the friendships and the secondary characters! They’re all so cute, and good people, and I love them.
Favourite School Life Shoujo anime : Oniisama e
Let’s totally change styles and go into shoujo ai tragedy! Also, coming of age. I love the manga, but the anime develops more the secondary characters, I’m all for it.
Nanako enters a prestigious high school and discovers the rivalries and hypocrisies of high society. At the same time, she falls in love with Rei, an elegant, cool, depressed girl who’s secretly in love with her half-sister, the president of the school council.
I really love how even if it’s school life, all the reveals, about the characters’ lives or relationships, hit hard. And the directing is so good about making drama striking! And of course I’m deeply invested in the main love triangle.
Favourite School Life Shoujo : KareKano
This one is complicated, because I adore the manga and I adore the anime and I ship Yukino/Souichirou so hard, but I still have things to complain about - and these things aren’t the same in the anime and the manga.
First, I adore the dynamics. Yukino is an hypocritical girl who is at the top of her class, plays perfect, is friendly to everyone but has no friends, and considers she can only be natural (and lazy, and shameless) in her family. But when she enters high school, she gets only second place, ans swear eternal hatred to the boy who beat her. In the meantime, he’s fallen in love with her, and she panics.
They start dating very fast though. And I love them so much together. It's one of the things I love, that it's really hte story of a couple discovering themselves and each other.
First part of the manga is about Yukino learning to be a bit more herself while keeping her good qualities, making friends. Second part is about Souichirou’s mask of perfection and what is behind it, how even in his own family he can’t let himself go, because his family is complicated. In the meantime, all of their friends find love, they do a school play, lots of activities, it’s so fun and so lively, I adore it. And the directing of the anime really gives the right energy.
But the anime gets kind of lost in the second part. It has too much recaps, and it stops too abruptly - they’re starting preparing the play, we don’t even know how it will go, its bad timing and absolutely doesn’t stand by itself, which is so sad when the beginning was so good.
And the manga, while having resolves character arcs for every one, has a few romantic arcs that are a bit creepy to me.
(I don’t even know which one I want to rec, but I still adore it)
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