Buy Gentlemen’s Alliance +, Vol. 1
by Arina Tanemura Published by Viz Media. 208 pages 2007. $8.99
Since I started to frequent a library in one of New York’s three library systems – my reading of Shoujo manga has increased. It is not to say that I don’t sample any type of manga – but there are more and more English translated graphic novels to tackle, and the library has more shoujo that catches my eye.
The plot in The Gentleman’s Alliance Cross, is quite interesting. Yanki girl who was sold off to repay a family’s loan, eventually catches the eye of the richest guy in her school. From there, she has to win the approval, win her love, and gain happiness. Does that catch you or what? It caught me.
The mangaka for The Gentleman’s Alliance Cross is Arina Tanemura, who’s has some previous works already released in English and released by Shoujo Beat. Time Strange Kyoko, Full Moon, ION.
This gem of an image is from Volume 11, the final volume in the series, and it reminds me so much of Tanemura’s earlier work of Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne, which is released in English, and currently out of print with the defunct CMX Press.
Within the series of The Gentleman’s Cross, Tanemura has some fantastic artist comments on the side. These are points that she made that I definitely found to be of interest.
- She has an Japanese active blog.
- This the first series, where she has drawn and interacted the most varied character in the cast, and trying to catch up with it, is a bit confusing – since some authors do draw character so similar to the point where you’re like “huh”…but it is fantastic shoujo representation. At least though, differentiating between characters is not as bad as trying to differentiate in Korean manhwa. The mangaka mentions that she gave a majority of the character the same surname, so that it won’t be so confusing to name.
- She also made some of her viewpoints. Other than finding out that she is a pretty big gamer, I found out that this series is her response to the popular bl-fandom pairings – and she is not a bl-fan. So this series introduces her opinion as to what is the solution of bl-pairing. Cross-dress anyone?
So before I write way too much than readers can go on reading, and since my heart is positively giddy with the feelings of her work. Reasons why you would enjoy reading this series.
- There’s an element of action drama, not just romance drama that saturates a lot of other shoujo manga.(*cough* I am not naming names… and no I did not review any of those mangaka – not on this blog yet…) This series also has angst. I was mentally bouncing up and down, as I saw Haine in yanki garb.
- Want to see lots of lovely shoujo images, cute girls. Fashion fashion fashion!
- Read a-likes for this series obviously are Baka To Test for the matter that there are specific hierarchy mentioned, and cross dressing characters. SA – for the fact that this is the student council, and everyone’s pretty filthy rich. I won’t really say that Ouran High School Host Club is also a read alike – but if you count the element of dark pasts, then yes.. that is also a read alike. Shugo Chara is also a read alike – based on the fact that there is the mysterious element of characters in this series.
- Love triangles fits for many shoujo series, so this one is not any other difference.
- Want read a long yet not so long series. This series is done with 11 volumes.
Any other points I missed? Read this title, if you definitely feel like reading a shoujo, and know that one is not is as frilly as everything else.