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From Condensation: The story centers around Keito Aoyama, a former famous child actor. Due to a childhood incident, she retired from her career early and withdrew from normal society. Now 16, she passes her days in boredom and without purpose. But one day she runs into a stranger who takes her to El Liston--a free school for high school students like herself, who don't have a place where they belong. Though hesitant at first, Keito decides to enter El Liston and subsequently, she begins a new stage in her life. With the help of her only remaining childhood friend, Taiyou, and her new classmates Rei, Momiji, and Kouichi, Keito slowly finds the courage to open up to others and to accept their support. Will Keito return to acting? Will she find true friends? Love?
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A page turner
I always came across this manga in the past and always skipped it. It never really interested me, however after reading a few reviews for it, I gave it a go. Man do I want to kick myself!! This manga was perfect. The characters kept me reading as they all shared different personalities and not one person was placed in the manga who had no importance. Everyone was absolutely relevant and the plot went smoothly. Yes there were some hiccups like Keito's first relationship that I found completely stupid and her nonsensical and annoying sister. But over all, it was a page turner, it kept me reading even though it was 4am in the morning. The characters were wonderful, art was beautiful, the plot was a breath of fresh air and the climax was outstanding!! Bravo
... Last updated on July 7th, 2014, 12:10pm
I did not originally think this manga would be worthy of a review...but, now that i've finished the whole thing, I can say with confidence that this manga is sweet, relatable, and definitely amazing.
As I read the story, I found many parallels between the past Keito and me--both have suffered and fallen from a mistake, and have been unable to get back up to their feet. For me, it's not as dramatic, and doesn't involve having no friends; but, my situation definitely made me enjoy this manga more. To me, this manga and its characters are inspiring, and I think I will read it again some day just so I can fully absorb the messages hidden within.
Meanwhile, here's a review:
ART: This manga has cute and pretty art that is not over the top. The characters don't look like fashion models, but you can see an attractiveness within each.
CHARACTERS: I love how each of them had a dream they wished to pursue, and how romance didn't really get in the way of things. The four main characters were pretty well developed, and I love them to death. But, unfortunately, the other characters who didn't show up as much weren't as developed. And I see a lot of potential.
However, the book did a good job of keeping tabs on what's happening to all the characters--we see something about them every now and then so we know the author hadn't forgotten about them.
Other Aspects Yeah. This story.... while it's not perfect, it exceeded my expectations so much that I will give it full score!...ok maybe not. (I was expecting something along the lines of ... hmm... Charisma Doll or something?) Oh, I also wish there was more "acting" in the story. The girl is an actress, but we only see a couple of her roles.
CONCLUSION Judging by other reviews, I think my personal experience made me relate to the character on a deeper level, which made me understand her pains and be more happy about the slightly cliche parts (it gave me hope of a similar future)---which were admittedly, somewhat unoriginal
But whatever. If you are feeling down, this manga might just give you hope again. Have fun!
... Last updated on June 29th, 2014, 1:57am
Better than HYD
I mean it! At least the story didn't drag on for that long. Surprisingly, I didn't get sick of the characters. I recommend those serious readers to read the first parts in which Keito slowly comes out of her shell. It just turns into a typical shoujo series after the time skip, so you can skip all the way to the ending. It was usual that she ended with the third guy she met, I guess that was somewhat unique. Sorry to compare it to Hana Yori Dango, by the way, but I think some people may have just come here because they watched the drama of that series and wanted a similar series. Well, there are some things you need to know: First of all, the main character, Keito is not as annoying as typical shoujo MC's, considering that she's a hikki , second of all, the series isn't as light-hearted and funny, but it's not super dark, either, Keito doesn't wreck Nako's life, and lastly, the art is more modern, so that may be appealing. Actually, I wanted to say that the drama for CS looks so much less appealing than HYD...the cast looks like they're in their late twenties. Geh... Anyway, I think it was overall an interesting read and would recommend this to the casual reader.
It was sweet at the first chapters.... I like how they confide to each other when in need and I truly appreciate the bond of their friendship... It was interesting but not memorable enough. It's way too dramatic and lack the essence of fun in reading mangas. The relationship between the protagonist was too on par with reality that it became a bit boring. It lack the doki-doki feeling. I'm not saying that I'm a fan of shallow shoujos where there always flower surrounding them. But sometimes a bit exaggeration and fun is essential. Why do we read mangas anyway, Is it because we dream and fantasize with ourselves and forget a bit about the present where in. I'm just saying that this manga doesn't left a deep impression on me. The heroine is a bit stupid and weak-willed. The manga lacks originality and always excludes an a air of familiarity with other works. I'm just voicing my own opinion and there is no need to get work up with this.
... Last updated on December 5th, 2013, 1:29am
Ah, I'm so happy that I got to read this manga. Finally a shojo which couple you ddon't expect. And the heroine gets to have set backs in love instead of straight getting to be with her boyfriend. Refreshing! I liked the idea of the story and the characters are all lovable. I think there wasn't any annoying extra, I just loved the manga! 10/10 for me.
It was good at first
It started good, then it went cliche towards the end. Although I like Keito's positive attitude when she failed in her audition because she can't read kanji, it hurts to read the parts when she's generally alright with things, like the misdeed of Natsumi. While I like time progression and time skips, the romance lacks the tensions. Suddenly it was presented they love each other that much. While there where hints, the storytelling and illustrations fell short in invoking the characters' romantic feelings. Though, I have to commend the character designs and clothing fashion in term of the arts.
Perhaps, I might have enjoyed and rated this manga higher if I read this prior to reading the works of GEORGE Asakura, ASHIHARA Hinako, and IKUEMI Ryou.
em, it's good enough!
Quite philosophical and character-building... BUT IT NEEDS MORE >♡moe♡< SCENES!!!!! GAAAH!!
oh, a word of advice for those who despise love-triangles (like me).....--> analyze the cover pic.
Despite what a lot of reviews say, I didn't find the protagonist's 'self-discovery' really emotional or striking. In fact, I thought the whole story would have a little more content. The 'shoujo' portion of the story really debased the plot and and the whole experience.
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Though the plot itself was predictable, and it was satisfying on my part. But the romance was fast and lacked development. Suddenly she fell in love. Suddenly a guy fell in love with her. Unbelievably 'shoujo' for what started off pretty well.
Overall mediocre. It wasn't a pain to read but...just, just mediocre.
Started out strong, but...
...got bogged down by the typical conventional shoujo cliches halfway through.
You can say the first half was good, but frankly, should've ended halfway. Seeing Keito progress and overcome her "trauma" bit by bit, discovering her voice and confidence back, and finally deciding her place in life was the only highlight of this manga.
Then the love crap happens. Overbearing and unnecessary cliches were thrown left and right, almost like an excuse just to crank out more chapters. "Misunderstandings" between the main love interests, other filler characters there to hamper the progress between the two, more crying, more tears, flowery speeches... you get the idea. Basically the second half becomes a dramatic soap opera. And as if the author hadn't already kicked the readers down enough with this crap, the last few chapters are dedicated to an angry "misunderstood" girl harassing the main girl. Really, I had to struggle past volume 5 and force myself to finish this, having once dropped it before for these very reasons I mentioned.
Maybe it's just because I have an extremely low tolerance for shoujo cliches, which ruined this whole manga for me, but I would not recommend this unless you've got nothing else to read. Or if you're not like me and have a high tolerance for these things, then by all means go for it.
I read this back in December last year, so I'll keep this short as I probably don't remember enough to go in detail (also, I have a cold). I find most shoujo mildly entertaining at best. There are some good comedies out there but the drama in the ones i've read are often mediocre. This series is in my top 3 shoujo (alongside Reimei no Arcana and Oresama Teacher). In fact, it may be my favourite. It's simply amazing. I love these type of stories that deal with insecurities ad damaged people. I love seeing how they heal, how often they encounter the catalyst by pure chance. Keito's innocence was completely believable too.
Another thing. The time-skip in this series was done extremely well. I would've liked to see more of what happened during those years but...yah, it was well done.
I originally rated this 8.8. I'm bumping this up a bit though. It's one of the few series i actually feel like re-reading.
I never read Hana Yori Dango, sounded kinda interesting but ultimately cliche. After reading this though (same mangaka) I've got to get round to that.
EDIT: I'm bumping this up to a 10. Really, when I think 'great shoujo' this is the first one that comes to mind as the others I've read are either incomplete or inferior but this kept the quality up the whole way through.