Kenka Bancho Otome Volume 2 by Chie Shimada
Kenka Bancho Otome, with a storyline about a girl who is forced to dress up as a boy and attend a high school for juvenile delinquents, is an excessively silly manga, which one would expect from an otome game adaptation, but in just two volumes it manages to pull off being a fun summer read as long as the reader isn’t looking for deep thoughts.
In the concluding volume Hinako continues her misadventures at Shishiku Academy, where most of her new friends seem to be on the verge of falling in love with her in her top-secret disguise as her brother Hikaru. Yet another emotional minefield is introduced with the arrival of Houou Onigashima, an upperclassman with a tough-guy jacket that he constantly wears slung over his shoulders like a cape. Houou just happens to be Hikaru’s older brother and Hinako is overcome at the idea that she has yet another brother! But when she returns to tell Hikaru about her discovery he inexplicably becomes extremely upset. The rest of the volume consists of a summer vacation episode with plenty of shirtlessness, school sports day, where Hinako has to cross-dress as a cheerleader with provocative results and a bonus giant schoolyard fight where Hinako further strengthens her platonic friendships with Kira and Totomaru, much to their mystified chagrin. At two volumes long, this series wraps up more nicely than most two volume series, which sometimes suffer from the author being forced to resolve a bunch of plot points quickly in a final chapter. I would have been fine with 3 instead of 2 volumes, if there might have been a little more time to delve into the hints about Hinako’s unconventional family and have her embark on an actual romance. Overall, the art was attractive if a bit generic. I enjoyed the story enough that I would totally play the Otome game that the manga was based on if it came out on android!