Author: Norimitsu Kaihou
Art: Sadoru Chiba
English Publisher: Yen Press
English Release: November 17 2015
School-Live! had an anime adaptation released this summer that, as I stated in my review, was a huge surprise and quite entertaining. Yen Press recently released volume 1 in English so I thought it would be the perfect way to launch our manga reviews!
The first thing I noticed when reading the manga was just how different it was from the anime. I’m sure we all know the big reveal in chapter 1 and, in my opinion it was done far better in the anime. Here it just kind of happens without much foreshadowing and (depending on your reading speed) about 2 minutes after you’ve met the characters. Speaking of characters perhaps I should go into them for those who might not have seen the anime and are trying to decide if they should pick up the manga. Our main character is Yuki Takeya who is part of the School Living Club along with Kurumi Ebisuzawa and Yuri Wakasa.
Yuki is a very interesting protagonist as you very quickly learn she appears to have difficulty grasping things around her as well as potentially suffering from schizophrenia. She’s certainly unique in the fact she never really gets in fights yet you’re constantly rooting for her to succeed. Kurumi is the typical “bad-ass” but yet again, we get some sort of tragic backstory hinted at, showing she might be putting up the facade of being bad-ass. Lastly, the president of the School Living Club is Yuri. She acts as the grounding force for Yuki and Kurumi as we see hinted throughout the volume. We also have the club advisor Megumi “Megu-nee” Sakura. She was probably changed the most for the anime as in the manga she just kind of shows up, comforts Yuki and leaves.
If you’ve come off the anime you’ll notice two important characters I’ve appeared to have forgotten about. That’s because they aren’t yet introduced. One of them appears near the end however they don’t do anything significant.
Chapter length was all over the place which is weird. Some of them hitting nearly 30 pages while chapter 4 was barely 10. I don’t have issue with this but if you happen to set a certain time for manga reading and know how long it takes you to read 20 pages you might need to adjust.
Overall School-Live! Volume 1 was a good introduction to the series, setting up its characters and giving some hints towards the struggles in their past. I found chapter 1 a bit weak as well as a certain plot element I’ll refrain from spoiling being a lot more obviously hinted at than the anime did but I still enjoyed it. If you’re checking it out due to the anime I’d keep those things in mind but if you’ve yet to experience the series now is a great time to jump in!