Monkey High!, Volume 1

Monkey High!, Volume 1

4.7 9
by Shouko Akira

It's hard enough fitting in at a new school while dealing with family problems... Will Haruna remain jaded and distance herself from everyone around her? Or will Masaru win her over with his monkey magic?  See more details below


It's hard enough fitting in at a new school while dealing with family problems... Will Haruna remain jaded and distance herself from everyone around her? Or will Masaru win her over with his monkey magic?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Can style propel well-worn subject matter into something much more substantive? Reading the first chapter of this manga brings up that question. The story of a pretty young girl named Haruna transferring to a new school starts off in a manner familiar to anyone with any experience reading fiction based on a high school setting. She doesn't fit in with any of the established high school cliques and compares high school to a mountain populated with monkeys: both value hierarchy. What better way to illustrate the students' hierarchy than the ever-popular idea of a high school musical? Haruna starts challenging the social system when she chooses nerdy Masaru for a role over the school's resident lady-killer. Akira's always attractive illustrations of teenage romance set the book apart. Scenes between Haruna and Masaru have a delicate look. There are figures in silhouette and beams of light shining through when Haruna finds herself falling for the boy she compares to a baby monkey. Despite the title, Akira never resorts to the "chibi" style. Her characters are all forceful and strong-looking. and her technical skills keep the familiar material fresh. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
KLIATT - George Galuschak
In many ways Monkey High! is a typical shojo manga. Harana Aizawa transfers to a new high school, where she meets a guy who tries to win her over. After a bit of resistance on her part, he succeeds. What's different about this manga is that Machura, the guy in question, reminds Haruna of a baby monkey. He isn't tall, mysterious or good looking, but his sincerity and sparkling personality win Haruna over; either that, or she likes baby monkeys. Most of the stories in this manga take place in social settings—the performance of the school play, Snow White (Machura plays a dwarf); the class trip, which climaxes in a cook-off; Haruna meeting Machura's disbelieving parents; and a Christmas party in which a bunch of high school kids gather together to eat lots of cake. The art of Monkey High! is pure shojo manga—delicate forms, blushing faces and flowers forming out of thin air. The plot is chock-full of the usual teenage theatrics and soap opera flourishes, but the main characters are likable. They act their ages—Machura is a clown and Haruna is a mature, reserved girl who is overly sensitive. Monkey High! includes kissing, hand-holding and one sexual reference—Machura's best friend gives him a pack of condoms, which he doesn't use (I doubt he knows what to do with them). Recommended for junior high graphic novel collections where shojo manga is popular. Reviewer: George Galuschak
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

Haruna sees the students in her new school, with their cliques and power struggles, as acting like monkeys on a mountain. She wants to keep to herself, but because she's beautiful, the boys start vying for her attention and the girls are getting jealous. Atsuyuki is usually the center of attention, so he assumes that Haruna will fall for him. However, his friend Macharu is mesmerized by her, and over time she grows to care for him, too. When she tells him her theory, he asks how she fits into it. It is his honesty that first begins to crack Haruna's armor, and it creates the first step of their surprising relationship. The other students are preoccupied with this drama, which seems to indicate that either they watch too many soap operas or that they don't see too many transfer students. The artwork is lively and bright, and the romantic scenes are filled with the prerequisite bright shining eyes and glowing snowflakes, moonbeams, etc. Readers who get caught up in the couple's first fight, first hand-holding, and first kiss will wait breathlessly for the other volumes in this series.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library

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Product Details

Publication date:
Monkey High! Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 5.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Shouko Akira made her debut in 1995 with Taiyo-kei ha Kimi no Mono (The Solar System Is Yours), which was serialized in Japan's Deluxe Bessatsu Shojo Comic. She is also the author of Times Two, a collection of five romantic short stories that's available from VIZ Media.

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