Review : Special A

Hikari is a girl with a curse. To always lose to her male rival Kei, in both sport and school. It's not just a recent thing though, it's a mission shes been on for over half her life, since she lost to him in a wrestling match when they were six.

Kei and Hikari are part of the elite class of their school known as Special A, made up of the top seven students. Each student has relatively rich or powerful parents, except for Hikari, and all have oddball traits and personalities. Amongst others, there's a guy who randomly wanders off from time to time, an overly controlling angry girl and a mute who writes what she wants to say on a sketchbook.

Hikari is determined to beat Kei and never gives up. Unfortunately for her, things never seem to go her way. If she gets 100 on an exam, Kei manages to find a fault in the test and receive 105. Even in team based games like basketball, Hikari's team will always lose to Kei's. She just keeps on losing, but she never stops trying. It's also plainly obvious that Kei has a huge thing for Hikari, obvious to anyone else that is. Hikari doesn't see Kei as anything more than an ignorant, pompous, jerk who she must beat at all costs, but luckily, Kei doesn't give up and keep's striving for Hikari's affection, although, he still never lets her win at anything.

Special A features a slightly girly style of art. Although, it's not over the top like some manga are and can still be read rather comfortably by the opposite gender. Although the general quality of art is rather high, sometimes the pages feel a little busy and it's hard to keep up with the dialogue. Hikari isn't the average heroine of Shojo manga either, she's not a pushover and stands up for herself when she needs to, including beating the hell out of some fellow male students giving her trouble. Violence is minimal and there is seemingly no smut, which makes it easily fall into the all ages category.

Special A is a nice, clean, funny, high school romance story with a twist that will appeal to both a female and male audience.

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