Hana ni Arashi(Takagi Shigeyoshi)
Typical shoujo? Yes. Strong female lead? Not uncommon theses days (think Sunako of PGE, Hikari of SA). Enjoyable? Yup. Very much.
Riko is an ordinary high school student, at least she tries the hardest to be one. She used to have a boyfriend who dumped her for one stupid reason: she’s too strong for a girl. I wouldn’t say that she was deeply traumatised by that (unlike PGE’s Sunako) but from then on, she tries her hardest to lay low and not to show off her strengths too much.
Tachibana Ran is the heir of the wealthy Tachibana family and currently pursuing Riko to the extent of attending the high school that she’s studying at. Apparently, he was once saved by Riko in an accident but it seems to him that Riko do not recall anything of that sort. One thing’s certain is Riko’s not your average ordinary girl.
Do check out Bitter Trap, a oneshot from Takagi Shigeyoshi as well.
Gakkou Hotel(Morie Satoshi)
Yet another typical shoujo but I like this one mainly because I like the drawing style. Like Takagi Shigeyoshi, I think Morie Satoshi is also a newbie in shoujo manga scene.
Gakkou Hotel is a place where everyone can be who they really are without having to keep up to their appearances and worry about what others think of their true self, good or bad. One such person is Amano Toriko who seems like an honour student during the day and when she’s out of sight of those people who expects her to be the perfect model student, she complains like there’s no tomorrow (well, I may be exaggerating a bit here) of having to help others who’s obviously making use of her as an errand girl.
She was invited to Gakkou Hotel (School Hotel in English). She accepted the invitation and lo and behold, Gakkou Hotel is full of weirdoes! Well, they seemed like weirdoes but during the day, they are as normal as they can be. The only place that they can let loose (weirdo or not) is at the school hotel and they did just that. One of them is the school’s student council vice president; during the day, he has the appearance of a dorky student council vice president sporting a pair of specs which has whirls on both lenses (did I describe this right?) and he had caught Amano’s attention.
When I first read Hana ni Arashi (thanks to Esthetique for scanlating this one), I thought that the artwork reminds me of another manga (or oneshot). After I did some digging I realised that the artwork reminds of Hakuji which is actually a oneshot from Morie Satoshi. And who knew that both Takagi Shigeyoshi and Morie Satoshi are both actually twin sisters (source).
As for me, I’ll be definitely be following more works by Takagi Shigeyoshi and Morie Satoshi. Their stories may be typical shoujos (as of now) but to hell with that cos’ I like their artwork. As long as I enjoy reading the stories, typical shoujo or not, I don’t really care.