Hinako is an orphan girl starting a bright future, attending an all-girls high school. She is all set to join the school’s opening ceremony when a male student, who looks remarkably like her, tricks Hinako into taking his own place at Shishiku Academy; An all-boys school for delinquents! Hinako’s look-alike is actually her twin brother Hikaru!
Kenka Bancho offers a strange academy that encourages breaking out in fights. At Shishiku Academy, students fight each other to become the head of their class. However, students aren’t safe even after earning that title. Everyone wants to become the top fighter. While Hinako tries to keep her identity a secret, her intense fighting skills are tested on a daily basis.
It doesn’t take many pages for the reader to learn that Hinako is incredibly talented. Her superhuman strength and quick thinking allowed her to occasionally punch her opponents out with one hit. Chie Shimada gives readers a few clues to Hinako’s past. They are given subtly and lead readers into thinking about what may be in store for her. After Hinako makes a couple of close friends, she starts seeing the problem of her identity at an all-boys school. The entire mission Hikaru charged her with relies upon the secrecy of her being a girl. She is to fight at the high school in place of her twin, the weaker fighter.
I hope the manga further explores the contrast between the twins. In this first volume, we learn Hinaku is the son of a prominent yakuza boss. His lack of strength and frankly cowardliness from fighting alludes to Hinako inheriting their father’s talents. Though the story of her attending a school of delinquents is fascinating, her family lineage is my favorite part.
If her twin grew up in a yakuza leader’s house, why was she left in an orphanage? Why are some of her memories incomplete? How did Hinaku find his sister left at an orphanage? These questions are the ones I hope to see revealed in the rest of the manga series.
Shimada-san’s art features energetic characteristics. The lack of scenes is an element that stands out. The school uniforms and dialogue tell the reader the story takes place mostly within the walls and grounds of a school. However, not many backgrounds are drawn out. There are no aerial drawings of the school or the city. So, the plot’s setting is assumed to be present day. This may have been by design to allow Shimada-san’s audience to focus solely on character development and they are fun to read about.
Each of the boys Hinako interacts with have distinct personalities. If the rest of the manga series is as rich as the first, it will quickly become a favorite! If you are a fan of Oruan Host Club and the otome genre, Love’s Battle Royale is definitely worth reading.
A copy of the Kenka Bancho Otome Love’s Battle Royale Volume 1 manga was provided by Viz Media for this review.