Tadakuni, Yoshitake, and Hidenori are your average high school boys who spend their days displaying the following attributes:StupidityLittle decorumActively aiming to harm their own psyche
The Daily Lives of High School Boys follow these three youths as they wear skirts, spew cringe one-liners to themselves and to girls, and even decide to turn their trip home into an RPG-like situation, complete with them not actually abiding by conventional rules.
The one worry for me in diving into the Daily Lives of High School Boys manga was its age. The manga is over a decade old! And a number of people across the world were likely introduced to this series thanks to the anime. The anime was hilarious. It was also made in 2012! Now Vertical is releasing this in English in 2020. So while I was looking forward to this, I did worry if any of the jokes would still work.
Well, once the scary story chapter happened, my tune changed pretty fast.
About the only real criticism for this manga is the art. It’s about as simple and to the point as you can get. Heck the cover has the characters standing on a real location in Japan. So yes, it’s passable and is effective in spots — and actually, some of the splash chapter pages are neat — but this isn’t gonna win awards in the appeal department anytime soon.
But outside of that? The humor is very effective. It also comes down to how these high school kids act on a daily basis. Our focus is on the three high school boys mentioned at the start, but we are introduced to other kids. We meet Tadakuni’s younger sister first (since she walks in and sees her brother wearing her bra and skirt), then meet Literature Girl at a windy river bank, more boys at their high school, and three high school girls — Yanagin, Habara, and Ikushima — who serve as the other versions of the three boys we follow, so that means we too get to see their wacky adventures.
So there’s a nice, sizable cast with their distinct personalities, and all of them are involved in awkward high school escapades. How awkward? Aside from the skirts thing, we see these high school kids take a normal activity and evolve it into something Tadakuni can’t hope to win (category ping-pong), make unforgivable puns involving girls and pasta, and get their own principal to lie about why the school has to always do a specific activity, only for one fact by a very studious boy that messes up the timeline. In reality, it’s all basic, silly things that manage to be really funny.
It has been a while since I watched the anime, but I suspect a few stories in here didn’t get adapted. So if you want to learn what they are, you’ll likely want to give this version a read. Good chance you’ll find it as much of a riot in comic form as you did when it was in anime form. Just be aware of surprisingly good use of radio advertisements though.