“Being Schooled” – CLAMP School Detectives (manga) – 6/10 Pumpkin Pies

You send your child to the schoolmaster, but ’tis the schoolboys who educate him. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mangaka: CLAMP

Genre: Comedy/Mystery/Scool/Shoujo/Kids

Review Status: Complete (3 Volumes/3 Volumes)

Licensed: No. It was formerly licensed by Tokyopop but has not been re-released.

Art: This was done in the 90’s, and it shows in the hairstyles and clothing styles. Sometimes they’re downright ugly, and not even CLAMP’s wonderful art style can save it. It’s rarely that bad, though. For the most part, it just looks dated, but isn’t bad. The character designs for the main three guys are virtually identical.

Summary: Welcome to the CLAMP School, Japan’s most prestigious place of learning- home to prodigies, wunderkinds and young geniuses of every make and model. In a world where the average student is smarter than the teachers, how then can the top students challenge their intellects? Why, by creating a detective service, of course! Meet the CLAMP School Detectives: Nokoru Imonoyama, the world’s smartest kid, who can detect a woman in distress from two kilometers awat; Suoh Takamura, a martial arts master who’s cool as ice; Akira Ijyuin, detective by day, master theif by night. Wherever there’s a young lady in distress, they’ll be there. After all, when you’re as smart as they are, you don’t have to study. (Back cover of 1st volume)

Review: The best way to describe this is proto-Ouran. This takes three rich boys, puts them at the service of lovely young ladies, and has fun with it. They proceed to solve very shallow mysteries that highlight how frivolous both they and everyone in the school is. They find missing peacocks, discover the owner of a silk stocking, and the like. None of the mysteries end up being very interesting, or even really mysteries.

The characters aren’t really that interesting, either. They’re as one-dimensional as pancakes, with very few defining characteristics. Two of them I couldn’t tell apart except for one’s love of cooking! The virtually identical character designs don’t help. It almost seems pointless to have those traits in some situations, since at times they show that they have the same skills at the others. You never get any background on one of them, making him perhaps the least important or memorable of the three. This might have been better off as a story about one character rather than three, in order for him to make some impression on the reader.

However, uninteresting doesn’t mean bad. The situations and jokes can make you chuckle at times. They bring this from an average to a slightly above average manga, even if it utterly fails to be a memorable one.

Overall, this would be great for younger girls that aren’t ready for Ouran’s awesomeness and PG-13 rating, but if you’re older, you should just go straight to Ouran.

Recommended: Any. There’s no language, no nudity, no violence except for some things you’d find in Saturday morning cartoons…

Other titles you might enjoy:
Ouran Host Club (anime and manga)
Arisu (manga)
Detective Conan (anime and manga)
Detective Academy Q (anime and manga)
Sket Dance (anime and manga)


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