MANGA REVIEW | "the daily lives of high school boys" - Vol. 4
Yasunobu Yamauchi’s the daily lives of high school boys has had a strange pattern. Sometimes it can be very funny, whereas other times the laughs make zero sense. (This can be attributed to the fact that Japanese-styled humor is hard to get, unless you’re either well-versed with the culture or have lived there for enough time to grasp it.) But in its fourth volume, the daily lives of high school boys keeps the hilarity coming in the strongest of ways.
High school crushes, pesky centipedes, and the occasional icy patch are what’s on the menu for these dumb boys this time around. They’re placed in a situation that calls for an unlikely form of help to arrive, with some innocence lost for good measure. A robbery results in a life goal being accomplished for one of the students. Plus, it’s a whirlwind of bad luck for one of the guys, with him probably being the first in the gang to realize that he might be trapped in a manga.
This time, the daily lives of high school boys fires on all its cylinders to bring a laugh. Where Volume Three seemed to struggle to get a good punchline, Yamauchi’s writing here somehow grabs the gold on almost every occasion. From Emi’s summer love crush being destroyed to the Central High Student Council getting a well-deserved last-second faceplant, practically every joke thrown in this volume hits its mark. On top of that, it shows how far Yamauchi will go to make a gag work.
A hornet landing on a person’s face results in an unexpectedly hilarious solution, one that no one could ever guess see coming. The boys learn the hard way that a first glimpse of a lady’s panties must be earned in order to feel special. Perhaps the most relatable (and humorous) chapter involves Hidenori trying to find a bathroom when someone occupies the school one for far too long. It leads to a journey towards a final gag that feels all too familiar, especially when it becomes too embarrassing to simply walk into a public rest stop.
It’s hard to judge whether or not Yamauchi had a good string of luck this time around with his jokes, or that he’s finally known how to make the rest of the world laugh. Whatever the case may be, it’s refreshing to see the daily lives of high school boys be this funny again. One cannot guess if the next volume will continue this comedic uptrend, or if its funny bone will find itself shaloming down a tricky slope. Until then, I’m being cautiously optimistic with how the daily lives of high school boys handles its humor from here on out.
Promotional consideration provided by Tomo Tran of Vertical Comics