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Book Review: The Gentleman’s Alliance +

The Gentlemen's Alliance Cross

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When she was young, Haine Kamiya was sold to the Otomiya family for 50,000 yen.  Now a high-school-er, Haine attends Imperial Academy, a school for the rich and privileged.  Her primary goal is to be close to Shizumasa Togu, the boy she loves!  The only problem is that Shizumasa is the Emperor of the school–and completely unapproachable by a low-ranking student like her!

However, a random meeting with Maora, a member of the Student Council and Shizumasa’s friend, gives Haine the chance she needs to be accepted to the Student Council, where she is close to Shizumasa every day.  Haine’s delighted by this turn of events. . . but Shizumasa isn’t.  In fact, he practically hates her!  Will Haine find a way into his heart. . . ?

The Gentleman’s Alliance + isn’t as silly as it’s premise would have you believe.  As time goes on, more serious tones and plot points come into play–like Shizumasa’s feelings for Haine, Haine’s troubled relationship with her best friend, Ushio, and her rocky relationship with her birth family.  Nevertheless, The Gentleman’s Alliance + always comes back to its roots as a lighthearted romance. However, it is not for children (it’s rated T for a reason, unlike a couple of other stories like Aqua and Aventura).

I fell in love with Arina Tanemura‘s style when I read the second volume of The Legend of Princess Sakura, which is why I picked up The Gentleman’s Alliance +.  I found that Haine’s adventure was fun and absorbing.  In short order I read all eleven books in the series, and bought the beautiful art book, The Gentleman’s Alliance +: Arina Tanemura Illustrations.   (It was well worth the money I spent on it. 🙂 )  Tanemura’s art is light and pretty (though I must admit that her characters’ eyes seem way to big for their heads), and her enthusiasm for her work shines through brightly.  It makes her stories especially enjoyable, even when they take a turn towards the silly side.

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