Le Gardenie is a Malaysian high school drama/romance manga created by Gempakstarz's artist Benny Wong Thong Hou of Fatal Chaos fame. The manga was created in year 2006 and finished in 2008 in Utopia magazine's 139 issue. On June 22 2006, Le Gardenie received third place in Japan's first International Manga Award. The series is a coming-of-age tale about a group of teenagers in a secondary school which is located in a Venice-like town set in another world with fruit-based names such as Lemon, Orange, Apple and Kiwi (pictured).
The artist for this series was formerly by Ben but has been since replaced by artist Juice (Normah Noh) under the alias GempakStarz, as Ben is now working under a new company as a creative director. The company he works for release a new series of comic cum entertainment magazine titled Powder.
This manga provides examples of:
- Alas, Poor Villain: Lemon loses her memory after falling down the stairs.
- Bokukko: Kiwi, to the point she is the only female student to wear a boy's uniform.
- Cerebus Syndrome: The humor in the comics slowly dies out as the story progresses.
- For the Evulz: There is no reason given as for why Lemon is messing up Orange's (and by extension people who got close to him) life. She did it because she CAN.
- While she claimed that she's doing it for Orange, she must lying as well.
- Hair Color Dissonance: Kiwi's hair color is either light blond(as seen in the page image) or golden brown(everywhere else).
- Ironic Birthday: Inverted, during Lemon's birthday party, which doubles as a plot to sabotage Kiwi the second time, everything goes haywire. Apple ends up as the scapegoat, Lemon slaps Orange for lying to her, Lemon's estranged cousin comes for a visit and a giant sign crashes down and knocks out both Orange and Lemon.
- Like Parent, Like Spouse: Apple resembles Orange's mom when she was younger(seen in the prologue chapter).
- Nice Girl: Apple again; A pleasant girl and good student.
- Spiritual Successor: Ben's new romance manga Te@mare I Will Always Love You has many homages and Expies to Le Gardenie. Note that this is intentional.
- Theme Naming: The leads are named after fruits.