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Manga / Seishun Kouryakuhon

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Clockwise from bottom-left: Rensuke Isezaki, Souta Nogami, Naotaka Uemura, Yui Kurata.

"If you want to reach a new tomorrow, you have to move towards it, right?"
—Rensuke Isezaki

When you're spending your days idly, you often don't realize how fast the end is approaching, and when it does come, you have to wonder—did you do everything you should have, and how will things be from now on?

At least, that's what Isezaki, Kurata, Uemura, and Nogami have to wonder.

By Sorata Akizuki, the creator of Snow White with the Red Hair, Seishun Kouryakuhon (literally "Youth Strategy Book") is a short Slice of Life manga that ran from 2009 to 2010 in the shoujo magazine LaLa. Anyone who's graduated from high school will likely relate to this one. Following the adventures of four friends at the all-boys school, Kamiyama High, it deals with the boys' struggles with crushes, exams, their friendship, and ultimately, their impending graduation and separation.

Tropes associated with Seishun Kouryakuhon:

  • Archer Archetype: Kurata, who's in the kyudo club. Averted with Isezaki, however, who's also in the club but doesn't fit the archetype at all.
  • Big Man on Campus: Isezaki, somewhat—he's the sort of person who's friends with everyone and well-liked by the teachers, even being chosen to give the graduation speech.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: Uemura's noted to be the kind of person who's only loud around other guys—and he's certainly shy enough around his crush, Haru.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Nogami was a Delinquent at his middle school, where he wasn't happy, which is why he's so glad now to be at Kamiyama.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kurata.
    Uemura: "But I think our prayers are more likely to be heard when there are less people in the shrine."
    Isezaki: "That really makes sense."
    Nogami: "Yeah, if several hundred or thousands of people prayed at once, it'd be tough on the gods, too."
    Kurata: "The number of people praying has nothing to do with the probability of having your wish granted."
  • Defrosting Ice King: Kurata's not particularly icy, per se, but it takes him a while to adjust to being part of a social circle for once.
  • Determinator: Isezaki, ranging from his crazy stunts to writing a university entrance exam with a fever!
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Nogami was mistaken for a girl once back in middle school.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nogami occasionally has shades of this, whether he's teasing the others or slightly pissed off.
  • Last-Name Basis: The four generally only refer to each other by last name, seeing as how this is Japan, though Kurata occasionally gets called by his first name—probably because they know he doesn't like it.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: Though they don't become official until the last chapter, Isezaki and Nagise, as the latter studies abroad.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Isezaki does some pretty wild things thanks to his crush on Nagise. Namely, he runs up the wall that separates their schools, all just to get to her graduation ceremony.
  • Nice Guy: Isezaki, given that he was the only one in the class who didn't mind Kurata's attitude at all, and wasn't put off by Nagise's initially standoffish behaviour.
  • Not So Above It All: Kurata, whenever he takes the initiative to help Isezaki with his zany schemes.
  • Not So Stoic: The others are utterly amazed when they see Kurata laughing.
  • Odd Couple: Isezaki and Kurata. Their classmates are, at first, surprised that Isezaki can even get along with the latter.
  • Oral Fixation: Nogami can sometimes be seen snacking on a lollipop.
  • Schoolgirl Series: Gender-inverted; the manga focuses on a group of schoolboys but otherwise follows this genre fairly closely, being about a group of friends in high school and their everyday lives before their graduation.
  • Student Council President: Kurata is rumoured to be this, but given that he makes no indication whatsoever of being part of the student council, it's likely false.
  • Tender Tears: Isezaki's not above getting teary over emotional events, such as leaving the kyudo club or when he realizes that they're all going to separate after graduation.