MoonYeollie Nov 08, 2012
The Gentlemen’s Alliance Cross, translated from Shinshi Doumei Cross, ran in Ribon magazine from 2004-2008. This is Arina Tanemura’s sixth work to be translated into English. Brought to the states by Viz in 2007, The Gentlemen’s Alliance Cross provides plenty of gorgeous art and an intriguing storyline to create even more Tanemura fans.
The Gist: Haine Otomiya is a first year high school student at the elite Imperial Academy. Having been sold for 50 million yen to her foster father as a child, she believes her real father no longer loves her, and her mother no longer communicates with her. Lonely and unhappy, she becomes part of a gang. She decides to reform when she reunites with Shizumasa Togu, a childhood love, who reminds her that she has the power to make herself happy. She then is accepted at Imperial Academy where she seeks to find Shizumasa and try to win his love. She is tricked by a member of the student council into becoming the body guard of the emperor, or the student council president, an office held by none other than Shizumasa. Unexpectedly, when Haine meets him again he is cold to her. Through her interactions with him, Haine discovers why he has become this way, and must use her wits and her heart to save the love of her life.
The Characters/Romance: There’s way more to the story than I could summarize, and that’s because the rest of the synopsis would include spoilers. I was quite torn over writing this review. The girly side of me so loved this story. Yet, the academic side was looking for every little thing wrong with it. At first I found Haine to be sappy and dim-witted. I wasn’t impressed with her goal of trying to win Shizumasa’s love. As the story developed, Haine endures much, and I realized that not only was she strong but also very caring and sensitive. I found myself irritated with Shizumasa-sama, until his situation is revealed, and then I couldn’t help but sympathize with them both. Tanemura takes the story from being very shallow to very deep, using character development and complex plot threads. Every time I would try to step away and become objective about the story, Tanemura would pull me back in with the next engrossing plot arc. She cleverly constructs the plot so that each arc builds upon the main story, skillfully intertwining all the characters and their relationships.
A well developed story that shoujo fans are sure to enjoy! Highly Recommend.