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[Manga Talk] Highteen Boogie by Makino Kazuko

Highteen Boogie

ハイティーンブギ (純愛青春搖滾)
by
Artist: Makino Kazuko 牧野和子/ Writer: Gotou Yukio 後藤ゆきお
Complete: 26 volumes

Description: Momoko is one of the brightest students at school, but the school is a bit overrun by delinquents from a motorcycle gang. In fact, the person who has the next desk has never come to class. Then one day she gets the upper hand on one of these bikers and they actually strike up a bit of a friendship, with the potential for more. Of course, it turns out that he’s the leader of the bike gang, and the student in the next seat who has been missing this entire year… (From Animeraider)

If you like Grease, don’t mind an 80’s old-school artwork, and are looking for some shoujo  to read, then perhaps you would be interested in Highteen Boogie.

Warning: This is going to be a LONG review. Please be warned : )

Story:

Sho, the leader of Bōsōzoku, Skeleton, fell in love with Momoko after their first encounter. Momoko was an orphan who lived with her aunt and the two cousins.

Despite Sho’s all efforts in winning her affections, Momoko kept on ignoring him, disliking anything associated with Bōsōzoku. Until one day, in the hope of turning Sho away, Momoko finally “agreed” to go out with him, but not without some terms and conditions – Sho must leave Skeleton, return back to school as a normal high school student, and get rid of that “ridiculous” (Grease-alike) hairstyle!… and so he did, much to Momoko’s surprise ^^

Momoko finally went out with Sho, just as she promised.  Meanwhile, Skeleton members were not pleased with their leader being “stolen away” by some ordinary school girl. Miki, Skeleton’s second-in-command who also fancied Sho, orchestrated a gang rape on Momoko.

ハイティーン・ブギ 15

One day, on her way home from school, Momoko was reflecting on those “silly” moments of Sho and her together. Just as Momoko started to realise her growing feelings for Sho, someone suddenly grabbed her from behind and sedated her…..

It wasalready too late by the time Sho discovered Miki’s plan on Momoko. In that rainy (??? ehhh.. I need to go back and check this one) evening, Sho found Momoko lying unconscious in a warehouse. She was naked in front of the Skeleton gang,  one of them Shige Narumi, who was once Sho’s best buddy.

Momoko regained conscious, believing it was Sho who raped her. Sho remained silent as Momoko accused him for the crime he did not commit. Knowing Momoko would be hurt deeply by the truth, Sho decided to protect her away from the truth, forever…

ハイティーン・ブギ 26 (セブンコミックス)

And then….. well, there were twists happened here and there (e.g. Momoko’s cousin tried to rape her, which led to her being driven away from home by her aunt, etc)…  Eventually, both Sho and Momoko left school and started living together.

Sho was actually from a rich family. His dad has cut off Sho’s financial-tie, in the hope of forcing Sho to face up to reality, leave Momoko and return home (tsk tsk tsk…. typical typical! and of course we know what would happen – Sho, being so deeply in love with Momoko, would not and could not leave her even by an inch……etc ^^)

By chance, Sho’s talent of being a rock singer was discovered; he started to sing in the bar for living. The pair was living happily “ever after”……….

Until one day, Momoko found out she was pregnant.

ハイティーン・ブギ (5) 牧野 和子 原作:後藤 ゆきお /出版社:小学館

Learning of her pregnancy, Sho was in rage and despair. Remembering what happened in that unforgettable night, Sho knew it was the child of Shige and begged Momoko for an abortion. Confused and hurt by Sho’s suggestion, Momoko refused. He then lost his rage, hit her hard on the face, shouted “GET RID OF IT!” and ran away.

Sho was in despair because he could never tell Momoko the truth, that he was not the real father of her child….  and yet, he has already hurt her by what he just did…..

Anyway, Sho did finally manage to confront his demons. Just as Sho and Momoko prepared for the arrival of THEIR child, Shige has also learned of Momoko’s pregnancy….. Unkown to both Sho and Momoko, Shige has been paying a lot of attention to Momoko ever since that night… The raping and her pregnancy has somehow given him a different perspective in life….

The next 10 remaining volumes or so was mainly about Sho’s singing career and ups and downs (and of course not without mentioning Sho’s absolutely crazy-but-very-sweet-&-tender devotion to Momoko ^^).  But most of all, would Momoko found out the truth about her child? and what would happen to Shige and Miki in the end? Also, Sho was about to discover Momoko’s background and the tragedy behind the death of her parents……

My say:

I LOVE HIGHTEEN BOOGIE!

This is a great 80’s shoujo manga but without the usual cliche shoujo storyline, if you know what I mean.  Its mangaka, Makino Kazuko is married to Gotou Yukio, who is  also the writer of  this and many other of her work – a fantastic partnership that came up with a great combination of storyline and artwork : )

There were elements of  romance and sweetness in Highteen Boogie, which I absolutely adore. Yes, it was Sho’s absolute devotion to Momoko that has drawn me so deeply into this manga; his reactions to Momoko sometimes comedic, sometimes heartbreaking but always heartwarming.  His deep devotion was especially shown in the last chapter after [spoiler] the Momoko’s sudden death…  He took their child with him, and left Japan. His singing career  took off and continued to be successful, especially after he made his music based on the memory of Momoko.  The author expressed her hope for Sho in the last sentence of the chapter, which reads, “(the author) hope that someday, Sho will be able to find someone who would love him as much as Momoko did…. I would like to hope for the best for Sho too. But hey, afterall, this is a shoujo manga ^^.  So, in a perfect-shoujo-kind-of-way, I imagine Sho would continue dedicating his life, his soul, to music, as he turned his love for Momoko into music. There could have been someone else who would  love him as much as, or may be even more than Momoko did. But for Sho, Momoko was the only one…..

Highteen Boogie could have been “just a piece of shoujo” with mushy-romance all over. But instead, it has a capturing storyline beyond the shoujo-romance; it was a story that dealt with romance, friendship, rape, betrayal, dreams vs reality, parenthood, death, love, and etc….altogether. All in all, the 26 volumes  of Highteen Boogie contain a full pack of “seishun” elements, which I could loudly say, I love Highteen Boogie! I wish I could read a a translated copy so that I could appreciate each line of it even more for what it is deserved! It is altogether 26 volumes… and I could hardly refrain myself from not wanting to read it all in one go, and again… and again!

NB. Shige’s character grew stronger and stronger after each volume – wish there were more of him in Highteen Boogie ^^

On a minor note…

Just like any typical (80’s) shoujo, there were some “miracles” (aka exaggerations!) in Highteen Boogie too.  Enter a scene where Momoko stood in a quiet remote corner at the harbour to see him off. The cruise ship already sailed off but of course as expected, Sho would “miraculously” spotted Momoko from afar, jumped off and swam to Momoko…. (ehem. yeah right!).

Others:

Highteen Boogie has been chosen by the editors in Japan as one of the best shoujo under the seishun category. (*based on the Editors Preview(?) 編集会議, April 2003… note the question mark.) It was so popular that a movie version was made in 1982  – Sho was casted by Machi (or Masahiko Kondo) and Shiege, Toshihiko Tahara, i.e. the two biggest heart throbs in Asia at THAT time.

More on the story (in Japanese) here
Cast for High Teen Boogie (1982 film) – click here.

ハイティーン・ブギ ★Highteen Boogie (cover)

Kondo Masahiko – Momoko

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Discussion

5 thoughts on “[Manga Talk] Highteen Boogie by Makino Kazuko

  1. I am totally in love of Highteen Boogie when I was a kid back to 80’s. I had watch the movie few times with friends and talk about the movie as well the record in school, at the time it was a great hit of it in Hong Kong.
    After all these years has gone, Now, I am a fine art artist and much older ….I still love Highteen Boogie very much, I just can’t forget it, whenever I read the manga again, again and again, the story and the drawing still move me so much eventhough I am no longer a teenager now.
    I has been looking for the manga since long time ago, in a bit of luck, I managed to find a Chinese translation version of it but only vol 1-12, I was so happy and can’t belive my luck, as you know the Chinese version pulished at 1991 in Taiwan, now I don’t think you would find it anywhere in the world…..I still own the Japanese version from vol 1-13…sadly I can not find the whole 26 volumes of Highteen Boogie. I will continue to look for it, may be one day go to Japan in a secondhand comic book shop, I will be able to find them.
    What I want to say here is I am very surprise and happy to know someone who love this manga as much as I am. I am not the only one on the earth who love Highteen Boogie, I probably love this manga for the rest of my life.

    Posted by Art Room1000 | June 14, 2011, 1:08 pm
    • So glad to see someone found their way in here and leave such a pleasant comment. THANK YOU, Art Room1000 for leaving a reply here – Hope my post has somewhat satisfied your nostalgic feeling for Highteen Boogie ^^

      Very fortunately, I am also one of the lucky few who managed to obtain copies in chinese, as well as japanese version – What a luck that I just happened to bump into a comic book shop in HK, and it just happened that its chinese copy was being sold at a greatly discounted price (lol~)

      I was told that the its Chinese publisher (大然出版) was closed down in the midst of its publication, hence never the release after vol 13. As for a japanese copy, I’d suggest you to have a look at Amazon.co.jp (or any other jp auction sites) – there are some limited copies being sold there still ^^

      Have not watched HB movie – what a shame, since I could not find its VCD being sold/ rented anywhere…. Love its music, especially “Momoko”, sung by Kondo Masahiko (aka Machi). It was so touching (somewhat echoed that feeling of the manga at its end, where Sho was traveling abroad…

      …. though I could not stop giggling when watching Machi’s HB video in a head band + shorts + whits socks + trench coach….. so 80’s…. so fun! :)))))))

      Posted by xkazemg | June 14, 2011, 2:58 pm
  2. Thanks a lot for the information about Amazon.co.jp. I am excited to see those comics still on sell there, just sadly I don’t know how to purchase them as they are all in japnese and I am not quite sure how it works in Japanese amazon system.

    Yeah even I watch the BH movies make me feel fun, as the fashion,dancing and singing in the movie a bit too out of date. But when the song ‘Momoko’ comes, it still hit me softely….

    Thanks again for all the inforamtion about Highteen Boogie, I am really appreciate!

    Posted by Art Room 1000 | June 22, 2011, 9:05 am
  3. Actually, I do not fully comprehend Japanese myself, but am lucky enough to be able to navigate based on my limited knowledge of kanji ^^

    Amazon (jp) works just as the same way as its English cousins (e.g. see amazon[dot]com). It also has a function on its jp interface that allows readers to read in English – on the (top) right side, you should see a link that reads: “Click here to see in English”

    Otherwise, my normal step-to step:
    1. Search for: ハイティーンブギ (i.e. highteen boogie in this case)
    2. For the book you want to purchase, click on “中古品”, meaning “used item”, aka second hand…..
    3. In the list of the “used item” sellers, look for one with “overseas shipping”, i.e. the characters to look for is “海外への発送”
    4. The total fees would be price of book itself (商品価格) + shipping rates (calculated based on no. of books in order – See shipping rates: www[dot]amazon[dot]co[dot]jp/gp/help/seller/shipping[dot]html/ref=olp_merch_ship_2?asin=4091771246&seller=A3VZRA8ZJ10Z2L)

    Alternative option is to use an intermediary service, who would bid on your behalf those second hand books from the popular Japanese auction sites…. One of the service providers that I could think of on top of my head now is jpware[dot]com[dot]hk, which is as it says on the tin, based in HK (i am assuming you can read chinese characters, right?). I can’t really say much about the service since I have not used them before.

    Personally, I prefer using Amazon for its efficiency, convenience and reliability; put it this way, at least I could still manage to get a full refund after the “used item” I ordered failed to deliver… but of course, its shipping rate can be dearly, especially if ordering multiple items! And of course, you need to have an a/c with Amazon JP for any purchase.

    Hope it helps, and good luck ordering! ^^

    Posted by xkazemg | June 22, 2011, 4:19 pm
  4. Thank you very much for your detail information about how to purchase the Books, Very helpful indeed!
    I am certainly to give it a go to get the books either from jp amazon or jpware[dot]com[dot]hk (yeah I can read chinese).

    Thanks again! You are such a star!

    Posted by Art Room 1000 | June 24, 2011, 8:15 am

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