Tired of sweet, innocent manga heroines in sailor suits? GALS! is the manga for you. Meet Kotobuki Ran and her fellow kogals: the fashion-obsessed, cell-phone loving, boy-torturing high schoolers who once ruled the streets of Tokyo’s trendy Shibuya.

Ran, rebellious daughter of a family of cops, dispenses her own unique brand of justice among Shibuya’s warring cliques. She’ll happily scam a cute guy into buying her dinner one moment, then rescue a friend from trading her body for cash the next. While real-life kogals were notorious for dating older men in return for shopping money, Ran’s quirky code forbids treating yourself like merchandise. She explodes onto Fujii Mihona’s pages like a super heroine in leopard-print, giving GALS! its kinetic energy.

This is a hilariously entertaining manga with a heart of gold that belongs on any teen bookshelf. While GALS! addresses the unsavory aspects of kogal culture (Fujii Mihona has sprinkled made-up public service announcements about prostitution and knives throughout the manga), its message is one of self-respect. Even the occasional swearing has been translated with Ran’s scrappy innocence in mind (jack-hole is my new favorite insult).

GALS!: Volume 1
by Fujii Mihon
ISBN: 140120550X
DC Comics/CMX, 2005

  • Jennifer Webb

    Past Reviewer

    This reviewer is not longer actively working on our site, but we would not be here if not for our many dedicated contributors over the years. We thank all of them for their reviews, features, and support!

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