Haine Otomiya is a student at the elite Imperial Academy. A one-time gang member who was put up for adoption by her father, her life changed when she met Shizumasa Togu, president of the student council and ‘emperor' of Imperial Academy. Haine quits her gang and enrolls at the prestigious private school in the hope of winning Shizumasa's love. When she is hired as his school bodyguard, she's thrilled; but can she survive the drama of the student council? As secrets spill and relationships form, Haine is pulled further into the world of the elite and powerful, where wealth is everything and social status is the basis of all relationships. What's a girl to do?
When Najika was a little girl, her parents died, and she nearly did as well until a boy saved her and gave her a flan so that she'd stop crying. Since then Najika has wanted to once more meet her ‘Flan Prince,' though all she has to go on is the silver spoon he left behind. Now a young lady, Najika is on her way to Tokyo to study at Seika Academy, the origin of the spoon and a prestigious cooking school. While there she'll hone her culinary skills, help transform a school eatery into something special and make new friends such as the brothers Daichi and Sora - but will she ever find her prince?
Similar elements: A person has idolized someone they've adored since childhood, who through their kindness, changed the person for the better. The person now has to come to terms that the person he/she knew before is no longer the same. He/she must reconcile the person they put on a pedestal with the actual cold, distant person now that they've reunited in high school. The male lead in both series is one of the most popular boys in the school and is surrounded with other beautiful, popular people as well. The girl becomes a part of his group. In Gentlemen's Alliance Cross, this group is the student council. The high school they attend is an elite private school for wealthy, influential families.
*SPOILERS* More than one guy falls for the girl. There's some shocking revelations about twins in both series and how they have issues with being recognized as each other instead of as individuals although Love Sick and Gentlemen's Alliance Cross are totally different in their twins' situations. Some drama occurs because of a mentally ill mother. One of the big twists is that the main girl, although thought to be from a normal middle class family, is actually the sole heiress to one of the most powerful families in the country but was kicked out. She returns with a vengeance to reclaim her rightful status in the family she was shunned from. *END SPOILER*
Later in both series, there's some convoluted drama revolving revenge, alliances, the rich families of the school, and their heirs. I enjoyed the stories of both but would not recommend them for people who get lost reading manga easily. Gentlemen's Alliance Cross's art style is very elaborate and characters often look very similar. Love Sick seemed to have been rushed so sometimes the narrative is a bit disjointed. However, overall I really liked these two.
The female leads in these stories experience a huge change in social status because of their relationships with powerful young men. It's a definite adjustment for each of them: learning how to carry herself, what to say, and how to make her boyfriend/husband look better.
After the death of her parents, Tsukasa turns to her classmate Ryuji, a yakuza boss, for shelter and a job. Ryuji is generally grave, but purposefully indebts Tsukasa to him so that she has to keep working for him, and he can keep his friend near him. Tsukasa is a simple-minded girl who desperately searches for money to pay off her debts to Ryuji. To make money, she takes on suspicious jobs in addition to being Ryuji's bodyguard, but always ends up in trouble. Ryuji and Tsukasa take turns saving each other as they fight together against the spread of dangerous drugs and weaponry that would destroy Tokyo even more than it has already degraded.
Pretending to be someone you're not. One of the Togu brothers and Tsukasa tend to do just that for more than half their lives. What will happen to make those two change and show their true self to more than just one other person?
The heroines in these manga both enter prestigious schools and become the center of attention without being ready for it. There are struggles that come with fame, and it's hard to tell who really is your friend. In addition, there's a character in each story who has a stand-in at school, so Yuzu and Haine have some complicated emotions to sort out.