A student council and a harem don't always guarantee a good story.
Title: Student Council’s Discretion
Genre: Comedy, Ecchi, Harem, Romance, School Life
Publisher: Kadokawa (JP)
Creators: Sekina Aoi (Story), 10mo (Artist), Kira Inugami (Character Design)
Serialization: Dragon Age Pure, Monthly Dragon Age
Translation: Sean Koble and Jenn Forsyth
At Hekiyo Private Academy the student council isn’t elected through a traditional election but through a popularity contest. Thus, the council is composed of mostly beautiful young women every year. It seems like an alluring group of people to be a part of, and this motivates Ken Sugisaki to become a member via academic merit. Luckily, Ken winds up enjoying his new “harem” very much.
The usage of the word “harem” was intentional since that is what Ken flat out calls this bevy of young women despite the fact that no one is romantically interested in him, and the girls try all kinds of different tactics to get him to stop. It’s the biggest running gag in the story and in many ways sets the tone for the story. The manga invokes all kinds of different tropes, gags, scenarios, and references to fill its pages but like the harem comments it is all played completely straight. It may try to break the fourth wall and wink to the audience but make no mistake, this is not a parody or satire, the story means all of these jokes quite sincerely and does not seem to realize that it is not a good manga.
Despite the above image, the manga doesn’t actually contain too many now-outdated references, but like the rest of the story they are painfully unfunny. The harem gag repeats itself at least three times in as many chapters and again, this story thinks that it is genuinely funny and expects the readers to be laughing along with its empty fluff. There’s nothing holding together the skits, I’m hard pressed to remember a single character’s name, and frankly I don’t see where the series can go since it lacks any kind of direction here
The story also gets downright confusing in some of the later chapters. Early on we have a chapter about Ken being forced to write fictional light novels about the student council to boost their popularity and said book is also titled Student Council’s Discretion. Within that particular chapter it’s easy to see what is part of the story-within-a-story and whatnot, but towards the end of the volume the manga seems to revisit this idea in a very meta sort of way, with multiple pages of pure text ending with comic pages where the characters comment about how the pacing is different. Some of these bits may have been bonus comics for the (real) manga, or may have been connected to the real original light novels the manga is based off of, but by then it was too confusing to figure out how everything fit into the already loose story.
Not recommended, there are better school comedies with harem elements out there so there’s no need to read this instead.