Creator: Mitsuba Takanashi
Publisher: Viz
Age Rating: Teen
Genres: Sports, Romance
RRP: $8.99
Crimson Hero v7
Reviewed by Lori Henderson

Nobara’s drive to get the girls’ volleyball team ready to qualify for
the next Spring Tournament has tensions running high. Have Nobara’s
dreams finally outgrown those of her teammates?

After having so much time spent on the romance, it’s a relief to get
back to the sports aspect of this story. Even though I don’t care much
for the sport, the drama created by it is so much better than the
teenage angst from boys and girls sorting out their feelings.

Both volleyball teams at Crimson High are having player problems. Nearly
all the second years have quit the boys team, leaving the first years on
their own. While the girls, after an emotional fight after losing in the
Summer Tournament have decided to get serious about training. Their new
coach pushes them hard, but the focus soon falls onto Nobara. She gave
up the chance to improve individually to play with her teammate. As a
result, she shows no ambition to better herself, even when she makes an
impossibly high jump of 9 meters. So, it up to her teammates and the
coach to help push Nobara into improving to her potential.

This volume of this Sports/Romance is all about the sports. There’s not
thinking wisfully of boys or worrying about who’s in love with who. No,
it’s all about the volleyball and what it takes to be winners. And what
this volume shows is that it takes teamwork. The two storylines with the
boys and girls teams are shown as complete opposites. The boys team is
torn apart by their inability to pull together and work for the goal of
the Spring Tournament. The second years let their pride win out, and
couldn’t take being benched in favor of the first years. As a result the
team is splintered. On the other hand, Nobara, who is given the chance
to train with the best players from teams all over Japan, chooses to
leave to be with her teammates. With her return, their resolve to really
work as team is strengthened. But, it’s also because they’ve become a
team, that they can push Nobara to realize that she has a potential she
needs to work for. Because they care for her and for the team, they can
push her out, so she realizes what she needs to do.

While sports manga isn’t my favorite genre, Crimson Hero is a
compelling enough story for me to stop seeing the sport aspect, and to
really enjoy the drama. There is some great character development seen
throughout this volume with the girls. They have really grown over the
last six months, taking steps they probably never saw themselves doing.
And the character we see being built with the girls is exactly the kind
of character that sports should build; teamwork, respect, and a drive to
better oneself.

11 December 2007
Claymore v3

10 December 2007
Crimson Hero v7

9 December 2007
Claymore v2

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