High School Debut Vol 10 by Kazune Kawahara Manga Review

Title: High School Debut Vol 10

Author: Kazune Kawahara

Publisher: Viz

ISBN: 9781421526652

May Contain Spoilers

The school sports festival wraps up, and Yoh and Haruna can finally go out on another date.  When large crowds and delayed trains derail their plans for the day, they end up at Haruna’s house.  Will her family ruin their date?  Then, when Yoh meets a very strange girl at prep school, she takes an instant dislike to him.   Can he discover why she hates him?

I just love this series!  It’s sweet and touching, and the characters are all so quirky.  During the sports festival, the competition between Yoh and Asaoka heats up, with both of them giving their all to one-up the other.  Yoh thinks that he’s battling to keep Asaoka away from Haruna, so he’s determined to win, despite an injury.  Asaoka keeps on trucking along, with his silly grin and his cheerful demeanor.   He is so hard to read, and I can never tell when he’s serious.  Asaoka is so busy deflecting his feelings, that I don’t think even he knows how he really feels. 

The series takes a little break from the drama, as Haruna and Yoh end up at her house during a date.  Haruna’s family livens up the occasion, embarrassing both of them with their almost worshipful treatment of Yoh.  An afternoon barbeque takes on an unexpected dimension for the young couple, and I couldn’t stop laughing through this chapter.  It was funny and lighthearted, and a perfect set up for the next story arc, which has a darker tone.

When Yoh announces that he’s going to to to summer prep school, Haruna is disappointed, but she’s going to support her man.  That’s good, because he’s going to need her comforting presence for a change.  When one of his classmates freaks him out with her obvious aversion to him, he doesn’t know what to do.  This was an change for Yoh, who usually charms the ladies, whether he wants to or not.  He’s not one to purposefully flaunt his good-looks, and though he restrains his charisma, he’s never without his admirers.  When a girl comes out and pretty much tells him that he’s not all that, Yoh is dumbstruck.  What is up this blunt, bizarre girl?

One of the reasons that I enjoy this series so much is because of the interaction between Yoh and Haruna.  Usually it’s Haruna who is troubled with self-doubts, but now, it’s Yoh who needs a compassionate shoulder to lean on.  This girl in his class hates him, and he doesn’t know why!  Haruna, ever the chucklehead, tries to comfort him, but she gets creeped out by Yoh’s new anti-admirer, too.  The glowering girl could suck the life out of a wildfire!  Yoh and Haruna feed off of their uneasiness, blowing it out of proportion.  It was interesting to see that Yoh has let his guard down so much that he’s upset by what someone else thinks about him.  Though the story arc features some predictable elements, I’m curious to see where Kazune Kawahara takes it.

Grade: B+

Review copy provided  by Viz