Title: Crimson Hero Vol 8
Author: Mitsuba Takanashi
May Contain Spoilers
Nobara has set off on a road trip, and she’s headed to Central Sokai University. Coach Shima has sent her there to drill with the university’s volleyball team, which is one of the best in Japan. When she arrives, her greeting is less than encouraging. The team has no intention of letting a girl train with them, and they quickly dismiss Nobara as nothing but an uppity pain in the rear. What was Coach Shima thinking, sending her all this way? Will her journey be in vain?
Of course it won’t be! What Nobara learns is that Coach Shima’s younger brother, Ryo, is on the CSU team. Sort of. While the coach thinks he shows some promise, the rest of the guys diss him because of his small stature. Ryo wants to play attacker, but he’s too short to play that position on the CSU team! Now both Nobara and Ryo have something to prove, so the two of them dive headlong into training. Ryo has been working hard, practicing on a beach volleyball team. With the support of the other team members, Nobara struggles to push her skills to the next level.
I didn’t get completely caught up in Nobara’s adventures in this volume. Some of the events felt a little stale, and new plot points that were tossed in to the story didn’t seem convincing. Still, I’m a sucker for underdog stories, and it was hard not to be charmed by Ryo’s dusky good looks. He recognizes that she doesn’t have anyone to confide in, and he tries to impress upon her how important it is to let your guard down enough to make friends. He was so accepting of Nobara and her dreams to play volleyball that I think she should consider giving up on Yushin and just stick with Ryo. Though it looks like Nobara’s absence has possibly made Yushin’s heart grow fonder?
Review copy provided by Viz