Title: Crimson Hero Vol 11
Author: Mitsuba Takanashi
May Contain Spoilers
The Crimson Field’s girls volleyball battle against Aigaku continues, and Nobara and her teammates aren’t backing down by even an inch. They want to win so badly that they are pushing themselves to play above their previous level, challenging themselves to hit the ball harder, jump higher, and block better than they have even done in the past. When they win the first set, it’s a surprise to everyone, including Crimson Field. Riding high on jubilation and adrenaline, it’s starting to look like they just might advance to the Spring Tournament. When the Aigaku team suddenly focuses all of their attention on Tomoyo, their victory starts taking a nosedive. Can they manage to win without relying on Tomoyo’s plays to give them a winning edge?
Grrr….I couldn’t stand the coach of the Aigaku team and that made me realize how caught up in the plot I have become. The action sequences actually held my attention, where earlier in the series I was just struggled through them. Here, Mitsuba Takanashi pulls out all the stops to deliver exciting action scenes intermixed with tense drama as Nobara and her friends try to defy the odds and beat one of the teams that is favored to advance to the Spring Tournament. All of the girls put their disagreements aside and concentrate on one thing; playing the best game of volleyball that they possibly can.
With their victory in doubt, the coach of the Aigaku teams coerces his team into targeting Tomoyo and taking her out of the game. Since they don’t have any backup players, loosing anyone means that Crimson Field will have to forfeit the match. Because Tomoyo was such a formidable player, everyone knows about her injury and that it almost knocked her out of the game – permanently. The Aigaku team is willing to do anything to win, and doing anything means injuring an opposing player. The turn of events brokered just the reaction that was intended, and I instantly hated those Aigaku players. Cheating isn’t winning, it’s just allowing yourself to sink to a new low, and there really isn’t any satisfaction in that.
This was one of the best volumes of Crimson Hero so far. The volleyball match was tense and exciting, with lots of emotional turmoil tossed in to keep everyone on their toes. Nobara and her teammates refuse to give up, even when things are looking really, really bleak. Encouraging words and a never say die attitude carry the action, and all of the girls pulled together to play an unyielding game despite pain, fatigue, and self-doubts. This is the reason that I read manga. To feel a connection to the plot and the characters, to forget myself for the span of a book, to feel uplifted when the underdog refuses to give up. Sure, it gets corny at times, but gosh darn it, it’s just so much fun, and that is what this is really all about.
Review copy provided by Viz