Sunday, February 28, 2010

Crimson Hero Volume 12 Review

Crimson Hero volume 12 - Mitsuba Takanashi
*January 5th, 2010 VIZ Media

With one of their ace players injured, Nobara and the Crimson Field girls must fight harder than ever. Their challenge is the Newcomers' Tournament, and their performance in this venue will determine just how far the team can go. But Nobara's distracted when she learns that one of her not-so-secret admirers seeks to crush Yushin and destroy the boys' team! All that matters to 15-year-old Nobara Sumiyoshi is volleyball--she's an awesome player with big-time ambitions. But sometimes it seems like a girl just can't get a break in the competitive world of high school volleyball.

Crimson Hero is one of my favourite "go-to"s; regardless of whether I'm down or happy, it's always enjoyable and entertaining. Needless to say, with such a great track record for the previous eleven volumes, I had pretty high expectations for volume twelve to live up to. And I'm pleased to report that this latest installment exceeded those expectations, as usual.

Mitsuba Takanashi has really hit the perfect balance with Crimson Hero - it's got a spunky leading lady, yummy YA boys, teen drama... but what sets it apart is that it also has volleyball action. Because there's a more concrete plot to the [series], it just manages to achieve that extra level of depth in both situations explored and characters developed.

Nobara, Yushin, Haibuki, Tomo... I love them all! (Excuse me for a second while I have a little fan-moment ;) In all seriousness, Takanashi's characters are all exceedingly realistic, faced with contemporary situations that readers can relate to. With her beautiful artwork, Takanashi has struck that perfect balance between romantic teen fluff and raging sports action. Volume 12 in particular may comparatively have a little less fluff, but it more than makes up for it in terms of action and plot development. The events that occur are definitely pretty shocking, and through the way the group handles it, we get a further glimpse into their characterizations.

The situations that occur definitely leave you on the edge of your seat, wondering what's going to happen next, feeling the fear, the infuriation, the injustice... basically just feeling all the emotions because that's how drawn in you'll be. The story just really comes alive, and I would definitely encourage you to check out this series if you haven't already. Even when I've had a sad day, reading Crimson Hero is often able to get me laughing out loud - literally!

Of course, if this is your first introduction to Crimson Hero, definitely start with volume 1. For those of you who are already avid manga fans, I'm sure you'll be drawn in from the very first page. For those of you who haven't been exposed to manga before and are a little more hesitant - don't be. Personally, I've read maybe five or six manga series - and Crimson Hero is the one I simply can't put down. Every time I find myself a little sad as I near the end of each volume, knowing that I'll be in eager anticipation for the next. It would be really awesome to see Crimson Hero made into a drama someday too, actually. (Takanashi's Akuma de Soro was made into a drama a few years ago - Devil Beside You, which starred Rainie Yang, Mike He and Kingone Wang.)

With gorgeous artwork, lovable characters and an action-packed plot, Crimson Hero basically an artistic masterpiece.

*Have you also reviewed [any volume(s)] of Crimson Hero? Drop a link below.

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