Manga Review: Crimson Hero by Mitsuba Takanashi

Manga Review: Crimson Hero by Mitsuba TakanashiCrimson Hero by Mitsuba Takanashi
Published by Shueisha on 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Source: Scanlation
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When fifteen-year-old Nobara Sumiyoshi transfers to Crimson Field High School, she hopes to play competitive volleyball, but her mother will do anything to keep her off the court and working at her family's Japanese restaurant.

Crimson Hero is one of the manga series I started back before I knew not to begin unfinished series. I’d gotten through everything that was already translated, but then had to wait several more years for the ending. I was so excited to come back to this series, because it had been one of my favorites. I’m such a different person now than I was then. I shipped it like burning before, but that’s gone. However, I did still find much of the story touching and love the focus on volleyball.

What Crimson Hero gets completely right is its priorities. There’s definitely romance in the series, but the volleyball always comes first. The real heart of the series is teamwork and trying your hardest to succeed. This series has a lot of heart and Crimson Hero always got to my feels whenever the teams of Benino High were giving their all to the game. Relationships are put on hold for the sake of volleyball. Everything is, basically. It’s truly a sports manga, not a romance one.

Sumiyoshi Nobara, the main character, excels at volleyball, in large part because of her determination. She’s a natural, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t work at it. In fact, all of the characters put in a ton of time to get as good as they are at volleyball. You see the sweat and the pain in Crimson Hero. There’s no doubt that the teams don’t deserve it when they win. They’re underdogs you can’t help but root for and you mourn with them when they lose.

Nobara’s mother wants her to take over the family business, but she demands to play volleyball for the rest of high school first. When her mom refuses her, she leaves home and accepts a job as house mother to the boys’ volleyball dorm. Though she never had to do chores or cook, Nobara works hard. She puts together the girls’ volleyball team again, having learned it was shut down due to lack of interest. There is so much fight in this girl and I love her for it.

Unfortunately, the series does descend into melodrama from time to time, most especially at the very end. I don’t want to spoil it, but someone gets hurt and it’s just so typically manga. I think the series was stronger without that. And, while people do get hurt in real life, just how it happened and the way everything played out afterwards was so stereotypical and I really didn’t like that.

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If you’re looking for a good sports manga, Crimson Hero is worth a try. It wasn’t as emotional a read for me as it was when I was younger, but I still really enjoyed it.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif volleyball

3 responses to “Manga Review: Crimson Hero by Mitsuba Takanashi”

  1. Nnnngggg I’m not into sports mangas or action mangas (as I recently found out through Akira). Just not my thing. Thanks for the warning.
    Alisa @ Papercuttts recently posted…Poet’s Corner || Salad Anniversary by Machi TawaraMy Profile

  2. losr says:

    The ending was pure bullshit. She stopped practicing the passion of her life to take over a boring job, assecondating that asshole of her mother and being happy playing the quaint girflirend/wife. Meh, typical manga: women can’t have careers, ever, even if they are the best in the nation at what they do and are natural prodigies. For me the last two chapers don’t exist: Nobara’s in an internationally ranked volleyballer plaiyng abroad and living her dream after having ditched that dictator of a mother.

  3. Readterest says:

    I learn about not touching the unfinished manga the hard way. Like, after 7 or 8 series, I found out that the frustration and waiting and looking for raws all over was really affecting my life.
    Readterest recently posted…Aishiteruze Baby Manga | Readterest.comMy Profile

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