Hero Heel Vol. #02 - Mania.com

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Released By: Digital Manga Publishing
  • MSRP: 12.95
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 978-1-56970-836-1
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: HERO・HEEL

Hero Heel Vol. #02

By Julie Rosato     August 12, 2008
Release Date: June 24, 2008

Hero Heel Vol. #2
© Digital Manga Publishing

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Makoto Tateno
Translated by:Ken Wakita
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say
Minami confessed his feelings to Sawada, and they spent a single night together, but now Sawada is brutally rejecting Minami! Minami is trying to forget him, while his fellow actor Katagiri pursues him relentlessly. And on top of that, Sawada is filming with someone who used to be his lover in the past?! The love adventures of these actors are more complicated than the show they star in!

The Review
Minami's relationship on set with Sawada is more strained than ever – not surprising since he'd forced Sawada to sleep with him – but lucky for Minami, his new co-star Katagiri is willing to help him forget his broken heart. While Minami engages in another unhealthy relationship, Sawada's past returns as a guest star on their show. Finally, we meet the much talked of Takagi, Sawada's former co-star and boyfriend. And wouldn't you know it, he really does look like Minami. Oh, how the plot thickens! Sawada treats Takagi about as well as he treats Minami, though – seems it was Takagi's fault their relationship ended way back when. Sawada sure likes to hold a grudge. As it turns out, Takagi's actually looking to start things up again, and Sawada doesn't seem to mind ... but is he actually still in love with Takagi, or is he just using him as a substitute for Minami? Just when it seems like everyone's settling down, Sawada goes and stirs the pot. Ah, jeez!

As one of the licensed titles affected by the BIBLOS bankruptcy, it's been quite some time since we saw the first volume. Unfortunately, it wasn't worth the wait. I had my suspicions, but this volume was a disappointment. The stuff that worked in the last volume has been watered down here so much that we're left with a pitiful, obsessive Minami falling even lower than where we left him, and a Sawada so broody as to inspire frustration equal to the sympathy we're supposed to be feeling. And the sorts of acts that left a bad taste in volume one are back with a vengeance here, too. About the best things here were watching them shoot their TV series (its plot possibly more interesting) and Minami finally getting a clue about how he should treat other people. The little epilogue at the end, much like the one in volume one, was a step in the right angtsy direction, but it seems this series only shines when it's hurting its characters the most.

So, we've reached the middle volume – keep going or move on? It's possible the final volume will redeem itself; I think it's pretty clear that this story is going to wind up they way we "want" it to, but whether it can regain some of the manipulative magic of the first volume remains to be seen. There's lots of crying and brooding here, but not the kind that really moves the reader – at least not this one. It took about a 140 pages to make it worth my while this time around, so I'll say for sure that if you weren't sold on the first volume, this one won't change your opinion.


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