High School Debut Vol. #06 - Mania.com


Mania Grade: B+

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translation Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 and Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 8.99
  • Pages: 210
  • ISBN: 978-1421517339
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: High School Debut

High School Debut Vol. #06

By Erin Jones     February 10, 2009
Release Date: November 04, 2008

High School Debut Vol. #06
© Viz Media

A bland ex can't ruin a volume that is, in the end, focused on the development of the charming main couple.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Kazune Kawahara
Translation: Gemma Collinge
Adaptation: Gemma Collinge 

What They Say
Can a junior high jock turn high school sweetheart overnight? When Haruna hits ninth grade suddenly boys seem much more interesting than softball! Will Haruna's high school debut end up in heartbreak hotel?
A chance encounter on the train brings Haruna face-to-face with Yoh's ex-girlfriend. (Yes, the ex-girlfriend of "the beads incident" fame!) Yoh reassures Haruna that he doesn't want to get back together with his ex, but is that how he truly feels?

Back in junior high, Haruna Nagashima was only interested in two things: softball and manga. Now that she's starting high schook, Haruna's focus has changed--she wants to snag a boyfriend and have the romance of her dreams!

The Review!
Saving an innocent from a groper (who turn out to be a well-intentioned boy who just want to talk to said innocent girl) on the train is just another day in the life of our dense, well-intentioned heroine Haruna.  What she didn’t expect was to run into the same girl on her way to a date with Yoh, and strike up a strange friendship.  Makoto is distressed because she’s been trying to get into contact with her ex-boyfriend, who is dead-set on not seeing her.  Meanwhile, Yoh is also out of it, as he’s been receiving phone calls from someone he doesn’t want to talk to….

When Makoto turns out to be Yoh's ex-girlfriend in what may be the least unexpected plot twist ever, Haruna’s general niceness prevents her from cutting off all communication with her, even when Yoh asks her to do so.  Her main appeal has always been that she is too sweet and simple to make any attempts at being conniving, but delivering love letters to your boyfriend from his ex seems a bit extreme.  It’s a mix of weakness and kindness, something only Haruna would do, and shouldn’t negatively impact anyone who’s been enjoying the series so far too much.  And the heroine’s simplicity is nothing short of delightful when she and Makoto describe what it is they like about Yoh, still not aware of the fact that they are talking about the same person.  Makoto’s long, complicated answer involves hesitation and qualifications, whereas Haruna’s is nothing if not straightforward and simple.

This was hardly a bad volume; it was nice to see Yoh finally come to terms with the ex that had been stressed in previous volumes, and Haruna's worrisome nature is always entertaining to watch.  However, for one volume, it didn't feel like quite enough.  Yoh's personality is so stoic and generally reserved, and he was so unforthcoming about details involving Makoto, that having him officially over her doesn‘t have as much impact as I had hoped for.  Makoto herself feels a bit like a throwaway character, so the confrontation--no matter how momentous it may have been for Yoh--falls a little bit flat.  What’s better is what happens after he turns Makoto down, starting with his confession to her about what exactly he likes about Haruna.  The very final pages offer the highlight, as everything that has gone right and wrong in this volume lead up to a very sweet moment between the main couple that really helps make up for the lackluster Makoto.


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