So much for getting back and posting regularly.
Well, not an update post, so that’s an improvement at least, right?
When someone says volleyball sports manga, the first one there would be Haikyuu! I love it, it’s amazing. Everyone knows that. But if I add the word shoujo there, it would immediately become much more challenging for people to think of a title. My answer, would be Crimson Hero. ( Few minor spoilers in the post)
My feelings about the story as such are… confused?
There are some manga that when you first start off with, you get the impression it’s going to be a light comedy- action sort of a thing, but when you actually get through it, you feel like you put your soul in a juicing machine and got it back in a pulp.
Crimson Hero, my friends, was exactly that. Those of you who have read Hot Blooded Woman and Skip Beat may also understand what I’m talking about because all these manga will kill you in unimaginable ways. The start will be happy and funny and then bam! You’ll be so emotionally worn out that you’ll feel like you can’t cry anymore.
It was supposed to be high school volleyball romance for gods’ sake! The reason I started it despite the romance element was because of the magic word- ‘ volleyball’.
All I expected were some pretty game sequences, the typical training sessions and a little romance here and there because it was shoujo.
The manga gave me all that. And a lot more. It also focused on themes of friendship, the journey from weak to strong, pressure of expectation, family, friendship and dealing with loss and injury.
Yes, we are still talking about a volleyball manga.
Why would Crimson Hero be a title on your must read lists?
Well, if you are a sports manga fan like me, you’d have already clicked the title on your manga reader before getting through the whole post. But allow me to tell you some things about the series, so that even the non sport manga fans can try Beniiro Hero out.
Extremely realistic setting
Not only do I mean the high school setting but I also mean all the character’s backgrounds are so utterly realistic, that for once, it seems like a story that could have taken place in a neighboring locality.
Yes, some sequence do stretch the realisticity(?) but overall I think the story is relatable not just because of the brilliant characters, but also because of the great flow.
(And I guess I was just waiting for a sister to love her onee- chan even after she ran away)
Excellent game sequence
Being a sports manga fan isn’t the greatest. Most sports manga don’t update quickly, have hardly or too much humor, and don’t even get me started about side plots. But if that moment exists for you, you’ll get hooked. To be fair, there are tons of sports manga that are beyond amazing, so I guess that was just for show.
The game sequence in Beniiro Hero were A one. The art was brilliant, the flow was brilliant, well, everything about the matches was brilliant!
The start isn’t smooth
This was one thing that annoys me in most manga. The girl gets a bunch of people and *claps* they’re all suddenly working as a team perfectly! How?!
Beniiro Hero takes appropriate time to get the players settled down. They spend the first few months unable to communicate and unintentionally hurting others.
And when they do click together as a team, I felt so good. It felt like, well, like I achieved something myself too.
They take a while to get their feelings across and learn to be compassionate and that’s one of the best things in the manga.
Complex character relations
There is a girl who likes volleyball so much, she runs away from home to play it. She meets her aunt and asks her to help out, who takes her to a boy’s dorm and gets the girl to matron it as an excuse for a place to stay. The boys who live in the dorm are the boys from the guys’ volleyball team in school, and the girl got off a bad start with a guy, who she later ends up falling for.
The second lead guy, who is the ex of the girls’ team’s setter(who is recovering from an injury), is the girl’s childhood friend who considers her as the greatest, strongest person ever. First lead and second lead are teammates and have a love-hate thing going on, and things get strained because the lead thinks the childhood friend is inconsiderate by saying the girl is the strongest and not caring for her feelings at all.
In the midst of all this, girl’s sister gets into mess, girl befriends rival team’s ace, principal is against the girl’s team getting formed, coach turns out to be harsh on another girl, who develops inferiority complex, girl turns out to have abusive grandmother, the lead’s girl friend breaks his heart, you get the point.
It’s a volleyball manga, with a LOT of drama between characters, and I absolutely LOVE it!
Are the characters of Crimson Hero really heroes?
No. Not by the traditional definition, they aren’t. They had many faults and took even more bad decisions. But that’s exactly why they touched my heart so much. Lately the concept of a relatable hero has been all the trend. They have weaknesses, make bad judgements and well, they’re human.
While Crimson Hero’s characters had several understandable flaws, at the same time, each of them possessed a sort of strength that isn’t easily found.
Some overcame physical injuries, others mental trauma and yet others from pressure of family.
To me, Crimson Hero really has wonderful, admirable characters, who can really motivate readers.
What my final thoughts are…
I have a list of at least twenty five manga that I think are the best. Crimson Hero is on that list as well as my top five sports manga list (out of like thirty/forty I have read).
I think that itself makes it plenty obvious what my thoughts on it are.
I absolutely loved and enjoyed the manga the first, second AND third time I read it. It’s the sort of story that will get you to cry, smile, laugh, enjoy, pepped up and out of laziness all at once.
I promise you, if you give the manga a try, you will not regret it. I’m sure that at least one element of the story will be enjoyable, so if you get the chance, be sure to check it out!
As always thanks for reading and jot your thoughts and opinions about the same in the comments! As it is one of those few spoiler free (almost) reviews I have, I request you not to comment an spoilers.
Bonus: This post made my week, no joke, if you haven’t been able to check it out, please do so below!!
Remi-remi senpai’s ‘If Summer 2017 Shows Were Freestyle Rappers’