Review by: Faith McAdams
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Kazune Kawahara
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shojo Beat Manga)
MSRP: $8.99 US
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now
Yoh meets the parents.
When it comes to manga, there are volumes in your favorite series that really makes you glad you picked it up and then there are volumes that makes you glad you love manga in the first place. In the case of High School Debut, Volume 10 is the latter and, as a huge fan of the series, this is by far one of the most amusing volumes that make this one of the best volumes yet.
In the final chapter of Volume 9, it became clear to Yoh Komiyama that his close friend Asaoka really likes Haruna more than he led on in the past. It wasn’t that long ago that Asaoka playfully let a very oblivious Haruna know the he was interested in her. Not believing a word, Haruna went on believing that her boyfriend’s buddy was just joking around. As their school’s Sports Festival is just getting started, Asaoka offered a challenge. The two would compete in a number of events and if that person won it would be he that would date Haruna.
Now that the Sports Festival has begun, Yoh tackles the events seriously. It becomes very clear that the young man hasn’t taken Asaoka’s challenge lightly and, with his girlfriend at stake, he pushes himself. The trouble is that Asaoka is surprisingly faster and manages to win an event that Yoh completes very poorly. The interesting thing is that Yoh finds inspiration in Haruna’s smile and pushes himself to his limit despite an injury during one event. It surprises even Yoh’s sister that her brother is doing things he normally wouldn’t do. In the end, Yoh manages to pull a victory by taking to the stage again as Captain.
I won’t go into the details about how Asaoka took the defeat and the words that are exchanged but I will say that Mami – he unwittingly hears the conversation between the two – is right in telling Asaoka that he might not know how he really feels deep down and that it’s not weird for him to have fallen for Haruna. Leaving the young man to contemplate his true feeling for Haruna, Yoh decides to take Haruna out on a date seeing as the school’s event had given them very little time together.
The date, though, doesn’t go as planned and it is Haruna who suggest that they go to her place to hang out. The thing is that Yoh isn’t the kind of guy who is comfortable with things like that seeing as being in a serious relationship like this is new to him too. When they arrive to Haruna’s home, he finds a star-struck brother, a mother trying hard to impress him and Haruna’s kind father who is grateful that he’s going out with his daughter. The funny thing is that Haruna’s family is trying very hard to please Yoh … who is clearly very uncomfortable. To make matters more uncomfortable, a little spill has Yoh taking a bath. It is in this awkward moment that Yoh makes a surprising revelation to Haruna’s father about his relationship with Haruna. By the way, the expressions on Yoh’s face in this chapter are priceless.
With that awkward date out of the way, the following chapter takes another comical and interesting twist as Yoh decides to take college prep classes that will prepare him for the difficult entrance exams. On his way to English class that Yoh sees a strange girl in pigtails and thick glasses picking up change she dropped. Their eyes meet and the girl is taken aback by Yoh’s strikingly handsome features. She then makes a comment that obviously depresses Yoh. He keeps running to the girl and each time she makes similar comments that ruin his whole day.
Meanwhile, Haruna runs into the silent-yet-handsome kid she met during the entrance ceremony. Not only does the kid talk finally talk but we also learn a few interesting things about him. For starters, his name is Akito and he just so happens to be connected to the girl that keeps following Yoh. Sure, Yoh does startle this strange girl but he also helps her and thus makes him even more interesting in her eyes. When she comically notices a similarity between their meeting and one in a shoujo manga, it becomes clear to her that there is something special about Yoh.
I won’t go too much into what happens when Yoh sees the girl again but Akito offers Haruna a warning that maybe the girl’s intentions might not be so good. A look into Akito’s past does show us what this girl has been through so where this part of the story goes is anyone’s guess but this is something to look forward to in the next volume as Haruna trails them during their class.
With the series nearing its finish, Volume 10 of High School Debut is one of this series’ standout volumes that will not fail to please High School Debut fans. A lot happens in this volume and much of it is not only brilliantly well told but it is also actually quite hysterical. This is romance-comedy at its most finest and should definitely not be missed.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
The competition heats up between Yoh and Asaoka during the school’s Sports Festival as they compete for Haruna. Later, Yoh and Haruna’s date takes a hilarious turn when they decide to hang out with Haruna’s family. Then Yoh meets a strange girl who takes a keen interest in him.
I still love Kawahara’s art and even more so thanks to the comical expressions that Yoh displays in this particular volume. You can practically feel his discomfort in this one.
Kazune Kawahara outdoes herself in not only one of the best volumes this series has produced since the first one but also one funny volume that will not fail to put a smile on your face. I’m actually still amazed at how she is able to keep us this interested in the life of a girl who is finally becoming comfortable with being herself. Volume 10 is High School Debut volume you will not want to miss at all.