High School Debut, Vol. 11 – Manga Review

HighSchoolDebut11

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

The fight for Yoh has begun.

I said it once and I’ll say it again: we love Haruna Nagashima and since she met and finally got the boy of her dreams to become her boyfriend we were inspired by her truthfulness and her determination. Not everyone is brave enough to put her heart on the line and take risks the way she does and we can definitely see why Yoh Komiyama likes her so much. We love Haruna Nagashima for another reason as well and that reason is what makes Volume 11 of High School Debut really shine.

You see, Haruna has the habit of letting her imagination get the better of her and that makes her jump to various conclusions that ends up either amusing Yoh or annoying him. It also gets her into trouble. So when she sees Yoh chatting with the weird girl with glasses and is smiling at her she jumps to the conclusion that Yoh might just be interested in her. After all, Yoh is the kind of guy that can look past a person’s physical appearance and see a person’s personality. The thought of losing Yoh has Haruna in a daze and even when he invites her on a date she feel only a little comfort.

On the day of the date, though, Yoh runs into the girl again. Just when she finds out that he was on his way to meet Haruna, the girl faints so off Yoh goes to the hospital. As it turns out, the girl’s name is Miyabi Jyoho and Haruna’s first instincts about her are – surprisingly – right. Miyabi is clearly obsessed with Yoh, a fact that has her brother, Akito, worried. Interestingly enough, the girl goes to Haruna’s house to apologize to her for being the reason Yoh missed his date with her and ends up insulting Haruna to the point that our girl believes Miyabi’s harsh words.

Unfortunately, bad timing has Yoh showing up in time to see Haruna crying and embracing Akito who came over to see if she was Ok. Yoh gets the wrong idea but when Haruna tries to clear things up it becomes clear to Yoh that she’s upset by what she had seen outside the prep school when she found Yoh smiling at Miyabi. Meanwhile, Miyabi begins her plan to create a rift between the two when she gets her hands on Yoh’s phone. Via text messages, Haruna receives the shock of her life and – on top of that – her new rival even sets up plans to meet up posing as Haruna only not to show up.

As Haruna sinks into depression and turns to food as a comfort, Miyabi reveals her true feeling to Yoh. Even despite all the misunderstandings, Yoh reveals that Haruna is a lot more precious to him that Yoh ever cared to admit even to his friends or his own sister. In the end, a new “shapely” Haruna decides to fight for her love and heads out with Akito to the beach where Miyabi tricked Yoh into showing up. This is truly one of the more hilarious and memorable moments in this series. Miyabi actually turned out to be a fantastic character and a much better rival than even Leona.

In the final chapter of the volume, Haruna manages to lose the weight she gained from the Miyabi problem and also managed to regain her confidence. When her co-workers hear that Haruna has a boyfriend, one of them makes the suggestion that she consider a weekend trip someplace romantic. It never occurs to naive Haruna that there’s a suggestive nature to a weekend trip with your significant other … a fact that actually bother Asa to no end. Once again, Haruna managed to comically get a reaction out of Yoh and his friends.

Is Haruna ready to take the next step with her boyfriend? Is Yoh ready for something like a weekend trip with his girlfriend? We cannot wait to see what happens in Volume 12.

By far one of the most funniest and darkest chapters in the Haruna/Yoh relationship, Volume 11 of High School Debut is also one of the best volumes this series has produced. It basically has everything you can ask for in a funny shoujo manga and, as it reaches its finale, still just doesn’t stop surprising the series’ loyal readers.

MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN

STORY: A+
As always, our girl Haruna is jumping at all sorts of conclusions about Yoh, specifically when it comes to the strange girl wearing glasses that always seems to show up when Yoh’s alone. Still, when it becomes clear that Akito’s sister is planning to steal Yoh away from her, Haruna decides to fight back. Later, Haruna asks Yoh to go away with her for the weekend … not knowing what that means until an angry Asa tells her.

ART: A
The artwork has been progressively getting better with each volume and I have to admit that Kawahara definitely knows how to draw cute boys.

OVERALL: A+
Volume 11 of High School Debut is actually the first real time that Yoh and Haruna’s relationship is put to the test by a character that’s one of the most interesting to come along in this series. While it’s wonderfully dramatic at times, Kawahara never really loses her charming comedic writing that makes this one yet another winner.

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