Review by: Sophie Stevens
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Kazune Kawahara
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shojo Beat Manga)
MSRP: $9.99 US
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Now Available
The interesting tale of sisterly love.
Despite what fellow reviewer mentioned on her review of High School Debut, Volume 11, Volume 12 is not the last volume in the shoujo series we have come to love so much in this office. The series is coming to a close, that much is certain, but in the meantime Kazune Kawahara continues the story of a girl we not only have come to cheer on but to love and there’s certainly a lot to love about Volume 12 of High School Debut.
Having made plans to go on their first weekend getaway, Haruna hysterically finds out that going away with your boyfriend for the weekend not only means sharing a room together but – according to all the magazines she still reads as well as input from Asami – it also means a chance to take the relationship to the next level of intimacy. While Haruna begins to prepare herself for that possibility, Yoh’s sister does not like the idea of such a thing happening.
While the weekend getaway begins awkwardly, the young couple do have fun at the pools and hot springs when the evening comes and hilarity ensues. It seems that Haruna has been building up the moment in her mind that when it doesn’t occur she’s actually devastated and when it seems like things begin to move forward Asami shows up with Mami, Fumi and Asaoka to ruin the evening and the trip. Oh, but it doesn’t end there because Asami begins to make it known that she doesn’t approve of Yoh and Haruna dating.
As Haruna and Asami fight over who loves Yoh more, it is actually Haruna who comes to a conclusion as to why Asami is so angry about her dating Yoh. It’s actually funny to see Haruna come to the correct conclusion and seeing her stand up to confront Asami about it. This is, by far, one of the most interesting and unforgettable chapters in High School Debut that’s right up there with Yoh finally wanting to date Haruna.
In the next chapter, a conversation with Mami leads Yoh to find out that Haruna’s best friend is hiding something from Haruna. She tells him that she’s not so great as Haruna makes her out to be and has actually betrayed her friend. On a class trip, Haruna – who is wondering why her friend isn’t interested in romance – seems to be sad. While she was right on the mark with the Asami situation, Haruna is back to jumping to offbeat conclusions when she thinks that Mami might just be in love with Yoh.
In the volume’s final chapter, a trip to the career councilor’s office makes Yoh realize that he hasn’t thought out his future after High school. While his friends have an idea of what they would like to do, Yoh is struggling to find out what he wants so, naturally, Haruna decides to lend a hand. As Haruna figures out what she wants to do, so does Yoh … a fact that makes Haruna realize that his career choice will take him to Tokyo and away from her. Would a long-distance relationship but an end to their romance? Will Haruna make the sacrifice and let Yoh go? I’m not saying but this is something we can come to expect in Volume 13.
You can definitely count Volume 12 of High School Debut as yet another favorite volume in the series. In fact, I would go as far as to say that it will probably be remembered as one of the best volumes that comes close to toppling your previous favorite volume. We are definitely looking forward to the next volume as this amazing and funny series will soon come to what is sure to be an unforgettable end.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Yoh’s sister, Asami, is clearly not liking the fact that Haruna and her brother seem to be taking their relationship to the next step and you better believe that Asami confronts Haruna about it. Then, Haruna’s best friend is hiding a secret that might damage their long-lasting friendship and in the final chapter both Yoh and Haruna think about their future after High school.
Kawahara’s art is one of the many highlights of this series mainly for the other characters’ reactions to Haruna’s insane conclusions. You also have to love Haruna’s expressions to things she doesn’t quite understand.
Volume 12 of High School Debut reaches new heights in comedy and romance as both Yoh and Haruna think about their future. Kawahara is also something of a genius when it comes to comedy seeing as the series – even in its twelfth volume – manages to remain so refreshingly funny.