Review by: Sophie Stevens
Publisher: CMX Manga
Author: Takanori Yamazaki
Genre: Graphic Novel (CMX Manga/Flex Comix)
MSRP: $9.99 US
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Now available
The girl who won’t step up to the plate.
I have to admit that I have a fondness for sports manga series and even more so when there’s a comedic element to the series. There’s not much baseball in the United Kingdom where I’m from so I certainly appreciate a good baseball manga series and with Diamond Girl, Volume 1, joins the ranks of other notable sports/comedy series it is certainly a welcome addition but we have yet to see how this one plays out.
Diamond Girl follows Tsubura Shiraishi, a transfer student who comes from the big city who just so happens to be short, cute and desperately seeking to blend in with the other students without standing out. Unfortunately for her, though, one of the boys from the baseball club playing below sends the ball right through the classroom’s window and heading straight for Tsubura. In a flash, the girl catches the ball and sends it hurling back at the pitcher down on the field.
It is that amazing feat that has Masami Baba and Kanae Takagi from the baseball club try to find out the truth about Tsubura as well as eliminate any doubt that her little stunt might have been some kind of one-time miracle. Donning masks, the boys of the team try to send a ball her only to see that Tsubura and catch a fastball and then send it smashing through a metal locker. This girl definitely has skills and the boys will stop at nothing to recruit her.
Oh, but Tsubura makes it loud and clear that not only doesn’t want anything to do with the club but that she absolutely hates baseball. Unfortunately for her, Tsubura befriends a girl named Haru Adachi and joins her club only to find out that Haru just so happens to be on the baseball club as the team’s manager. Begrudgingly, Tsubura joins the club but doesn’t want to participate. Her best argument is that a girl can’t play baseball on a team with only boys. Their plan is to make Tsubura pass as a boy somehow … a fact that pushes the girl further away from being on the club.
However, when an incident involving a wild monkey and Tsubura’s favorite handbag shows what the girl can do with a ball it is the entire school that sees that this is one talented girl who just so happens to have had experience playing baseball. What happened in her past to make her hate the sport so much? How is it that this girl has the pitching arm of a professional player?
This mystery becomes too much for the boys (and girl) of the team as they try to get to know Tsubura better. It is the team’s pervy member, a boy named Heitaro Yasaka, who suggests they follow the girl home to see what her home life is like. They all not only end up helping Tsubura and her grandmother move but even stay over to eat and sleep in her place … much to Tsubura’s annoyance.
It is in her home that the members of the baseball club discover a few things about Tsubura as the girl reflects on her past and the person who practically pushed the sport on her when she was little. Her hatred of baseball is actually very relatable and when she threatens to jump into the river with a box filled with baseball-related goodies, her reasons become clear to her. Still, it becomes clear to the girl too that the members of the team love the sport so much that they’re willing to jump into the river to fetch her things. How could they love this sport so much, she thinks?
Diamond Girl is actually a sincerely funny series that might not be hilarious but has enough moments that will make you chuckle a few times. It’s art definitely reflects the series’ comical side and you’ll love Tsubura’s facial reactions to things that surprise, annoy and embarrasses the girl. She’s actually a likeable character and, while we know very little about the others on the club, they’re actually amusing. Here’s hoping they develop into interesting characters as this series progresses.
There is certainly a lot of potential here as we can see from Volume 1 of Diamond Girl. It’s certainly a fun series with a decent sense of humor and nice art. While we have yet to see how the sport and team interaction will play, there’s some good things here that should please fans of sports/comedy manga. I’m certainly looking forward to the next volume in hopes that this one will turn out to be the quirky, funny and likeable story that we hope it would be in the next inning of this manga.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Tsubura Shiraishi is a new transfer student from Tokyo looking to keep away from everyone in her new school and, most of all, the sport of baseball. However, when a dinger comes hurling in her direction it becomes clear that this girl has quite an unnaturally gifted throwing arm. It doesn’t take too long before the boys (and girl) of the baseball club want her on their team but Tsubura does not want anything to do with the sport.
The art is actually quite striking as you can see from the cover and it does the comedic elements and visual gags right. The fan service, thankfully, is kept the a minimal and directed more at Tsubura.
While the story still hasn’t shown us its true potential yet, Volume 1 of Diamond Girl is still a fun read that is as actually quite promising thanks to its cute cast of quirky characters. We love a good sports series so we’re sticking with this series to see how it will handle the sport but so far we like the comedy and the MVP who keeps this manga amusing.
Review copy provided by CMX Manga