High School Debut 5 by Kazune Kawahara: B+

From the back cover:
Just when things are going well for Haruna, in walks transfer student Leona Matsuzaka. Beautiful Leona’s got only one thing in mind—to destroy Haruna’s happiness! Who is this vengeful girl and why does she want to hurt Haruna so badly?

The Leona story in this volume isn’t so great. If this were an anime, it’d be the part you’d swear was filler and then be surprised to find that it was actually from the source material, like that part in GetBackers with the thieving monkeys at the hot springs. There are a few good things, though. First, I liked that her rivalry with Haruna is sports-related rather than because of Yoh. Secondly, she traps Haruna and Yoh in a storage room, prompting Haruna to get all gallant and vow to protect Yoh from the cold. Haruna’s cool when she’s like that.

Alas, Haruna is also annoying on a few occasions. During all the Leona stuff, she tells Yoh, “Maybe you should just get together with Leona.” Later, after he’s tired of her praising his friend Asaoka (she’s trying to set him up with her friend, Mami) and tells her “Maybe you should date Asaoka, then,” she gets all pissed, completely not seeing the parallels between her own earlier actions.

One thing that I continue to love about this series is the active interest Yoh’s friends take in his relationship with Haruna. When Asaoka inadvertently prompts that argument between the couple, he devises a tricky scheme to get them to reconcile. Basically, he’s the Hanazawa Rui of the piece.

Even though Haruna occasionally bugs me, there are enough original and funny things about this series that it still ends up being a good read.

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  1. I also really loved the fact that Haruna thought for the longest time she was being admired by Leona. Heheheh.

  2. Yeah, I almost quoted in a funny bit of dialogue about that. It was Yoh’s suggestion, then she goes all hyper about it, and it ends with him saying, “I regret saying it now.” đŸ™‚

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