Crimson Hero 7 by Mitsuba Takanashi: B

From the back cover:
Nobara’s drive to get the girls’ volleyball team ready to qualify for the next Spring Tournament has tensions running high. Have Nobara’s dreams finally outgrown those of her teammates?

Yay, volleyball once again takes precedence over romance! This volume begins with the girls team in shambles, reeling from yet another defeat, and Ayako telling Nobara that they’re not like her and never really believed they could make it to the Spring Tournament (Nobara’s big dream). After a brief stint at a special training camp makes Nobara realize that it’s her own team that she wants to play with, she returns and the team gets itself together. Training begins in earnest, with the new coach leading the girls through intensive drills.

The problem is that Nobara’s simply enjoying playing so much that she’s not trying her hardest in the practice games. I love that the other girls are worried about her talents going to waste and are working hard to try to challenge her. Finally, at the end of the volume, Nobara realizes that she isn’t pushing herself, and departs to go study with some surfer guy who I can only assume is a volleyball guru of some sort.

With things mostly stable on the girls’ team, it’s up to the boys to provide the drama. Alas, I found this segment of the volume pretty boring. Basically, now that the third years have retired to focus on their college entrance exams, the second years are feeling overshadowed by the new crop of talented first years and quit in a huff. Yushin is ultimately the hero. No big surprise there.

This volume is better than the last, but still isn’t as exciting as it could be. Hopefully there’ll be another fun game before too long.

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