Crimson Hero 8 by Mitsuba Takanashi: B-

From the back cover:
Coach Shima sends Nobara to train with the men’s team at Central Sokai University. However, these college guys have no intention of letting a girl join their practice—unless Nobara can find a way to gain their respect.

It took me this long to start to get tired of reading this series, which is probably a compliment. And really, this volume is pretty decent. Nobara is training with a beach volleyball team and learning to see her skills—like her amazing jumping ability—objectively. Her teammates are rather silly, but overall these chapters are pretty fun. In fact, they’re very shounen, with lines like, “I’ve got to become stronger!” and “There’s got to be an attack only I can do!”

Alas, there are also some lame, kind of retconny moments. Nobara having a particular childhood hero has never been mentioned before, but suddenly we are told she had one and turns out to be, of course, Ryo, the guy she’s been sent to train with. Worse, though, is that Nobara goes practically bonkers during a typhoon and rushes out to the beach to physically hold onto one of the posts holding up the net so that it won’t get destroyed because she must become stronger and all of that. She later explains that she often goes nuts during storms on account of the childhood trauma of being locked in a storage room during one. Normally Nobara is not the type of heroine to have a “too stupid to live” moment of such magnitude. It was pretty crapulent.

Anyway, it is at least clear that Nobara is improving. I look forward to seeing how her new skills will translate on the court.

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