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Review: Hero Heel (Vol. 03)

Manga-ka: Makoto Tateno
Publisher: DMP
Rating: Older Teen (18+)
Released: December 2008

Synopsis: “The final scripts for ‘Trans-Dimensional Warriors Airguard’ are ain, and cast and crew of the hit TV show realize that time is short. Soon, filming will end and everyone will go their separate ways. As they near the special, 2-part series finale, prior romantic tensions between co-stars Minami and Sawada appear to have faded. But, as in any larger-than-life drama, appearances can be deceiving.”

It’s the final volume of Hero Heel as the television production that Sawada and Minami star on is coming to an end. But while the show’s end will bring some sadness and relief to its staff, there remains the undeniable tension between its two stars who remain at stubborn odds with their own feelings.

Admittedly, I found myself disappointed by the time I got to the end of this book. I’ve enjoyed the series for its ability to steer away from many of the yaoi-relationship stereotypes, but the end of this series felt like it was all for nothing. Sure it was predictably inevitable but it would’ve been nice to have an ending that was less contrived, especially after the clincher-moment is held off until the final few moments of the book.

Ending aside, I did still enjoy the dramatized will-he-won’t-hes, even with the often droning wishy-washy attitude of the lead. The action show backdrop still worked as a fun distraction from their relationship woes and the side-characters, though ultimately unmemorable, still gave some much-needed support to the story. Too bad nice-guys finish last.

Sawada himself spends the majority of the book nursing a hidden injury to avoid attention, which I failed to find as dramatic as it was intended. Yeah I suppose he could permanently injure his arm but the lack of life-threat by it made response to the issue a tad overdone.

So I wasn’t as satisfied with this volume as the first two but it was still a decent finish to an overall nicely put together boys’ love story. The characters have some emotional issues that are generally well written and easier to relate to than the more overused stuff out there. ‘Trans-Dimensional Warriors Airguard’ was also fun, and of course also provided some interesting character designs and the occasional action sequence. Hero Heel is still a recommended read from me, even if I hold to my disappointment that the ending could’ve done with some more twist.

Review written January 1st, 2008 by Lissa Pattillo.
Book provided by DMP for review purposes

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Kuriousity.ca. Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.

Kuriousity does not condone or support the illegal distribution of manga online.
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