Diamond Girl is a title that I’ve been anticipating for a few months after first seeing it on FlexComix’s site in December and reading the first chapter on there. April is as a good time as any for a baseball manga to come out and though this first volume from CMX didn’t hit it out of the park for me, there was enough spirit in it for me to want to see where it goes in volume 2.
Main girl Tsubura Shiraishi just transferred into Ryukafuchi High School and is trying to lay low on her first day but that plan gets ruined when she reactively catches a baseball that crashes through her classroom window and throws it back. Now the struggling baseball team wants to recruit her despite her absolute hate of the sport. The daily practice on a Little League team when she was younger has prevented her from feeling like a normal girl.
Only strong-willed Tsubura and club manager Haru Adachi, who is the most caring of the baseball club crew, stand out as characters in this first volume; the rest of the squad seems to blend into each other. Tsubara’s father Gengoro is mentioned in the volume 2 preview and though I hope Tsubura’s stubbornness will soften in volume 2 (I can only take the same “absolute dislike” attitude for so long), I suspect it won’t shift very much because Tsubara expressed her determination not to become what her father wants her to be.
Takanori Yamazaki’s art is clean but feels a little crude in not a entirely bad way – I was having minor thoughts back to Hyakko, but maybe that’s just the FlexComix-CMX connection and Hyakko‘s October release date both getting to me. I suppose that style fits the location in a way – one teacher commented on the school being rundown as a rain gutter looked about to snap off from the side of a building.
There are a few moments of suggestive humor, which is not uncommon from FlexComix series, and a reference to Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield that made me grin.
I’m reluctant to broadly recommend this first volume but I would say give it a shot if you’re interested and willing to wait for something to develop in the 2nd volume. CMX has a preview of the first chapter on its website if you want to get a sense of the tone before putting down $10 for it. It felt like a quick read to me but that’s partly because I’d read the first chapter a couple times before getting my hands on the entire book.
This review was written using a copy purchased from Amazon.com.