Saturday, March 31, 2018


Kodansha's recent push into digital-exclusive manga has been a boon to many genres of manga, including sports manga.  There was plenty of titles I could have chosen from, focus on sports ranging from baseball to MMA fighting.  In the end, I chose the most unique title of them all; one that wasn't focused on playing a game, but instead on coaching.

GIANT KILLING (Jaianto Kiringu), written by Masaya Tsunamoto & art by Tsujitomo.  First published in 2007 and first published in North America in 2017.


Tatsumi Takeshi was once the star player for the East Tokyo United team, but he wanted a challenge and decided to leave and coach an amateur team in England.  Years later, ETU is in danger of losing their place in both the local league and the hearts of the locals.  The staff eventually convince Tatsumi to come back, but it's going to take a lot more than a change of coaches to win over both the fans and the remaining team members.  Tatsumi's not worried, though.  His attitude may be eccentric, but there's no one better around at turning underdog players into a giant-killing team.

Thursday, March 22, 2018


Of course, sports manga doesn't have to be limited to literal athletics.  There's plenty of it focused on other forms of games, including board games like today's review.

HIKARU NO GO, written by Yumi Hatta with art by Takeshi Obata and supervision by Yukari Umezawa [5 Dan].  First published in 1998 and first published in North America in 2004.


Hikaru Shindo stumbles upon an old Go board while cleaning out his grandfather's attic one day.  Within it is the ghost of Fujiwara-no-Sai, a Heian-era Go master who refuses to rest until he can finally play the Divine Move.  Sai takes up residence within Hikaru's mind, and it seems the only way Hikaru can get rid of him is to become a Go master.  The first test is simply teaching Hikaru how to play, but the next test is impressing a local Go prodigy named Akira Fudo.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


There's a surprising number of shoujo sports series that came out in the early half of the 00s, and most of them came from Tokyopop.  Today's review is a perfect example of these titles...if only it were any good.

GIRL GOT GAME (Power!!), by Shizuru Seino.  First published in 2000 and first published in North America in 2004.


Kyo's father had dreams of playing for the NBA as a young man until an injury put a stop to them.  He's determined to make his daughter fulfill them at any cost, even if it means making her pose as a boy so she can attend Seisyu Academy and play on their award-winning basketball team.  The only thing more aggravating for Kyo than having to pose as a boy is dealing with her moody roommate and rival Chiharu.  His skills on the court are equal to hers, but his poor attitude and problems from his past threaten to sideline him before the season can even start.  Can Kyo help him find his motivation?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


The Olympics may be over, but I'm still in the mood for more sports action, so let's take a look at some sports manga this month!  Today's review a series that we desperate need more of: sports stories about girls.

DIAMOND GIRL (Shiramata Shojo), by Takanori Yamazaki.  First published in 2007 and first published in North America in 2010.


Tsubura just wanted a fresh start in a new town.  What she didn't want was her past catching up with her, which it does when a stray baseball flies through her classroom window and she throws it back like a pro.  The school's hard-luck baseball club wants her to become their star pitcher, but Tsubura just wants an ordinary life without baseball.  Why is Tsubura so talented, and why does she hate baseball so much?