Today’s quote is from the phenomenal series Haikyu!!: “But nothing would ever get started if they didn’t first think, ‘Let’s give it a try.’”
Genre: Sports Manga, Graphic Novel
Series: Welcome to the Ballroom vol. 1
Recommend to Others?: Yes
ABOUT: THE BALLROOM BECKONS Feckless high school student Tatara Fujita wants to be good at something – anything. Unfortunately, he’s about as average as a slouchy teen can be. The local bullies know this, and make it a habit to hit him up for cash, but all that changes when the debonair Kaname Sengoku sends them packing. Sengoku’s not the neighborhood watch, though. He’s a professional ballroom dancer. And once Tatara Fujita gets pulled into the world of the ballroom, his life will nevver be the same.
A good story with a likable cast of quirky characters. I think many people can relate to the main character, Tatara Fujita, in some way. He’s just your average high school student who is unfortunately being bullied at school. Tatara feels adrift with a purpose or something to be good at that would make him special.
But in volume 1, you see him start to come alive, slowly finding himself and a passion to his surprise through ballroom dance. The dancing shown looks really great on the page. There’s life/expression in each dancer’s eyes, body language, and athleticism. I have seen the anime for this story and I think I like it better. But this is still a solid start and the story does get more interesting as it progresses. I really like where this volume ended because it gets you excited with anticipation for the next volume.
Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel, Sports
Series: Ace of the Diamonds
Recommend to Others?: Yes
ABOUT: [Vol. 1] Eijun Sawamura had his heart set on the middle-school national baseball championships. But his team is eliminated thanks to a wild pitch thrown by Eijun himself. He’s planning to go to high school with his teammates and try again next year when he’s scouted by the famous Seido High School Baseball team. When he goes for a campus visit, he finds himself on the receiving end of a baptism by fire! His experience forming a battery with up-and-coming catcher Miyuki rekindles his passion for baseball!!
My Review: Disclaimer: I have watched all of the episodes of the anime that are available. This is my first time reading the manga.
The first three volumes of Ace of the Diamond were just as good as the beginning episodes of the anime and brought back a lot of fond memories.
Eijun Sawarmura (mc) is a passionate boy who wears his heart on his sleeves. As loud as he is, Eijun’s high energy is infectious and draws others in. You can clearly see that in his interactions with his middle school friends. He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer (and even less about baseball in general). But Eijun has raw potential and you immediately become invested in his desire to play baseball, his growth as an athlete, and his goal to become the ace of Seido High School’s varsity baseball team.
Baseball is one of my least favorite sports. I’d rather play it than watch it. However, Ace of the Diamond is an addicting series.
Seido’s baseball team has a lot of members – its freshmen count close to 100! The team is highly competitive and a prominent program. Their practices are grueling. To get one of the 20 sought after spots you have to work your ass off and then some every day.
All of the members are talented players who live and breathe baseball. Seido’s hard work brightly shows in the practices and games you get to see so far. Those illustrations were very cool, especially of the pitchers.
The passion and work ethic are admirable and you want Seido to succeed so badly and make it to Koshien Stadium where Nationals are held. It’s a lot of strong personalities working towards the same goal.
While there are a lot of serious moments throughout the story there are plenty of funny, light-hearted moments as you get to know the other main players/characters on the team. I enjoyed volumes 1-3 and can’t wait to continue this series.
Images via Goodreads
Genre: Manga, Sports, Shonen
# of Volumes: 39 (ongoing)
Recommend to Others?: Yes
ABOUT: [Vol. 1] A chance event triggered Shouyou Hinata’s love for volleyball. His club had no members, but somehow persevered and finally made it into its very first and final regular match of middle school, where it was steamrolled by Tobio Kageyama, a superstar player known as “King of the Court.”
Vowing revenge, Hinata applied to the Karasuno High School volleyball club… only to come face-to-face with his hated rival, Kageyama!
My Review: [Vol. 1-3] A really great start to a very heartfelt and passionate story!
I am so happy to be reading this series because I love the anime so so much! The story opens wonderfully, foreshadowing the beginning of something special. Matches were captivating the view with all the right moments captured.I really like the art style and felt every impact of larger or full page panels.
Foundations are laid as Karasuno slowly comes together. There’s a lot of raw emotion in just these beginning volumes, everyone has something to improve upon to be the best player and teammate they can be. I adore each character so much, especially Hinata and Nishinoya!
I could barely contain my joy as I was reading and now I want to start collecting all of the volumes. I enjoyed re-experiencing this story anew through the manga. It has reaffirmed my love for this story and team.
*review modified from what I wrote on Goodreads to give an overall review of volumes 1-7*
Genre: Manga, Graphic Novels
# of Volumes: 18 / ongoing (English translation)
Recommend To Others?: Yes
ABOUT: [from Vol. 1] During his last spring break before starting high school, Tsukushi Tsukamoto meets Jin Kazama, who invites him to a pick-up soccer game. Their chance meeting, and his first-ever experience with soccer, move kind-hearted, timid Tsukushi to enroll in his new high school’s soccer club, which is among the strongest in all of Japan. Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, there’s something amazing hidden inside Tsukushi’s heart…and through the trials and tribulations of his time in the soccer club, it’s beginning to blossom!
My Review: Days is such a great sports anime. Like other in the sports genre, Tsukamoto, the MC, is lovable and often underestimated and the team is full of adorkable weirdos. So when I found the manga for purchase I was ecstatic and eager to read. Seiseki is one of my favorite manga/anime sports teams!
The first volume was an ok introduction to the story. It was missing the high energy level that the anime has but was still cute.
Tsukamoto slowly – very slowly – grows into his own in a way only he can. He’s such a lovable character who almost everyone keeps underestimating just because of his personality and the way he looks. He is a precious gift from above! But it’s an uphill battle for him as he struggles to learn how to be an effective soccer player and member of Seiseki.
Seiseki goes through several emotional highs and lows that only serve to make the team stronger. The players are very determined to win and uphold the team’s legacy. Seiseki has a top tier soccer program.
Mizuki is a beast! He’s one of my favorite characters. What he lacks in words – which most cannot understand – he makes up for in his skill on the field.
Some of my favorite parts take place when the team goes to training camps. I think it is there where you start to see character growth not just from Tsukamoto but from other members on the team.
Big things are happening. I left off during a crucial tournament for Seiseki, so I’m looking forward to seeing how far the team will go and if they can make their dreams of representing Japan come true.