Tuesday, March 01, 2011
I'm working on a presentation later this month and was pulling some manga earlier today. I came across Real by Takehiko Inoue. The library owns three of Inoue's manga series: Vagabond, Slam Dunk, and Real. I wrote about Vagabond quite awhile back. I've always been sad that Slam Dunk doesn't have its followers here at the library like it does in other places.
And now for Real. Like in Slam Dunk, basketball is the focal point of this manga series. Unlike Slam Dunk, there's nothing cartoony and funny about this series. Real follows three main characters and their love of basketball and how that love helps them through life-changing events--motorcycle and bicycle accidents and cancer.
Prose books that realistically deal with accidents and/or cancer are plentiful but manga not so much. Even with the drama of overcoming the fear of driving, losing a leg, and the horrors of coming to terms with being paralysed, the series has lots of basketball action.
I'm not a sports fan, but if I'm watching something--it's going to be basketball. Sports manga, if it done well, will get you excited about the action happening on the pages. Real does that and then gives you even more with the added drama of the storyline. It's refreshing to see a manga that is not all about the boy/girl attraction or all about action, but has more to offer the reader.