I love All Out!!
So in volume two, we’re finishing up the match against Keijo. We get some really great sports-manga moments and even a short flashback to a Sekizan before he had the curly hair and white streaks. (Better yet, the hair thing is even commented on in the between-chapter comics.)
Since Gion is a beginner, more rules are explained in this volume so the reader and Gion can learn the rules of rugby together. (right…)
In this match of hot-blooded young men, Ooharano stands out and the other first years…don’t. He also stands out because he doesn’t like sweaty guys. (Speak for yourself!) Ebumi wants to play and there comes a moment in the second half where they have to sub someone in…but let’s not forget who’s the protagonist of this story! (Hint: not Ebumi.)
After the match, we get a bonus manga of one of my favorite sports manga institutions: the after-match function! Because there’s nothing like teams who were just trying to beat the crap out of each other now socializing and having a good time. Ah, youth.
Speaking of my favorite sports manga institutions, the end of this volume kicks off (no pun intended)…THE TRAINING CAMP. Is there anything better? The best thing about this training camp is we get a new character who is totally going to shake things up. No pain, no gain!
On a personal note, one of my favorite things in this volume is Mutsumi getting offended on Sekizan’s behalf in the final pages and trying to protect him. Seeing easy-going, smiley-eyed Mutsumi get so upset so quickly because someone insulted Sekizan is…the panels my dreams are made of.
I cannot even describe how freakin’ excited I was when I saw that All Out!! was finally FINALLY getting published in English. Like another sports-manga-love-of-my-life (ahem, Kuroko’s Basketball) I actually buy the Japanese volumes…even though I can’t read Japanese…just so I can flip through and try to figure out what is going on and try to absorb the sports manga essence through my fingertips. That is how crazy I am about this series.
Obscene fangirling aside, this is an incredibly solid and sporty first volume. While nothing too surprising happens initially, the setup allows us to get introduced to our protagonist quickly and the story gets moving at a nice pace. Relatively early we meet the major players of the series, have some minor conflicts, and really get down to what this series is about. No time is wasted introducing a tragic (?) backstory, short training montage, and fleshing out some character motivation and personalities. By the end of the first volume, you’re eyeballs-deep into rugby and ready for MORE.
I really want you to give this a try. I want you to read it. I want you to love it, even a fraction as much as I do.
I have to admit, volume six and its Haru-Haruki arc is my least favorite of the series so far. With the introduction of the twins Haruki and Haruka, the story got unnecessarily moody (moodier?) and convoluted. Neither character is particularly interesting to me; they could be omitted from the series entirely and I don’t think I’d miss them.
I do really like and enjoy this series but volume six was a bit weak for me. Aside from the Haru-Haruki drama, the major game that takes up most of the volume is against Nine Tails…a team that specializes not in guns, but in (fake) blades. And while I know this is manga and not to be taken seriously, I just had a hard time suspending my disbelief. I’ve shot real guns, airsoft guns, paintball guns [I know, they’re called “paintball markers” to try and rid themselves of a violent image], heck, even blowguns…and, well…there’s a reason there’s the saying “don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.”
I can’t imagine bringing fake knives to an airsoft gunfight is any more effective.
However, as a result of this match, Yukki and Hotaru learn important lessons about themselves and what they need to do to compete. So everyone’s happy and isn’t that really what counts? That Hotaru learns–yet again–what she lacks and needs to do to improve?
Anyway, when it’s all said and done, I always enjoy the interactions between Hotaru, Mattsun, and Yukki. And for whatever reason, I also just love the crap out of Fujimoto (who is barely in this volume).
I was just flipping through again to see if I missed anything and holy crap I did not pay enough attention to the very first page, all in glorious color.
I take it all back; volume six is amazing.
In the interest of full disclosure, I actually read most of this volume while on the stairstepper and not in the tub. I found this to be a pretty efficient way to make a wonderful manga not really enjoyable and do not advise it.
Volume 14 picks up with Daichi on the floor…and soon Daichi spitting out a tooth. As a result, our steadfast captain has to go to the infirmary, leaving a gap in on the court bigger than the one in his mouth…
So this is the volume where we reallllly get to know Chikara and he’s given his chance to shine. We get a better feel for his character and a peek into his history, as well as insight into what his teammates think of him. All of this hits us in the middle of a game against the wanna-be Little Giant of Wakunan–a game that Karasuno has to win to give Daichi a chance to come back. Who wants to end their high school volleyball career in the infirmary?!
This volume is full of intense action and dare-I-say cute exchanges. I couldn’t help but smirk at Asahi’s & Tanaka’s exchange after Nishinoya compliments Chikara on a save. Asahi saying, “Yeah, a compliment from Nishinoya on a save will get anyone pumped” while drawn with that goofy (lovey?) expression warms my heart every time. As does Noya chopping Asahi in the ribs. One of my other Top Ten Heartwarming Scenes in this volume is Suga’s enthusiasm when he sees Daichi is alive and intact…
We also get a bit more Yamaguchi in this volume and at the risk of killing poor Yamaguchi, I love what the mangaka does with him. He gets a bit of spotlight and then ends up tormented again, but I really enjoy his path of personal growth. I also enjoy him announcing he’s going to the bathroom and Hinata’s troubled comment of, “Wow, he sure looked serious about going to the bathroom.” Tsukki’s expression in that panel is priceless.
A couple other notables: Volume 14 contains the results of the Second Annual Character Popularity Poll. Anyone who watches Gintama knows how important these polls are. Anyway, Tanaka’s older sister isn’t happy with her brother’s standing in the rankings. Also, at the end of this volume, we get the cute Nisekoi x Haikyu “Nisekyu” chapter.
Haikyu!! is always great. It’s just better in the tub and not on the stairstepper.
I knew this had to be a great volume because, well, all volumes of Kuroko’s Basketball are great but in this particular case you can judge a book by its cover. And a stern Aomine standing there all ominous is the sign of an awesome volume of manga.
This volume opens with one of my favorite scenes ever–the hot spring scene! Woo! Not only do I love the antics in the hot spring, the meeting and interaction between Kuroko, Aomine, and Kagami at the vending machine always makes me smile.
It’s training time and Kagami is off to secret training back in the states via Murican Airlines. O.o Then, after that famous, scissor-excessive meeting with the Generation of Miracles, it’s time for Seirin to face those black-jerseyed badasses of To-oh! If you can’t tell already, this is probably my favorite game in all of Kuroko’s Basketball. So although I admit to loving every volume of Kuroko’s, this volume kept me smiling and my heart racing (just a little) the entire time.
And I have to admit, I just love the stupid after-chapter bloopers. They’re brilliant.
I never thought I would be so in love with a story about professional dancing.
In volume six, Chinatsu gets a much bigger role and we learn some juicy (?) details about her past.
I wasn’t sure I’d like this volume as much since I didn’t really care for Chinatsu’s introduction in the previous volume but I actually really liked the details about the all-girl pairs. The technical side of this volume was very interesting to me and sucked me in. The whole concept of a good lead really intrigued me (maybe because in my limited dancing experience, every partner I’ve had yells at me for trying to lead?) and I especially loved how Tatara experienced a “good lead” and also decided that is not the type of lead he wanted to be. His consideration for his partner was just heartwarming.
I’m a huge fan of Days and love the hell out of the anime so I had to pick up the manga when it was released. Volume 3 is so full of awesome.
This manga covers several of my favorite scenes from the anime. I feel like in this volume we’re getting a better glimpse of Kimishita, who might be (totally is) my favorite character in the series. Not only do I love his shop and his shirt here, but pay attention to what he’s reading…this might be important later…heh.
We meet the infamous duo of Sakuragi, Indou and Narukami. And we get to see Mizuki in action, which is pretty important and also just really cool. Days has this great habit of taking strong characters and making them really goofy; this started almost immediately when we meet Kazuma in the very first volume and Mizuki continues with this style; volume three has some great Mizuki moments.
I could go on and on about just this volume–there are so many important things that happen and so many little teasers into different characters. Even the scene with Tsukushi’s mom is moving and new. And Kazuma finding himself as he rediscovers his love for soccer (and of Tsukushi? Just ignore me, please) always gives me goosebumps.