Tag: sports

Today’s Tub Manga: Welcome to the Ballroom (volume 6)

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.

Today’s Tub Manga: DAYS (volume 3)

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┬ábe important later…heh.

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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.

 

Today’s Tub Manga: Aoharu x Machinegun (volume 5)

I think I have a soft spot for manga/anime about survival games because they remind me a little of my paintball days. However, like my paintball days, I tend to lose interest. I love the premise of Aoharu x Machinegun and really enjoyed the anime but did lapse in reading the manga…

However, volume five went by in a flash. We’re about to enter the Haru-Haruki arc which is a bit convoluted but for now, Hotaru is being her relatively simple-minded self and plugging along. The whole “oh no, I’m a girl!” issue is kind of brushed aside early-to-mid volume and I realized at some point that, perhaps because I’ve read so much BL, I don’t really register Hotaru as a girl. It’s no longer an important plot point.

It is the original plot point, though, so it gets resurrected in the final pages of this volume.

Today’s Tub Manga: Haikyu!! (volume 13)

I LOVE HAIKYU!!.

Every volume I marvel at its tight-knit perfection. Every volume I open the cover with great anticipation just to read the author’s note at the beginning.

The Johzenji game takes up most of the volume with the last quarter of the book covering the beginning of the Wakutani game. (Volume 14 might be a bit rough; the Wakutani game makes me nervous every time I watch it.)

I think most volumes of Haikyu!! contain the same basic elements: Hinata doing something superhuman; Tanaka being goofy; Asahi busting out an awe-inspiring spike; Tsukishima smirking; the opposing team flashbacking to the words of their senpai; Kageyama being sassy; Noya getting a killer dig; Daichi lying crumpled on the court, dead…

Wait, wut? Hehe…Okay, so he’s not dead. But what a cliffhanger! If didn’t already know what happens from watching the anime, I’d be screaming.

Today’s Tub Manga: All-Rounder Meguru (volume 3)

I loved the first volume, had to make myself read the second volume, and once I buckled down to read the third volume…I LOVED IT. This felt like the best volume yet. There’s a great balance of intensity, detail, humor…and dark yakuza shit. I love the contrast in characters and I especially like what the women add to this series.

Sometimes it gets a little muddled because it seems several of the characters have the same face, but it’s still really enjoyable. It has a very different feeling from the team-sports manga (which I also love) and is worth giving a read.

Today’s Tub Manga: Haikyu!! (volume 12)

I LOVE “Haikyu!!”. I totally have a soft spot for sports manga but I especially have a cozy place in my heart for great sports manga. I don’t think I’ve converted a single person but I keep preaching, trying to get people to read “Haikyu!!”.

Volume 12 takes us to the Miyagi prelims where those Karasuno boys have to win, win, and win some more. (The anime is ahead of the English version of the manga at this point, so you can probably guess the outcome.)

In the prelims we get more of what “Haikyu!!” does so well–fleshing out the opposing team, building a quick but touching backstory, and making us feel maybe just a little bad that we’re rooting for them to lose. But then it does that other thing it does so well–those moments of ramped up intensity where Karasuno’s fire is lit and their victory feels like your victory.

I’ve said here and on the podcast and who knows were else that “Haikyu!!” is one of the tightest, purest, most perfectly distilled sports anime/manga I’ve ever seen. It’s all the best aspects of sports action combined with unique but lovable characters and the perfect ratio of humor to drama.

Also: the bonus story at the end of volume 12 was perfect and wonderful and Asahi’s panel just made me want to hug him and Noya both.

Today’s Tub Manga: Kuroko’s Basketball volume 6 (or 11 & 12)

I am thankful with each volume that “Kuroko’s Basketball” finally got English publication. My love of the series probably borders on obsession. But, uh, moving on to volume 6 specifically…

This 2-in-1 covers the backstory of my beloved Kiyoshi and his beloved Hyuga. I mean, uh, the backstory of how Kiyoshi pestered Hyuga to start the basketball club when they were first years. We also find out exactly how Kiyoshi hurt his knee and how serious of an injury it is…just in time to play the team that caused it all the year before! The plot thickens!

While the Kirisaki game is almost uncomfortable for me to watch (read?), I always tear up a little at Kiyoshi’s speech about protecting his team. And then I tear up again when the team promises to protect him. And I could re-read the Kiyoshi/Hyuga first year flashback a million times.

So obviously, I loved this particular volume of “Kuroko’s Basketball” (even though I love all volumes of “Kuroko’s Basketball”).