Illustrated by Yusuke Nomura
Team Z is back in tournament play, and they have to not only win, but outscore their opponent to stay in Blue Lock. One of their own betrays them, however, hoping to be able to stay on after Team Z is kicked out by being a top scorer. All of their weapons and strategies are leaked to their opponent, and the betrayer even stops helping Team Z midway through the game, making it effectively 12-on-10. Against these tremendous odds, they still managed to bring together the team and overcome their adversaries, but their betrayer plans to do it all over again with their next opponent. Luckily for Team Z, their next opposing team believes they can win on their own terms and reject the chance to win by cheating. Now, Team Z will have to figure out how to play with a teammate who clearly doesn't want to be on their team any more!
Illustrated by Yusuke Nomura
Isagi and his teammates of Team Z must survive a round robin tournament in the 5th group of Blue Lock. In their first game, Isagi chose to be the center forward, but too many of his teammates stole the ball from each other in order to be the highest scorer and potentially save themselves from being totally eliminated in the tournament. This style of play earned them a loss, but it showed them that each of them have a “weapon” they can use on the field to help them win. The team sets out to practice a new strategy where each team member gets ten minutes of the game to use their special skills while the rest of the team supports them from the various other positions. If they lose their second game, they’re out for good, some Team Z bets everything on their new strategy in order to keep their soccer dreams alive.
Eijun Sawamura and his middle school baseball team fail to win their championship game based on a wild pitch from Eijun. After he recovers from his disappointment, he’s content to head to the local high school with his friends and continue to play baseball with them. Then, Rei Takashima turns up, scouting Eijun for Seido High, a top baseball high school in the country. Eijun feels guilty for leaving his friends behind, but a trip to watch the team practice mostly solidifies Eijun’s decision. He doesn’t make a great first impression on the Coach, however, after showing up late for the first day of practice. The coach gives him an ultimatum to be able to throw a ball over 300 feet or give up pitching all together, and Eijun of course can’t back down from a challenge.
Knight of the ice vol 1 by YAOYI OGAWA
Chitose works for a health and lifestyle magazine, writing articles and tracking down big stories on healthy supplements, among other things. But, she’s also the “good-luck girl” for Kokoro, a rising star in the world of Japanese figure skating. The two grew up together in Fukushima (which means they somewhat need to mask their “country-bumpkin” accents), and one of their favorite shows to watch as kids was Princess Lady Lala. Jokingly, Chitose “cast” a spell from Lady Lala on Kokoro before one of his performances, and he turned out the best performance of his life. Now, Chitose has to be at every competition to be able to put that spell on him. When the date of the Grand Prix and a major work interview land on the same dates, Chitose cannot choose between the two!
Knock out! By Reinhard Kleist
Kleist presents the true story of champion boxer, Emile Griffith.
One day while at work, in a most oppressive heat, Emile Griffith was stuffing hats in boxes, singing to himself, when several people noticed that his physique was that of a boxer. His boss, Mr. Arnold, took Emile to a local boxing gym and got him set up with a trainer and his first match. Even though Emile didn't want to hurt anyone, he found he was really good at boxing. His strategy? Hit the other guy before he has a chance to hit you. Emile would go on to win many championships and start his own line of Ladies Hats with his former shop. Emile also took several lovers along the way, but, despite their encouragement, he never wanted to get into activism or anything outside of the ring that would draw attention to his personal life. His major rival was Benny "Kid" Paret, who hurled a homophobic slur at Griffith before one of the title matches. Paret later died from his injuries sustained by Griffith during the match.
Shōyō Hinata loves playing volleyball, but he hasn't have enough people in his middle school club to make a full team. Instead, he practices with whoever will set the ball for him - the girls' volleyball team, a women's volunteer team. When he finally gets enough people to enter his first and last ever tournament of middle school, they lose miserably to Tobio Kageyama's team that is a favorite for National competitions. When Hinata and Kageyama both end up at the same high school, they must set aside their middle school egos, learn to be teammates, and learn to share the spotlight before they can officially start playing with the official High School Club Volleyball team. The team captain pit Hinata, Kageyama, and a veteran player against two new first-year hopefuls. Whichever team of newbies wins will join the team.
Chunky by Yehudi Mercado
Hudi's always had health problems, stemming from the removal of a lung when he was really young. His health concerns are compounded by his weight, and his doctor advices his parents to get him into sports. But, Hudi would much rather tell jokes and make people laugh than run or diet. Enter Chunky, Hudi’s imaginary mascot, here to cheer on Hudi as he tries out several sports: baseball, where he can only get on base if he's struck by the ball; soccer, where he has some success using his large stature in the role of goalie; swimming, which he really enjoyed until he hurt his thumb and can't get it wet; and football, where the aggression of the sport clashes with Hudi's jovial nature. Complicating things is a strained relationship with his father, who is extremely athletic.
One arm of manga publishing that has been popular for decades is Sports Manga. These are mostly popular with the gentlemen readers, but I have seen a number of young ladies gravitate towards sports manga. There are so many titles encompassed in this genre, and a lot of the good ones are really hard to find now (Initial D comes to mind, which was published by TokyoPop, so good luck finding those). New series are coming out all the time in this area, so check with your readers to see which ones they might be interested in.
As the title gives away, this series is about a tennis player. Ryoma Echizen is no ordinary tennis player. He's only 12 years old, but he's good enough to compete in the 16-year-old tournament and wipe the floor with all of them. How can this pip-squeak be so good?? Well, his dad was a major tennis star, and his talent was genetically passed on to his son. The Prince of Tennis is a title others have pushed on Ryoma, and each volume is filled with ways he has to prove to others that he is worthy of that title. Ryoma also enrolls in an Academy for rising tennis stars, so the pressures of school are added to the demands of tennis-playing.
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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