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.
While on the surface, this seems like a storyline to skip, Konomi does a great job of weaving sophisticated storylines with silliness and tops it with sports. It's actually an entertaining read that will appeal to your sports-junkies, as well as readers who just want a good story. This is a big purchase commitment, as there are 42 novels in this series.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability: Grades 7-12
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Sports
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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