Luke is an aspiring high school basketball player whose mother is an archaeologist, and she has just secured him a visitor pass to come to her latest dig site. Despite her warning not to touch anything, Luke is drawn to an artifact that looks similar to the others his mom’s team has uncovered, but the artifact pulls Luke into a dark place, where the Earth is the size of a basketball! He runs into a girl named Lully, who calls this place the Black Gateway. Luke grabs the Earth and Lully leads him out of the darkness into her bedroom. They decide to travel to the closest town to see if there’s anyone who can help Luke get the Earth back to normal size. Along the way, they meet Mitton, a deserter from the military force on this planet, and they must fight to keep the Earth out of the hands of mercenaries and evil robots who all want it for the evil Damas.
This is one of the first stories in a new line of North American manga (also known as Original English Language manga, or OEL manga for short) that Viz is publishing, so it reads from left to right like North American texts. The story is slightly compelling, especially if you really need to know what happened to the basketball-sized Earth. That answer isn’t in volume one, of course. Also, Luke is able to use the Earth as a sort of weapon, and he shoots it at people like he’s playing basketball. This doesn’t end up hurting the planet at all, which is also not explained in volume one. This is a decent start to a new series that would be good for collections where sports manga, particularly Kuroko's Basketball, is popular.
VIZ rates this for older teen because of language and violence. There is some blood in a few fight scenes, but otherwise, it isn’t overly violent. There aren’t a ton of cuss words either, so the rating seems to be slightly inflated. I wonder if it will become more violent in volumes to come.
Sara’s Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 8-12
This review was made possible with a digital reader copy from the publisher through Net Galley.
Publisher: VIZ Media
Publication Date: June 8, 2021
ISBN: 9781974719402 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, OEL Manga, Isekai, Action Adventure, Friendship
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