September 18, 2010


@Home Cover

The Summary:
I'm reviewing this manga to basically showcase just how broad the spectrum of manga really is. @Home is set in a (nonfictional) maid cafe located in numerous sections of Japan... what has basically become a little maid cafe empire. Their website can be found here, and there's an English section down at the bottom as well. And in case you wanted the Japanese made cafe treatment, but don't know enough Japanese to order your omelet with your name written on it, they even have English speaking maids to awkwardly wait on you.

Anyway, this cute little manga is written by a well-known (mostly) shoujo-ai author by the name of TAKAGI Nobuyuki, and it's got his usual lightly-veiled lesbian references intact. Unlike most of his other fair, however, this one was published by a shounen magazine and... is written exactly the same way as his seinen stuff... which is really light, fluffy, and without any real conflict or resolution. It's one volume long, and doesn't try in the least bit to hide the fact that it was probably funded entirely by a maid cafe as a marketing stunt.

Colors are given for introductions
The manga focuses on 3 pretty distinct stories, all following the main heroin, a young lady by the name of Sakura. Sakura is the most recent addition to the staff of @Home, and by tradition, all waitresses refer to more senior staff members as big sisters. Our little firecracker of lollipops and gumdrops, Sakura, is extremely excited to finally have a new little sister to call her own, but what's this? The new girl is a tomboy! *Gasp* Will Sakura be able to convince her to join the team as a maid instead of a butler? Will she ever believe that she looks cute in a dress? Will she never appear again for the rest of the story? Yes.

There are two more equally vapid and ultimately harmless stories involving Sakura, a beach cafe, and the lesbian waitress that is obsessed with her; followed by Sakura and the tiny lesbian that wants to idolize her but fails miserably.

Sakura's not a lesbian, by the way.

Is it worth reading?
You wouldn't know it from up there, but I actually kinda liked this manga. When I'm in the mood for something a tiny bit cute while still maintaining a little sense of the male genres, I've been known to seek out Takagi specifically. His characters have that apathetic 'I'm not REALLY in love with you, I just really respect you' vibe that you don't find in many 'romance' authors. It's like Maria-sama without the terrible high school girl melodrama. Anyway, like I said above, the story is harmless. The older waitress that has a raging hard on for Sakura is actually quite funny, and Sakura's blissful ignorance makes it a-okay in my book.

That said, it has no plot. The characters have no advancement, no internal struggles, and no back stories. For all the reader knows, they all live in dumpsters in the alley, breathing solely for the purpose of coming to work in the morning and having a not-so-interesting day, culminating in talking about pretty much nothing while they disrobe and head back to their respective dumpsters. The oddest part to me is that they actually bothered to summarize the story on the back cover of the manga.

Manga facts:
  • If you want to have some real fun, go to the actual @Home where you can play a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos with a very bored teenage girl dressed in a maid costume for 500 yen. Win and earn Moe Moe Coins. I feel pathetic just writing that out.
  • And other facts... Damn, I'm sorry, the entire premise of this manga sort of offends me... it's like those terrible Tora no Ana comics in the back of every manga magazine printed after 1990, only in book form. I'm just waiting for the McDonalds manga where Ronald has to break the Hamburgler out of Azkaban and then throw the Fry Guys into the fires of Mordor, only to be stabbed in the back by Grimace, in a Coca Cola-fueled rampage.

Snoopy's Recommendation:
I obviously can't recommend this particular manga. If you're a fan of Takagi's other work, then you'll probably like it well enough, but I recommend starting there first. Hmmm... I guess Magie Parie is probably as good a starting point as any other. As far as translated stuff goes, I believe some people have snatched up some of his stuff... you're on your own for links, though, I'm lazy tonight.

September 1, 2010


Last, Volume 1 Cover

The Summary:
TAMAKOSHI Hiroyuki is an extremely prolific author, best known for his Boys Be series of stories, as well as the Gacha Gacha franchise, specializing in light love stories with a tendency to dress his female characters in short skirts and/or bikini tops. However, he has also made departures from this formula, and today's manga is one of those departures. Last: We are for the Future (ラスト~僕らは未来のために~), is rather unique in the annals of shounen love stories... it's like Groundhog Day, where the protagonist repeats a series of events over and over... only he repeats his entire life, starting at a pivotal moment during his high school class trip.

We follow Takada Kanta, a friendly popular student, who spends all of his time playing with his two best friends... one of which happens to be the girl he loves, while the other is his love rival. Normal so far... even a bit cliche. When his best friend tells Kanta that he wants to confess to their friend (her name's Hina... I'm skipping most of the names for brevity, you'll thank me later), Kanta, being the wishy-washy character that we've all come to expect in these types of stories, claims that he has no special feelings for Hina. Of course, that was a lie, and Kanta mopes for the rest of the night, thinking 'oh man, what-am-I-gonna-do', until he wanders over to Hina's hotel room (they're on a class trip, remember) and runs into her outside. She pulls him in for drinks and they get to talking... turns out Hina has a crush on him and one thing leads to another and they kiss right as the 3rd wheel comes into the room to confess his love. Kanta freaks out, still claiming that he doesn't like Hina in that way, leading to a terrible break in friendship ("then why did you kiss me?" and "How could you do that to Hina?"). The domino effect leads to a lowering in his status in school, his self esteem crumbles, and he's hit by a car as he's running after his last spare change.

First page of chapter 2
And that is half of chapter 1. Now, see, where it actually gets interesting is the fact that Hina isn't the main female lead. It's her roommate on the class trip, the cold and quiet loner of the class, Sudou Riko. After the car accident, the now adult (all-be-it, totally worthless) Kanta is thrown back to the moment before Hina kisses him. Realizing that he's reliving his life's greatest mistake, he pushes her away as the door flies open, and claims that he was outside of her room to meet up with Sudou. Why? Because... she's his girlfriend. She plays along with the gag, and the rest of the story revolves around their relationship and the mysteries of why Kanta is repeating his life.

Is it any good?
I really like this manga. It's a light shounen read with lovable and fun characters, actual measurable character growth, and a bit of a twist ending. And, thank the Manga Gods, the characters don't have one of those terrible 'revelations' that was obvious from the very beginning. For people who are just starting out with Japanese and want something that isn't too complex yet has a good amount of 'real' text to work through, this is a good one to pick up. 

I believe I mentioned it before, but this is a short one... I'm of the assumption that it was started with the intention of making it only 2 volumes, but if it was canceled the author did a good job of finishing it with no glaring cutoff points or missed opportunities. Actually, it's one of the best things I've read from him and I wish he'd stop making semi-hentai seinen stories about incest long enough to write another one like this.

Manga Facts:
  • Published in Shounen Magazine Special starting in 2008 (technically, it was in 2007, but the magazines are dated 2 months off, so it started in the first 2008 issue).
  • The author's official website was last updated on my 24th birthday (I'm 27, by the way).

Snoopy's Recommendation:
I say... read it. It's good. If you absolutely, positively HATE cleavage or the occasional sexy leg, then I suppose you can skip it. But it's so short, and so light that I can't see anyway disliking this manga. So I guess, I'll say that people who like love stories should read it. I'll even include people who mostly like shoujo stuff... it still works.

August 24, 2010

Atori Shou

Atori Shou Volume 2 Cover

The Summary:
I seem to only write about seinen manga in this thing... I'll do something lighter next time. Anyway, today I'm talking to you about Atori Shou (アトリ抄) by TASHIRO Takuya, who is... well, basically not known for anything, although he has some interesting works under his belt. I guess he just hasn't found any love with the few groups who specialize in translating seinen manga, so I'm hopefully shining some light on him. Back to the topic, in Atori Shou we follow Shiba Atori, a human/demon hybrid, as she fights to protect humanity from demons run amok as an operative of the mysterious organization known as N.U.E., all while juggling high school and friends. For people who read the youkai genre of manga (Inuyasha, Nurarihyon, Kekkaishi, etc), this has some of the standard stocks of characters reinvented in Tashiro's style, and while they're called 'diaboros' instead of demons or youkai, the terms are entirely interchangeable.

Atori is accompanied by her squirrel-like demon companion named Jiraiya, and eventually by a host of other demonic pals including, but certainly not limited to, the sword master Mitsurugi. However, it's not really the fights that make this manga any good... they're well laid out and drawn, sure, but the character interactions are fairly unique in Atori Shou. Atori specifically has a double-sided personality and lightens up considerably when she's around her friends, which allows for some dramatic scenes where she has to protect them without letting them know her identity.

Eventually the story plays out and Atori has to battle with the lords of the demon realm to protect her family and friends, and the author manages to pull off some epic large-scale melee demon fights, and character deaths are appropriately traumatizing.

Boobs = Atori (talking about a test, btw)
So it's good, then?
I think it's really good. If it wasn't for the funny characters and light school atmosphere, this story would fall apart under the weight of all the mysteries it throws at the main character, but this time it really doesn't mess with things too much. The comic relief characters are good, the artwork is really good, and the fan service is high enough for fans of service and not so blatant that normal readers can't enjoy it. Pacing is snappy, and a lot happens over the course of the 7 volume story, with little to no worthless characters or filler chapters. And while some plot points were left unresolved, none of them were left ignored, so there was a semi decent sense of completion (which is better than most). I only have two complaints (and they're related); the characters alluded to the chance of Atori being taught swordsmanship, but that section was visibly removed (I assume because the manga wasn't doing well enough to earn an 8th volume), and with the removal of the training story, it's clear that they also forced the removal of the romance that had started to form and was just left hanging there with no where to go. They made such a good couple, damn it.

Manga Facts:
  • Atori Shou started in 2005 and ran for 7 volumes in MF Comics, a Media Factory magazine.
  • Tashiro Takuya's only translated manga is Najica, which is one and the same with the super panty anime of the same title. It was licensed by ADV before they went bust.

Snoopy's Recommendation:
You should look into reading this manga if you're a fan of woman warrior stories or multiple worlds type action stories. The seinen element is pretty light, and it could probably have flown in a shounen magazine with just a little less demon nipples and blood, so it's not exactly overly mature, so while it's technically 'ecchi' (I hate that term), it's only going to offend the most prudish of readers. I mean, if panty glimpses ruin your day, you probably shouldn't be reading anything more mature than Daa Daa Daa, anyway.

August 12, 2010

My Hanagata Man Crush (Kyojin no Hoshi)

This isn't really a review, so I'm doing it in a slightly different style. See, this blog isn't intended to just be a review site... I do need to get some things off my shoulders every once in a while, too... me being human and possessing extremely strong opinions, and all that.

Volume 1 of Kyojin no Hoshi and Volume 10 of Hanagata

A number of years ago, I started reading 'Shinyaku Kyojin no Hoshi: Hanagata' (Retelling of Star of the Giants: Hanagata) and instantly fell in man-love with the main character. I have since purchased untold amounts of Kyojin no Hoshi manga and believe that everyone in the world should familiarize themselves with the story down to the minutest detail. Basically, I feel about this manga the same way my girlfriend feels about Skip Beat. If there were music videos on YouTube, I'd probably watch them. BUT! It doesn't qualify for my reviews under the rules that I have set aside for myself. First of all, it's not untranslated... and second, it's not finished. BUT BUT!! The translated one is a retelling of the classic one! A loophole! But not really. So this isn't a review. Any semblance this may have to a review is purely coincidental.

The Summary!!
The original Kyojin no Hoshi (which is basically nothing short of a huge advertisement for the Tokyo Giants baseball team) followed a young man by the name of Hoshi Hyuuma and was a national phenomenon in Japan in the late 60's. This manga is the reason that sportsmen in manga today wear ridiculous contraptions with springs all over their body, run around in impossible training sessions, and create fireballs when they play tennis. This started all of it. And for those of you who aren't that cool with fire tennis, this also started anime, laying claim to being the first manga ever to be produced into an anime series. Not only that, but it was written by legendary author Ikki Kajiwara, who you most likely haven't heard of, but he penned other legendary works such as Ashita no Joe and Tiger Mask (which I'll review eventually) and was a guiding force in sports manga history.

Anime Vs IRL Comparison? I got that.
So, it's historically significant... but that doesn't make it good. Or relative to the needs of today's audience, for that matter. What makes it good is the progression. The original story follows the genius son of a genius baseball player, who's father was injured in WWII and forced to retire. After his forced retirement, he used every ounce of passion (and anger) in his body to turn his son into the strongest pitcher the world has ever seen. As a child, Hyuuma is forced to wear an apparatus... to explain it, it's basically a vest with a system of springs that forces his arms to straighten out. Over the years, he gains the strength to move naturally with these springs, and practices his pitching while wearing the vest and arm restraints (there's a baseball sized hole in the side of his house... he throws the ball through the hole, it hits something outside, and then comes back in through the hole). His father forces him to practice day in and day out., and Hyuuma does his best to meet his father's high expectations... He remains unstoppable until he meets Hanagata Mitsuru, a genius batter with strength rivaling his own. (Btw, here's a link to the anime opening sequence)

Iconic child abuse? I got that, too.
The rest of the story follows the eternal rivalry between Hanagata and Hoshi as they rise to the professional league, battling it out in front of the nation. Hoshi wins, Hoshi loses, the rivalry becomes bigger than each of them individually... it's become a sports story cliche. But really, the manga is about the relationship between Hoshi and his father, as they grow apart and together again through their love of baseball.

And this brings me to the retelling. Shinyaku Kyojin no Hoshi: Hanagata switches the focus from Hoshi to Hanagata, not even introducing the former main character until like volume 2 or 3 if I recall correctly. And it's this juxtaposition and the fact that you're seeing the story that everyone in Japan knows by heart told from a different perspective that makes this manga so worth reading. It's the dramatic irony of knowing the characters better than they know themselves that brings this story into the forefront of my favorite manga list. When they introduce Hoshi's sister, you know who she is, you know her history and future, and you wait with baited breath to see it unfold. Of course, there are subtle differences, but the macro story plays out the same, allowing for suspense to be played out in the smaller everyday struggles of the teams and players.

That said, the history is also this story's greatest downfall. As a translated work, to an English audience, it's one-sided, almost shallow... Hanagata and friends are fleshed out, leaving the opposition, and Hoshi specifically, as a tragic rival instead of a the heroic figure that Hanagata played in the original series. I fear that people who are unfamiliar with the story are brought too close to Hanagata and fail to understand the intricacies that are woven into the plot.

My Man Crush
"Wha...? Hm, Hey!!"
Oh, Hanagata Mitsuru, the only male character I've ever thought 'damn, nice...' about. He has an unwavering sense of justice only matched by his overconfidence in his own abilities. He's rich. He has a tragic past (at the beginning of the story, he is formerly a famous little league pitcher who hurt his shoulder and has been forced into retirement, taking up the bat only because he can't forget his love of baseball). He's chivalrous to a fault, and he values his friends over himself. He's stereotypical and belongs in a cape fighting crime alongside batman or something, but he's the rare character that stands above the stereotype and achieves true awesomeness. His favorite line? Literally translated, it's 'I don't have a name to give to you', explained, it means something like 'I'm not going to lower myself so far as to tell you my name'... which, even if I were to tell you in English on the street, you'd kind of look at me funny for a while, but you'd know it was an insult. And it's actually about the same reaction a Japanese person would have.

A video of the original Hanagata being awesome with his hair and his batting can be found at the link in the previous words.

The Bottom Line
For months, I debated translating the retelling of Kyojin no Hoshi. I posted it up on my staff forums and opened it to discussion, I poured over the manga trying to see if it would stand on its own or if translating it would be a disservice to the history that it represents. And ultimately I decided that if I was to ever translate Hanagata, it would have to be after I translated the original. Anything less would be blasphemous to the feelings that I hold for this series of manga and the respect that I have for the artists and authors responsible. So I didn't translate it. And I'm sad that it is being translated. Happy that someone other than me appreciates it enough to spend the time to bring it to the public, of course, but sad that the public doesn't have the benefit of getting the full story, and understanding the cultural impact Kyojin no Hoshi has had on their hobby.

August 10, 2010

Lovely Uchikoshi-Kun!!

Lovely Uchikoshi-kun!! Volume 5 Cover

The Summary:
I was looking around my bookshelf for something to write about (as I'm not quite finished reading the manga that I was going to post about next) and I came across one that's been collecting dust for like 5 years, so I figured I'd wipe it off and expound its many virtues. 'Lovely Uchikoshi-kun!!' (ラブリー打越くん!!), by KUWAHARA Shinya is a classic seinen from the late 1990's (it was also recently republished a few years ago) that follows our hero, Uchikoshi, an errand boy for the Tennis Club as he gets beat up by the upperclassmen and made fun of by his classmates... that is, until Maki Shinobu finds him. Maki has been searching the world for the one who shares the blood of a fallen companion, and she finds that blood flowing through Uchikoshi. After murdering the upperclassmen that bully him, Maki makes it a point to let our young hero know that he belongs to her, and no one else, vowing to kill any woman who attempts to lay claim to him. This starts to get a little messy... and, you know, there are so many gray areas in the whole like/lust spectrum that eventually Maki just decides to kill every woman. You know, just in general. (Did I mention that Maki's a vampire?)

In order to protect the women around him, Uchikoshi finds sudden spurts of strength, speed, and inhuman cruelty... he fears this strength, knowing that he could hurt someone close to him in one of his fits of rage. This fear of himself is what has led him to take a subservient role in his club and school life.

And just in case anyone with a weak stomach or an aversion to boobs was thinking about reading this, it's both bloody and booby. The beginning more so than the rest, what with all of the decapitations and vampire dry humping, but it stays mature throughout the full six volumes.

So, this is worth reading why?
Every woman? At least leave the Swedes.
Lovely Uchikoshi-kun!! is actually quite fun. At the core, it's a comedy about a boy who has a weak personality and a lot of moral fiber that's surrounded by extremely strong female characters who do their best to protect him. Maki protects him by decapitating anyone who gets near him, and the other girls do it in a more subtle way, while avoiding Maki as much as possible. The concession here, and the reason some people may not like this manga, is the excessive tits and ass shots. They are absolutely everywhere... so yeah, keep that in mind.

Anyway, as for the manga, the art work is decent... some angles are a little odd, and you can see some of the inexperience in earlier volumes, but Kuwahara has a good style and gets his point across well. The pacing is fast, the humor is solid, and the characters, while odd as hell, have some good dialogue opportunities that do not go to waste. As far as the story elements go, it's not a secret that Uchikoshi has some sort of hidden potential having to do with his blood, as Maki has been hinting at it from the very beginning of chapter 1, but the reveal is still done well with less unnecessary hoopla than you'd expect in a manga from a young artist. It could be better, but it's good for what it is.

Manga Facts:
  • Ran for 2 years starting in 1998 in Comic Uppers from Kodansha, lasting for 6 volumes.
  • This is seinen and has lots of almost sex and nudity, as well as blood and gore. Viewer discretion is advised.

Snoopy's Recommendation:
I really enjoyed this... it's not the best manga I've read (by far), but it's fun and has no real flaws to speak of. The audience for this is decidedly male, it has a harem aspect to it, as well as a lot of nudity, but other than that, it's a vampire love story. If you have a thing for vampires, seinen love stories, or unique characters, then this is worth looking at.

August 6, 2010


Scissors Volume 1 Cover
The Summary:
Like this. Only not as awesome.
Manga number two on my list, this time going with a light shounen classic from a current manga superstar, Scissors, by HASHIGUCHI Takashi (of 'Yakitate!! Japan' fame). Scissors is a short-lived story following Kariya Katsuhiko on his quest to become the greatest hairdresser in the world (stick with me here). Katsuhiko is at constant odds with his father, a barber who believes that hair should be out of the way, end of story, no artistry needed. Our young protaganist disagrees, and the pair have a serious fight, after which his father gets the last laugh, turning Katsuhiko's precious hair into what the Japanese call a 'punch perm', which is basically a tightly curled Asian Afro. Taking this insult as the final straw, the young man leaves his home on the day of his middle school graduation, saying good bye to his precious little sister Kirina, and using the last of his money to make his way to Tokyo. Once he arrives, he begs and pleads to be an apprentice at every famous shop in the city, to no avail. Finally realizing that his terrible hair could be the root of his problem (see, I made a hair joke there... root), he finds a small shop by the name of 'Scissors' where he meets a man who can only be described as a Beatles cosplayer named Komatsu, who takes his gangster hair and turns it into... porcupine hair? He's apparently a genius. Suspension of disbelief, I guess.

I got nothing to say.
Anyway, through his determination, our main character lands a job as an assistant at Scissors, eventually working his way up to stylist and shop representative. The duty of the representative? To have hair styling battles in front of huge crowds, of course.

And what makes it worth reading?
I think of this story as the spiritual precursor to Yakitate!! Japan. The ridiculous settings, extreme reactions, over the top drama, and hilarious characters are all present and accounted for, with the formula simply not yet perfected. I think it goes without saying that at just 3 volumes, this particular story isn't Hashiguchi's best work, but it's certainly original, has the same great art you expect from him, and is quite good for what it is. Pacing starts well, with talent being discovered, relationships formed, etc, but once it becomes clear that the manga won't be lasting very long (Comics Gatta, the magazine publishing this series was to be discontinued, and this particular manga wasn't popular enough to move to another magazine), things get rushed; rivals are introduced, then removed, competitions are cut short, and character development happens in giant leaps... so basically, it suffers from premature cancellation anxiety, which is a pity.

Manga Facts:
  • Scissors ran in Comics Gatta (a now-dead magazine from Shogakukan, which also publishes Shounen Sunday) in 2000, lasting 3 volumes.
  • If you look closely (or not so closely), there are quite a few character designs that return in Yakitate!! Japan... hm.
Reuse character design? Check.

Snoopy's Recommendation:
There are two types of people who should read this manga: People who enjoyed Yakitate!! Japan (even if you only enjoyed it until it started getting stupid, this one has the same feel as the beginning), and people who enjoy stories about hairdressers.

August 5, 2010

Nozomi Witches

Nozomi Witches, Volume 2 Cover

The Summary:
The first manga on my list... for really no good reason... is Nozomi Witches (のぞみ♡ウィッチィズ), by an author I've read extensively, NOBE Toshio. Many fans will only be familiar with his more famous work, Monaco no Sorae, but I assure you that if you enjoy one of his works, you'll enjoy them all (he's currently publishing a sci-fi called 'Time Slipper' about a girl who travels in time (imagine that), and it's really quite sweet, aside from the homicides). Nozomi Witches begins as a love comedy focusing on the heroine, Egawa Nozomi, an actress who has returned to Japan from New Zealand for high school. She moves in next door to the main male lead, Shiba Ryotarou, who, despite his inherent perverted nature, believes that all pretty girls are two-faced witches, not to be trusted. Of course, this is shattered when he meets Nozomi, the perfect, brilliant, and endlessly talented foil to his lack of motivation. Initially the story revolves around the two of them as Ryotarou follows Nozomi into the Theater Club, where he discovers a talent for acting. Their everyday life, hilarious mishaps and mutual attraction is the crux of the story for the first 5 volumes (there isn't any third wheel to muck up the chemistry, which is refreshing). Then one day after finding his acting feet, Ryotarou is given the role of a boxer and is encouraged to join the Boxing Club in order to research the role, where he excels, eventually aiming to join the Seoul Olympics, and later, the world of professional boxing. Every once in a while, the characters return to acting for a side story, but after volume 6, most of that comes to an end. The characters continue on past the end of the series, and return for appearances in Monaco no Sorae, as well as Monaco no Sorae 2.

So, is it worth reading?
A random page from volume 21, translated.
The manga has a really good love comedy feel in the beginning... the author is every bit a match for Adachi's lighthearted storytelling and single panel humor (and you can clearly see that they both stem from the same influences, although they use them in different ways). In fact, Nozomi Witches was one of the top manga in Japan from the beginning through to about volume 8, when it started to veer drastically from love comedy into sports comedy. That said, as a boxing story, it actually holds up surprisingly well, not only does it pre-date the current boxing champion, Hajime no Ippo, but it does a better job of weaving personal plots into the main story without the use of excessive flashbacks or side stories... in that way, it's a superior sports manga. What it lacks is in details and believable advancements in strength and/or technique. All sports stories rely on exaggerated moves and workouts, but Nozomi suffers drastically from the 'I've made my main villain too strong, so my main character must win with nothing but perseverance' cliché that so many fighting manga are faced with, as well as an unrealistic growth rate for the main character (who has no trouble beating anyone he fights after just 2 months of training). In the end, while it lasts for 48 volumes, the author never settles into a good pace, the ending feels rushed (as 99% of endings do), and the final chapters fail to wrap up some of the smaller loose ends. Then again, the fact that Nobe's next manga, Monaco no Sorae, does in fact take place in the same world roughly a decade after the events of Nozomi Witches makes the rushed ending easier to swallow, and gives this series a better feeling of finality.

Manga Facts:
  • Shares a world with many of Nobe's other works (not limited to just the sports stories).
  • Ran for 10 years starting in 1986 (in Young Jump), for a total of 48 volumes.
  • Produced an animated OVA of the same name (3 episodes) in 1992.
  • This is a Seinen manga (has boobs, isn't afraid of fan service).
The birth of the Flashing Straight

Snoopy's Recommendation:
Volumes 1 through 5 are a great love comedy... one of the best, in my opinion. Volumes 6 and up are acceptable as a sports story but fall flat when it comes to technical points and the accurate portrayal of boxing. That doesn't in any way mean that it's not worth reading. If you like the beginning, then you should pick it up for no other reason than to see Nozomi and Ryotarou finally get together. For a long time, I had Nozomi Witches on my list of manga that I wanted to translate, and if you're looking for a sports manga that has more heart than grit, then this is a good one to flip through.