East Tokyo United has been struggling in Japan's top football league for a few years. In an effort to improve their performance, ETU hires a new coach, the slightly eccentric Tatsumi Takeshi. Tatsumi was once a star player on ETU before abandoning the team, but has proven himself as manager of an English amateur team. The task won't be easy as the teams pitted against ETU have bigger budgets and better players. However, Tatsumi is an expert at Giant Killing.
Giant Killing is like Slam Dunk meets football (or soccer to Americans) from the Manager's point of view; a former local superstar who is scouted and transferred to a European club comes back as a coach to the team where he reached the height of his fame as a player.
The series has everything you'd want from a sports manga: relentless action, budding bromance, character development/growth, and best of all, this is one of the rare sports mangas where characters don't rely on gimmicks to excel in the sport. (see: Prince of Tennis)
The plot and the characters are very well crafted; the author also did a
very good job of depicting even the supporters of each J1 team that appears -- the character relationships in this manga is very rich, owing to the fact that the story revolves around the manager: you see interaction between manager manager, manager player, and even manager national team manager.
Overall, an awesome attention to detail and clever discussions of football tactics (along with lovable characters, plot, and other genetic manga stuff) makes this series a surprisingly enjoyable read for all of you football maniacs who've logged in countless hours in Football Manager 98!
ETU is in deep trouble. A poor football team like that has hardly any hopes for recovery if the players lose will to fight. When the team is on verge of completely falling into despair, the last resort shows up on the horizon – hiring a new manager, that is, but not just some chance manager. Takeshi Tatsumi used to be praised as a genius footballer back in the old days. He, however, retired after a successful career and ended up managing a team in England. And now the ex-star of ETU picks up the gauntlet, returning to Japan as a coach of his former
team. But the challenge ahead of him is even greater to overcome, for not only has to confront the run of misfortune, but also prove that he is much more than a deserter.
A mediocre team, a bunch of desperate fans, a gathering of harsh enemies, and one hell of a creative manager. The plot of “Giant Killing” follows ETU’s path to regaining the glory it had once, the players’ struggle with mental pressure and their coach’s crazy ideas. Nothing very innovative here, it would seem. Tatsumi plays a major role in the development of ETU, but all of the players are introduced very well too. The matches aren’t always about chasing the ball; the more psychological aspect of team games is heavily emphasised. Intermissions – training sessions, Tatsumi’s revelations and so on - are also frequent, since following nothing but the matches would probably be too much. The plot does fall into the pattern at some point, yet the authors surprise their readers with some fresh ideas again (volume 13, I think I love you).
Generally, there is a healthy mix of everything in this manga. Even though it tends to be monotonous, when there is very little progress at times, or the actions are dragged out a bit too much, overall it manages to escape boredom very well. The pacing changes accordingly: from a balanced start it rapidly jumps ahead, only to slow down for a good bit of time and then speed up once more. Nobody expected the journey to end soon, so the plot itself is still developing – and it is, I must admit, going well.
What a pleasure it is, reading “Giant Killing”, honestly! The aesthetic side of the manga has it all – well-thought panels, incredible flow and smoothness, rich amount of detail, beautiful colour pages. It simply takes a while to get used to the style, though, and from then there isn’t a single thing to complain about. The dynamics of this manga are just tremendous. From feeling the greatness of football pitch to the facial expressions of players, it all is there, it is all pictured perfectly. You, dear Tsujitomo, are doing a wonderful job and have my utmost admiration.
Now that’s a difficult issue. On the one hand – we have a fascinating bunch of players from all teams. On the other hand – there is Tatsumi who surpasses, even overwhelms them and shines as the star of this story.
Takeshi himself is witty, innovative, charismatic. He is also an unquestionable master at annoying people, but above all, he stands out as a brilliant strategist. Since the early beginning, it is clear that the story revolves around football with Tatsumi in the centre. His temperament, being incredibly appealing, tends to shadow the remaining cast. Each character is introduced properly, has his big time and then settles down. Enemy players are often given strong personalities as well (Mochida, I’m looking at you, creepy bastard). There is nice development (Tsubaki!), however it is always Tatsumi who moves on ahead - and then the people around him.
Before this turns into a fangirl ranting, though, there is one more aspect that needs to be brought up: something that I particularly enjoyed, as it was well-thought and reasonable. Our dear manager has a character deeper than it seems at first glance, and as soon as the manga goes into detailed flashbacks (which takes some time, yeah…), all the dots connect. It’s just amazing to see how he matures over time.
This is exactly the kind of reading that leaves you craving for more after each chapter. It’s enchanting, fascinating, and equally frustrating when the continuation doesn’t seem likely to be out soon. The manga can’t be regarded as very challenging and although some knowledge of football is appreciated (hey, it’d be strange to even pick up this manga without having any interest in football), it isn’t necessary, since the actions and strategies are always thoroughly explained. Reading “Giant Killing” is enjoyable, very enjoyable, I’d say. It’s a must-read for football enthusiasts, and a strongly recommended manga for the reluctant rest. Even if you are deadly serious you can’t stand the nature of problems tackled in it, give it a try nevertheless – it hasn’t won the Kodansha Manga Award for nothing. And who knows? You might actually enjoy it.
Oh “Giant Killing”, making me actually want to check out other sport manga titles. It’s a gem in the sea of nowadays’ industry filled with moe and all the things cute (yes, it was the anime adaptation that brought me here in the first place), and a reading really worth some time. Whether it’s because of Tatsumi, football or good art – you won’t regret trying “Giant Killing”. Hope it stays as good.
Like Captain Tsubasa and some other sports manga Giant killing is a football manga. The stroy sets in Japan League with the club East Tokyo United facing the crisis. Ex-Star and manager of a division 5 football club manager in England Tatsumi was brought back to manage ETU and end their crisis of several years.
Now the main character of the manga is not a 16/17 year old high school student but a 35 year old adult who manages the team. The main object of his is not to win every time but is to Have fun in the match,Thrill, giant killing which was seen
in the manga.
Its not Player vs Player,badass teams,personal rival,old childhood friends facing each other but its Manager vs Manager,Team chemistry,managerial issues,strategy,bringing out talents and ofcourse action in football. The manga specially focus what a manager face when he is managing a club.
Its all about manager facing problems,Solving them,wining matches,losing matches,crucial moments,last minute goals and giant killing!
Giant killing is an actual soccer manga, unlike most of the bullshit soccer mangas such as captain tsubasa or inazuma eleven. Instead of focusing on just one player who is so awesome that he will make his club win champions league (pun intended), it focuses on each player on and off the bench, the managers, the fans and most importantly, the coach. It really shines in story and character development, and there are some moments which can make you sad, even cry. For any true soccer and manga fan, this is a must read, no other manga in this genre even comes close.