Hiroki Endo's series tells the story of two old friends, Meguru Takayanagi and Takashi Yamabuki, who after a long time meet each other again at an amateur shooto mixed martial arts contest. While Meguru only practices MMA for fun, Takashi is pursuing a serious goal. Even though each of them has their own reason to fight, both are becoming stronger with each match...
Universally praised for its realism and accurate depiction of martial arts, All Rounder Meguru is one of the first manga to provide a glimpse into the energetic and exciting world of modern MMA.
Since no one has written a review yet, i'll do a basic one.
Story revolves around a karateka, meguru, and him doing shooto/mma and his trials and tribulations. It's pretty realistic in it's depiction of training and real world physics.
Art is very crisp, clean and easy to follow and character designs are very sharp and defined too. If you've read Hiroki Endo's other masterpiece, Eden, you should be familiar with the art style. Since this is all about the fights, i'll go into extra detail concerning this. You can tell Endo knows what he's writing/drawing about. I was really impressed with his depiction of fights in
Eden(Kenji's battles were some of the best i've ever seen in manga.. he's like the sammo hung/yuen wo ping of manga), and Endo's imagination and ability to convey it on paper are just as good here. As someone who follows MMA and does martial arts myself, i was impressed with just how accurate his art is. From armbars to hip throws to roundhouse kicks to sweeps, everything is portrayed realistically.
However, he doesn't babysit the reader, like some other fight manga would with paragraphs of theory explaining each move, so i don't know how easy it would be for those with no background of martial arts to get into, but i think the artwork is clean enough to enjoy it anyway, and the rest should be common sense since it's realistic.
Endo has covered boxing, JJ/BJJ, wrestling, kickboxing/MT, Judo, Karate, but i wonder if he will touch kung fu? I hope he does, since he has covered some traditional karate..
The most realistic hand to hand martial arts manga i've read to date. Forget Kenichi, forget Shamo and also forget Holyland(ok, holyland is decent), but this is just more realistic and all round more class.
This is the very first review I have written on this site, so bear with me if it is shoddy work. At the time this review was written I had read only up to the end of volume 4 (chapter 38), so my opinion will only be up to that point.
Story: All Rounder-Meguru focus' on Meguru, a former karateka who is now training mixed martial arts. In his first amateur fight, he was astonished to be fighting his childhood friend Takashi sporting a large flower tattoo on his left shoulder. Takashi proved early that he was leagues ahead of Meguru at that point and Meguru
was quickly submitted with a RNC (rear naked choke). Meguru and Takashi are training MMA for very different reasons, but are both improving at a rapid pace and are now fighting on the amateur circuit.
Characters: The story's titular character Meguru is what I call 'tenacious'. What he lacks in skill he makes up in hard work and heart. He continually goes up against better guys and beats them (sometimes). There is also a strong supporting cast, mostly the people he trains with. Takashi on the other hand is perhaps the most interesting character thus far, showing great depth that can only be expanded on. His motives for fighting are for a much darker reason than Meguru, but I won't spoil too much in the story.
Art: The artwork here is great. I don't read a lot of manga, but so far the character designs and settings are all unique in their own way. Takashi's flower tattoo is perhaps the most distinguishing mark in the entire manga thus far. But, where it's good, it does have its flaws. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between characters when both are wearing head gear, as they often have similar body types and sometimes the faces can look similar.
Enjoyment: Honestly, I don't read a lot of manga so I can't say that this is the best one as I can't compare it many others. But I can say that this manga is a very entertaining one. The fights in the manga are so well explained, and the techniques are so accurate that they are better than most 'anime/manga' fights. The manga also doesn't leave people hanging who are unfamiliar with the terminology. If the characters don't explain what the fighters just did, there is often a text under the panel briefly explaining what the reader may be unfamiliar with. I can only remember one instance where this was not the case.
Overall: All Rounder-Meguru is a very enjoyable manga thus far. As a long time MMA fan, I can say that the author hasn't let us down and knows his stuff when it comes to MMA. The world often views MMA as 'human dog fighting', but it's things like this manga that help disprove that common perception. This manga is well worth the few hours it takes to read for MMA fans and non-MMA fans alike.