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.
All Rounder Meguru has been digitally published in English by Kodansha Comics USA since March 7, 2017. It has also been published in Italian by Panini Comics under the Planet Manga imprint since September 30, 2010.
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.
All Rounder Meguru is a niche piece of work. Whether you enjoy it or not depends on your interest in MMA. As an enthusiast, I found this manga super informative and accurate. I feel like I'm appreciating the sport in a whole new light.
Story (9/10): The plot is very simple and straight forward, much similar to other sport animes. We follow our protagonist on his journey of bettering himself. What makes the story great for me is how closely it follows real-life MMA. The fights are vivid, real and exciting to read despite all the technicalities.
Art (10/10): As expected from Endo Hiroki, the art is
as good as it gets. My preference leans towards realism, so this is pretty objective, but I think this manga is one of the best at depicting action.
Character (7/10): I like how our protagonist is a chilled guy. There's no grand goal to strive towards. He just wants to see how far he could get and enjoy the sport along the way. It's refreshing to see someone not busting his nuts trying to get to Koushen or something. But overall, the characters are a bit bland.
Enjoyment (9/10): I don't think this is supposed to be an entertaining manga. But if you have the slightest interest in MMA, that's enough for this manga to be super enjoyable.
Since there are only 2 reviews of this manga, i figure i'll write a review. It's also coincidentally my first review here.
You can see the synopsis, the manga is about Meguru's growth as a martial artist and also his friend Takashi, but more characters and background stories will come into play as the manga goes on, and they're executed quite nicely.
Art is very good, fights are depicted clearly and realistically.
The characters' depictions are also really good, whether the protagonist, his friends, or others. As this is a martial arts/sports manga there are really no 'good' or 'evil' characters, they're just competing.
Sometimes we get a glimpse on a character's background and motives without really spelling out everything, so it's fascinating to uncover them. For abilities, character 'growth' is by skill learning through practice or basic gradual fitness improvement over time.
Enjoyment is a big part for me to read/grade a manga. As someone who did boxing and is doing judo (just for health and fun though!) and also read a lot of manga I can say that this manga has realistic martial arts fighting down. Reading them gives you a feeling of tension even without crazy abilities and whatnot. Victory and defeat also make sense. You won't have a hard time following fights, as things are explained, whether briefly during a fight, or in depth during practice/extras to help you make sense of fight situations. The story portions are also good and thought provoking, to say the least.
A great manga. If you want to read a manga with great realistic fights coupled with compelling story and characters, look no further.