In search of her mother, Nagi, a girl from a desolate country village, comes to a big city and enters Swimming Suieikyou High School. Shortly after joining the swimming club, Nagi finds out that the pool is actually completely overtaken by boys! But in this never-practicing so-called swimming club Nagi finds something...
S.P.Y. starts out with an interesting enough premise. Olympic gold medalist Suzugawa Maki's daughter Nagi hopes to become as great a swimmer as her mother, but first, she needs to find her mother, who she hasn't seen since she was very little. The circumstances surrounding her mother's departure from her life are left foggy. So she sets out of her small town to set up base in a prestigious school in Tokyo with an acclaimed swimming program where she hopes to train as well as continue her search for her mother. Oh, but what's this... The pool is abducted by a bunch of disinterested looking
boys, who are much too selective when it comes to letting Nagi join the team. Grr... So begins her mission... and the number one item on the agenda is to learn to swim 25 meters without drowning!!
Lots of characters are introduced here, though you're unsure of which male lead will be the hero after a couple of chapters, which is refreshing and quite unexpected from a romance. Nagi, while a fierce and headstrong lead, is a bit simple minded and childish. It doesn't translate into annoying though, it's just the right mix of vivacity. She provides much humor to the script and is shown to be very determined when it comes to learning how to swim and improve herself despite many obstacles, physical and emotional.
The other male leads though barely show too many redeeming qualities. In fact while one, shown with highly gruff habits, goes on to slap Nagi (unapologetic later on!), the other gentler one is cruel towards her feelings as well. I think this may have been set up to show them developing over a period, but then the story was rushed and they suddenly transformed within the space of one chapter instead of a couple of volumes, which seems very unbelievable.
The rest of the supporting characters barely get a line in here and there, including Nagi's one dimensional mother, who again suffers due to the abruptly shortened storyline. They contribute little comedy or drama to the plot.
The art is similar to Ayane's Desire Climax, though the romance and subsequent steaminess is very much toned down. Much emphasis is placed on swimming, and the actions there seem well depicted. Despite many bishies and one shoujo appearing half naked most of the time, very little "action" occurs on that front with much plotline devoted to friendships rather than relationships. Expressions are portrayed in much detail which lends sincerity to the scenes, especially the dramatic ones.
In my opinion the storyline for the first volume was developed with the notion that this manga would run for at least 4 volumes or more, so that each character introduced was shrouded in enough mystery to allow his past, his motivation and his subsequent role in the story to be adequately elaborated over the 4 volumes. So a lot of circumstances are left unexplained in the beginning with the effect that the reader feels there is a lot more to come. But then in volume two, suddenly too much starts happening at breakneck speed compared to the previous chapters. The pace suddenly becomes abrupt with sporadic climaxes. Too many conflicts arise, sudden confessions and heartbreaks are realized and much confusion ensues. The end was barely justified, not at all satisfactory and too many questions and scenarios are left unanswered.
So would I recommend this manga? If you're completely gung ho about sports shoujo manga, maybe, otherwise, there are better shoujos, better romances and definitely better dramas than this one, so if you were planning on reading this because you liked Desire Climax or Biyaku Cafe, you're in for some major disappointment.
It was a really good story. There was good character development. And relations between the Nagi and Aoi just leaves you begging for more.
Which make the ending so disappointing! It could have gone on for so much longer!!! That is why it is so frustrating. It just leaves you basically saying, "They will end up together in the future at some point."
I was literally yelling at my computer because I couldn't accept that that was it. It was truly sad.
It was a great story with a poor ending. I would only suggest this if you are prepared for disappointment.
Being the daughter of a swimming legend is not easy, specially when you can't swim. Nagi's mom left when she was small. Now in high school Nagu wants to find her mother and what better way than retracing her footsteps. That's why she enrolls in the school known for it's swimming team and the one school her mom was last heard teaching in. Getting in the team seems impossible, not only does Nagi has to prove she has what it takes to be on the team she has to do it while being the only girl in the
It could have scored higher. But, the ending didn't really answer any questions, it just left everything up for your own interpretation. It would have been ok too if we had more information to go on. The couple had great drama. Not the annoying kind which makes you feel tired just by reading but the healthy kind that strength a relationship. Hard choices were made and they lived with the consequences without faltering.
Aoi was an original enough character just because he didn't pretend, what you see is what you got with him. Though he has some major anger issues at the beginning he wanted to help Nagi realize her dream and who better to help her then the best.
Nagi, was conflicted as a character. I couldn't pinpoint when she started to have romantic feelings towards You. Maybe it was because for her to have been the lead girl and the one we knew the most about, we only knew as much as the others did, which wasn't much. She also didn't portray emotions like you'd expect, I would have been more heartbroken had my mother done/said that to me, she was depressingly and unrealistically optimistic.
Her father was the one that was fake to me, he didn't act like his role at all (because parents usually do in manga). I expected him to care more for how his daughter was feeling and expect more of her mother.
The art wasn't the best I have seen were swimming is concerned but it hold its own. The characters are all drawn to portray their personalities and it gives them an edge over other manga that the characters look the same. I love the water scenes because of the detail which make it seem like it's in color and not in white, black and gray.
Overall, it was an OK read. It didn't rap up well. It was just a little empty at the end.
though its in a shoujo highschool environment, its actually a lot'heavier' than i intended to be, emotions connected different characters together beyond mere lust.
not a clear ending, hopefully there might be a sequel to it, only downside- wish it could continue longer as there are so many possibilities for it to stretch longer, nethertheless, its a good cut and the illustrations are beautiful!!!!!!
strokes and details in both the plot, tiny things like comic books from desire climax to the intensity in the eye.