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Feb 2, 2021
Preliminary
Tsubame Tip Off! is a basketball manga.

Now there are a lot of sports manga out there, and basketball is one of the most commonly depicted sports in the medium but, as far as I can tell, girls’ basketball has always been weirdly untapped. That alone was enough for me to pick up the series, and I was very pleasantly surprised by what I found.

Tsubame Tip Off! is a somewhat unique sports manga in how it depicts the sport being played. Specifically, I’d say it’s unique in how… normal it is. Manga and anime focused around girls’ sports tend to skew erotic or overly soft read more
Nov 4, 2020
Preliminary
Isekai Izakaya “Nobu” is a manga series that is about characters having their minds blown by food. It doesn’t waste any time explaining what this izakaya is doing in a medieval fantasy world, nor does it need to. It knows those kinds of things aren’t really important and would likely detract from the ethereal feeling that gives the series so much of its charm.

I also suspect that it’s for the sake of preserving that feeling that we take a while before we get any real focus on the characters running Nobu. The first few chapters are focused almost exclusively on the customers and their responses read more
Oct 18, 2020
It might sound a little dramatic to say, but Haikyuu!! is the closest a story has come to breaking my heart. I’ve been a very active fan of Haikyuu!!, having read the manga close to 50 times and often taking stats on the matches. For a long time, this was my favourite publishing manga and I considered it to be about as close to perfect as a story could get. And then… something happened.

Now, to explain:

For most of its run, Haikyuu!! was best described as “meticulous”. Everything felt planned out, and it seemed like Furudate was really taking a lot of care with the characters. read more
Oct 11, 2020
Bungo (Manga) add (All reviews)
Preliminary
I feel I should prefix this by saying that I’m not a fan of baseball. I think it’s dull to spectate and, despite its prevalence in the medium, I don’t think it’s a great fit for the conventional sports manga formula. Due to the nature of the game, the only players who really receive focus in a match are the catcher, the pitcher, and any particularly notable batsmen. This can have the effect of making the world of the series feel a little small and insular, and it doesn’t feel like it explores the sport as best it could.

The reason I bring this up is read more
Sep 27, 2020
Preliminary
Ahiru no Sora might come off to some as a similar series to the likes of Haikyuu, with a very short player competing in a tall man’s sport, but that’s about where the comparisons end. Ahiru no Sora is definitely a different kind of story to Haikyuu, and I think you’ll be disappointed if you jump into this expecting them to to scratch the same itch.

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The thing that draws me in most about this story is its approach to passion and commitment. It’s the rare case of a manga acknowledging that not everyone can have that extreme passion that drives characters like our main protagonist read more
Sep 21, 2020
Preliminary
Be Blues is a manga about football. Now that’s obviously a little silly to say, but it’s true. Be Blues is a series that practically oozes passion for the sport of football. This is very clearly a series directly aimed at fans of the sport, jam-packed with football jargon and references that I found myself having to look up. It’s the kind of series that makes me, someone who actively dislikes football, kinda miss playing it.

read more
Sep 10, 2020
Ao no Hako is honestly one of the best fits for a one-shot of any I've read. It's that kind of sweet, pure romance that would risk becoming stale in a serialised story. It's nothing too complex, but that's to its benefit considering the format, and it's well aware of genre conventions and when it's best to abandon or lean into them. It's surprisingly funny, but not so funny that it takes away from the sincerity of the characters' emotions (and, boy, these characters are nothing if not sincere), and it all feels about as natural as manga really can.

I really don't think I could read more
Sep 1, 2020
Preliminary
I just want to prefix this by saying that this is my favourite time travel story I've ever read. I'm generally pretty iffy on the concept, but the way it's executed here just works. It's also my favourite delinquent story, which is probably a bigger deal because I actually love delinquent stories.

Tokyo Revengers is a series that should honestly be way more painful to read than it is. From its premise alone, I expected it to be harsh and difficult to get through, but was blown away by how mixed it is. Admittedly, everything does have a degree of sadness and desperation underpinning it, but read more
Sep 1, 2020
Ao Ashi (Manga) add (All reviews)
Preliminary
Personally, I've always felt like football has been a bit over-represented in the manga/anime scene. Its prevalence is only really one step down from the three B's (basketball, baseball and boxing) that seem to take up around half of all manga/anime sports series on their own. And, considering how common it is, I've been surprised at how many areas of the game have been left kinda untapped by the industry. Fortunately, Ao Ashi is here to shake things up with an incredibly refreshing take on the sport.

Our main protagonist, Aoi, is obsessed with scoring, not unlike the average child when they first get into a read more
Jun 30, 2020
Preliminary
If I had to describe this story with a single word, it'd be "emotional". This is a story that is largely about emotion, as we follow the titular elf Frieren in her attempt learn about and understand humans, and it is fittingly jam-packed with emotion. It's rare for a series to make me feel so consistently emotional with every chapter.

This series has one of my favourite depictions of the way different fantasy races must interact and view each other, due to their lifespans, as well as a great depiction of magic as a technology that progresses over time in the same way technologies do read more