So after the very light-hearted Gurren Lagann in this week’s anime recommendation, I have something serious for y’all. I have read other works of this author previously but, I hadn’t touched this one. This one’s something else though, it is sports manga but it is so different. Yes, this week we are talking about Real.

So welcome back to another edition of our manga recommendation series! It’s the last week of February and as I said, I wanna send this month off with a bang. So here is something that will rattle your brain some more. Real hits very hard and it gives you very strong motivation. We all need a strong dose of motivation at times so this is a great manga for that. Let’s get into more details though.

VIZ | Read a Free Preview of Real, Vol. 4

Introduction

Real is written and illustrated by Takehito Inoue. Yes, the same Takehito Inoue who did Slam Dunk and Vagabond. This should tell you what sort of manga Real is gonna be. Surprisingly enough, the manga is still ongoing despite having started all the way back in 1999. This is mostly because of the fact that Real was on hiatus for 5 years from 2014 to 2019. It is currently published in a quarterly pattern.

Real has 15 volumes as of right now and it is the 24th highest rated manga on MAL. It is a sports manga, yes but, it is different because it is focused on wheelchair basketball. I don’t think I have seen another manga about sports of disabled people. It is a really touching manga for sure.

DemiFiendRSA on Twitter: "Takehiko Inoue's REAL manga chapter 85 color  spread. #REAL https://t.co/xHzO0TKZjZ" / Twitter

Plot

Tomomi Nomiya is the captain of his school’s basketball team but, he drops out after he is crushed by the guilt of ruining a girl’s life in an accident. He dedicates all his free time to her. One day, he stumbles upon Kiyoharu Togawa a former sprinter who cannot use his right leg anymore and plays wheelchair basketball now. Tomomi’s love for basketball reawakens after he loses to Kiyoharu in a one-on-one. Meanwhile, the new captain of the basketball team, Hisanobu Takahashi become paralyzed below the waist after an accident.

Real revolves around these 3 guys trying their best to conquer their physical and mental obstacles. It is a very touching plot; in fact, the whole setup of the story is devastating in itself. The plot is beautifully presented as well.

Characters

This is where Real shines the most. The whole plot of the manga revolves around the character development of the MCs. It is really satisfying to see each of them conquer their mental traumas. It really fills you up with determination. It depends on who you ask but for me, I find Tomomi really relatable. The way he slowly grows out of his guilty conscience really does something to me man. This is a beautiful manga.

Manga Review – REAL: Basketball as Salvation – Accessible Japan

Art

If you have read or seen Vagabond or Slam Dunk art, you know what you’re getting here. Real has the signature Takehito Inoue style art. It is really realistic looking and well suited for intense stories like this one. I love how the author displays movement in his art; it is so crisp. I also love the dark tone that he has in the art.

Why should you read Real?

Quick pointers on why you should check out this manga:

  • Compelling plot
  • Good pacing
  • Relatable characters
  • Really good character development
  • Great art

Conclusion

That is all for now. Let me know what you think down in the comments. Next week, we will continue with more of spring season stuff so stay tuned for that. With that said though, I will take my leave here. See ya!

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