BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Real (vol. 1) by Takehiko Inoue, translated by IT Planning, Inc.

Real 1Let the weekend games continue: if yesterday’s basketball story was a (mostly) feel-good, rah-rah fest, today’s post is definitely more somber. The kids in this game are older, harder, more cynical … but they all love the game of basketball like nothing else.

Nomiya’s been thrown out of high school, unable to deal with his guilt-ridden demons: taking a joyride on his motorcycle has left a young girl in a wheelchair and he spends more time visiting her in the hospital than going to school.

Now that Nomiya is out of the way, arrogant big-boy-on-campus Takahashi has taken over as captain of the school basketball team, which gives him free rein to bully some of the less talented members.

Frustrated Nomiya who’s always in search of a game meets Togawa, another ultra-talented basketball addict … who plays sitting down. In fact, he’s the star of a wheelchair basketball team, and even Nomiya can’t keep up with him!

These three boys’ lives will collide, intersect, and dovetail again and again, in surprising, even gasp-causing ways. The first of a nine-volume series thus far in English translation (the manga is a huge bestseller in its native Japan), Real is exactly that … and sometimes reality can overwhelm you with unexpected, literally back-breaking moves.

Manga artist Inoue, who also created the manga/anime empire Slam Dunk (more basketball!), seems to have the uncanny ability to make his characters swoosh across the page, fling their sweat from one frame to another, even feel the jolt of slamming brakes. His basketball manga is so popular that he’s actually been credited with inspiring kids throughout Japan to go out and actually play the sport! Now that’s true life-changing inspiration!

Readers: Young Adult, Adult

Published: 2008 (United States)
REAL © Takehiko Inoue
Original Japanese edition published by Shueisha Inc.



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