REAL Vol. #09 -

Manga Review

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Art Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translation Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 16 and Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 12.99
  • Pages: 200
  • ISBN: 9781421537887
  • Size: A5
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: REAL

REAL Vol. #09

REAL Vol. #09 Manga Review

By Matthew Alexander     January 19, 2011
Release Date: November 16, 2010

© N/A

Can a highschool jock, a professional wrestler, and a middle-aged otaku be a Three Musketeers buddy group?

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Takehiko Inoue

What They Say
While Nomiya has finally found a goal in life that he knows he will truly strive to achieve, Takahashi takes another step forward out of the depths of despair on his journey toward recovery. And he finds solace in the company of a most unlikely pair. Gyupaa!

The Review!

Maybe Nomiya losing his job when his company shut down was the best thing that could have happened to him. Sure, he doesn’t have steady income, but the whole situation has forced him to reconsider his life up till now. Nomiya loves basketball, but not attending college has greatly hindered any chance that he may have had at making the professional level. Now that he has no job or future, he realizes that he has to give his whole being over to basketball and try to succeed at the upcoming professional tryouts.
In the meantime, a strange bond has begun to form between three men living at the rehab center. The wrestler Shiratori, the former highschool basketball star Takahashi, and the otaku Hanasaki. Takahashi has to room with Shiratori, and they are both new, so they spend a lot of time together. Hanasaki is a huge fan of Shiratori’s wrestling character, and both Shiratori and Takahashi have to admire Hanaski’s ability to easily do the physical therapy that they find so hard, even though they were both athletes before their accidents. So these three begin to form a strange bond, even if they don’t realize it is happening.
Shiratori is an odd man. Professional wrestler, big personality, and a man that refuses to lie down and die. He is convinced that he can walk again in time for a huge wrestling tournament. The doctors know it is an unlikely feat, and so do Shiratori’s managers. They refuse to put him on the tournament’s bill, and it makes him furious. Being pragmatic myself, I see the others point of view and the fact that Shiratori couldn’t possibly be in wrestling shape in time for the tournament. On the other hand, I have to admit that setting a lofty goal may be just what Shiratori needs to accomplish big things.
Will Nomiya be able to master the true essence of a basketball point guard, even if he doesn’t have the skill to outcompete the professionals? Will Shiratori prove his naysayers wrong and walk again? Will Takahashi ever come to grips with his injury or forgive his father for their strained relationship? What exactly is Hanasaki’s deal? He seems a nerdy little otaku on the outside, but what drives him?
In Summary:
Nomiya really seems to be taking a step forward in his life. He is so set on becoming a professional basketball player that he is able to focus completely on that aspect of his life. While he does this, he learns more about himself than even the reader could have predicted. It is enjoyable to see, especially since Nomiya has seemed more lost in society than even those characters that have lost their ability to walk.
Another great volume.



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