Hey it’s the big game today, in case you hadn’t noticed. Sports comics have had a checkered past in the US – NFL Super Pro? – but in Japan, sports manga are a respected genre that has spawned such masterpieces as Takehiko Inoue’s Slam Dunk! and Real.
Viz Media put together a Sports Manga Essentials, available for free download on Comixology, that includes four titles and four sports: Haikyu!! (volleyball), Kuroko’s Basketball (guess?), The Prince of Tennis and Cross Manage (Lacrosse). The stories differ in the set up and motivation, but all feature furious sporting action that goes on for page after page, perhaps part of the reason that the genre has been so much more successful in Japan than the US.
However, after sampling a few of these, you may be back for more.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.