By Shannon H.
Well, this week sure leaves me happy, since three of the six or so books that I’m actively collecting right now are making their appearance (anyone familiar with this column doesn’t need to guess that means that among our new arrivals is the new Fairy Tail, Blue Exorcist, and Bakuman). For the rest of you, there’s still Vampire Knight, the shoujo-horror book of the hour, as well as another one of those 3-in-1 collections for the mega-beast of a series, Bleach. Beyond all that, though, there are a few sleeper hits that maybe you guys should tune in on, just in case you’re out trolling for something new to read.
In the boys’ corner, we have Slam Dunk, by Takehiko Inoue, who maybe you’ve already read without realizing it; he is the genius behind the beautiful samurai epic, Vagabond. Bet you never thought that his other big titles were shounen basketball stories, did you (I know I didn’t quite expect it!)? Both Slam Dunk, which has a new volume out this week, and Real, are high school basketball dramas, but they couldn’t be more different! Slam Dunk is a more traditional shounen sports story; it follows a juvenile delinquent named Hanamichi who that gets recruited to his high school basketball team and, with a team of other misfits, helps bring the once-unknown team to stardom. Real, however, is a much grittier, darker, and kind of depressing tale about three men whose lives are touched by basketball and what the sport means to them. Buzzer Beater, a third Inoue basketball manga, is a bit more out of this world — quite literally!! This story chronicles a basketball team from Earth that competes on an intergalactic level, and though it has never been published in the States, it might be worth your time to hunt it down should you decide you are now a giant Inoue fan. Continue reading