'Haikyu!!' Is The Manga That May Make You Love Volleyball
Sports are at once great and hard to depict in comics. On the one hand, an artist skilled at drawing both athleticism and action (which are not always the same thing) can take a football match and turn it into something really exciting and fun to read. This applies whether you're doing a sports-centered story like Roy of the Rovers or a story with sport-as-backdrop, like the Paul Jenkins/Al Davison Hellblazer story "Football: It's A Funny Old Game." But on the other hand, an artist who's not good with those qualities can create something really stilted or just weird. So it's understandable then that sports manga --- while hugely popular in Japan --- hasn't cracked it over here. Not for lack of trying; stalwarts like The Prince of Tennis and Eyeshield 21 have been translated without any real impact. But with the success of the competitive swimming/male eye-candy anime Free, sports manga and anime are in vogue at last. And that's lucky for us, because it means Viz Media has grabbed the rights to Haruichi Furudate's volleyball manga Haikyu.