Monday, July 30, 2012

Real: Volume 9

by Takehiko Inoue, 206 pages

Nomiya is absolutely determined to play pro basketball.  But if he's going to play, he needs to decide what kind of point guard he wants to be and put all his energy into fulfilling that ideal.  Meanwhile, Takahashi's stratified world-view is further shaken up by the arrival of his new roommate, Shiratori, the larger-than-life (figuratively and literally) pro wrestler known to his adoring fans as Scorpion.  How can someone so intimidating and strong look to broken Takahashi as a mentor?

How I love Nomiya.  He's a dreamer who understands that dreams are only obtained by hard work and a clear, honest understanding of both himself and those around him.  That's how teamwork works, no?  By encouraging himself, he encourages others.  So when he goes and informs Takahashi--his former high school teammate with whom he was never friends--that he's going to overcome his past failings and accomplish greatness, he plants the seed of an idea in his dumbfounded audience's weary, frightened heart.  A chemical reaction, he says.  And he is going to be the catalyst.  The last three pages give me happy, hope-filled goose bumps.

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