Real, Volume 8
Story and Art by Takehiko Inoue. $12.99. Distributor: Viz Media
Much like its title, Real is about just that: the gravity of reality. Here, Takehiko Inoue returns to his well-known court of basketball. But instead of the usual hype and trash talkin’ that follows effortless skill, we find the challenges behind wheelchair basketball. Turning away from pure court-action, Inoue narrows in on three developing characters: Nomiya Tomomi, the high school dropout; Togawa Kiyoharu, the now disabled ex-sprinter; and Takahashi Hisanobu, a recent paraplegic who was once the captain of his high school’s basketball team.
In volume 8, we continue to witness Inoue’s play with writing and character development. Hisanobu must now deal with both relating to his family and the painful task of physical therapy, even though he can’t feel himself from the waist down. And Nomiya, though he has full control of his arms and legs, can’t find any over his life. Employment is bleak for a high school dropout. Under the weight of such heavy reality, one must seek out and lean upon the pleasure of life. For these two men, it’s basketball.
If you like Inoue’s previous work, as well as sport’s series and drama in general, pick up a copy and have a read. You’ll happily find a story to get lost in.