Years ago, the East Tokyo United soccer team was a force to be reckoned with, captained by the talented and charismatic Takeshi Tatsumi. But after leaving suddenly to join an amateur team in England, ETU's record and morale quickly plummeted, their meager status kept afloat only by the efforts of new captain Murakoshi. Now, several years have passed and Takeshi is in town once more, this time to bring the team back to victory. But with fans resentful of the man's former departure, clashing personalities on the team and Takeshi's unorthodox and lackadaisical coaching style, ETU's rise to fame won't be easy...
I don't even know where to start on this one, there are a lot of sports manga and quite a few about football (soccer for those in the US ) but its rare that I stumble upon such a gem. Went into this one with a fair amount of scepticism, from the beginning seeing how much they hyped Tatsumi it seemed like he'd just come in and win game after game with the occasional drama needed here and there, the first practice match only served to reinforce that feeling, oh boy ... was I wrong, its really refreshing to see how much of a realistic approach the author took, it takes time to build a team, effort and cooperation from the players, them and the manager need to connect, you can't just build one over night and this manga just shows us all of that. It's really nice to see the team lose and struggle, the bonds of trust slowly growing and the general progress the team is making, its unpredictable and that is what makes it such a good read.There are a lot of characters in this one and they encompass most of the general archetypes, so everyone will have their favorites, they are all well written and most of them get enough attention, there really isn't all that much of a star in the team although some are more important then others.The games are detailed for the most part and they develop in a realistic manner, they play out as real games would and the author took in to consideration a lot of factors that come in to winning or losing a game and not just we have the best coach or players.Very well thought out and entertaining, especially since you never really know how its gonna go, would recommend it to all fans of the genre and surprisingly for the first time even to people who don't care about sports or sports manga.Not truly a review I know, the fact though is that the manga is still fairly new, I will update this occasionally as things develop, I did however want to express some of my basic thoughts on it.
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