My Heavenly Hockey Club Vol. 1

Ai Morinaga, Author . Del Rey $10.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-345-49904-2

A cornerstone manga genre since day one, the sports comic has served as a repository for inspirational tales laden with such traditional values as team bonding, striving to win against all odds and sagas of “everyman” heroes meant to inspire Japanese youth, but this series has apparently had enough of such wholesome fare and skewers its ancestors squarely through the athletic supporter. Hana, a figure-challenged and lazy high school girl, finds herself enlisted as the goalie on an all-male field hockey team and becomes embroiled in comedic adventures that involve much travel and practice, but no actual sports matches, and when Hana proves useless on the field she finds herself replaced by a love-struck bear, a crazily surreal visual that has to be seen to be disbelieved. The cast is rounded out with well-drawn and blithely scornful takes on the stock characters of the genre, and for once the army of pretty young males refreshingly serves as poster children for raffish indolence. Morinaga’s fresh and funny tale offers satisfying lunacy. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/28/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
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