Girl Got Game: Volume 1

Shizuru Seino, Author . Tokyopop $9.99 (176p) ISBN 978-1-59182-696-5

Published in Japan in 2000 as Power!! , this is a textbook example of gender-bending shôjo manga: a high school romance with cross-dressing, homoerotic tenderness and many scenes of embarrassment and (near-) discovery. The plot turns, naturally, on a young woman with a secret: Kyo Aizawa, an ace basketball player who, at her father's insistence, passes as a boy and joins a renowned high school team. To complicate matters, Kyo falls for the team's star player, a haunted young man named Chiharu Eniwa, who turns out to be her on-court rival—and roommate. Then, in a further irony, Kyo sets out to resolve Chiharu's shattered love life, despite her own desires. Confusion ensues: Kyo and Chiharu's relationship is full of surprises, reversals and anxious glances. The thrill is heightened for readers, who know the highly charged homoerotic relationship between the two is, at least potentially, a closeted heterosexual romance—though, as is often the case in shôjo manga, sexual ambiguity gets free play (indeed, Kyo attracts female groupies of her own). Yet Seino's first full-length effort is far from the best of this genre: the plot is transparent, and the supporting characters are flattened by her attention to the leads. Moreover, Kyo's conflict with her father is perfunctory, and the story's sexual tensions lack the suggestive power of, say, Fuyumi Soryo (Mars ) or Moto Hagio (They Were Eleven ). The formulaic story remains readable despite these flaws: Seino's art is generally open and clear, emphasizing facial expressions over scenic particulars. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 05/10/2004
Release date: 01/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Prebound-Glued - 978-1-4177-3460-3
Show other formats
Discover what to read next