I have always been a sports manga or anime enthusiast. I have watched and read a lot of sports manga and anime, even multiple times. Aside from my all-time favorites which I watch or read again and again, I also try reading new manga especially. Well, I do have several new sports anime lined up but I'm still busy rewatching older ones. haha
Earlier today, I was checking the updates of some manga I'm reading on the Shonen JUMP app. I was delighted to read one of the sports manga I'm following called "NINE DRAGONS' BALL PARADE". Here's the screenshot I took below.
The manga above is written by MIkiyasu Kamada and illustrated by Ashibi Fukui. I actually started reading it as soon as the first chapter was released last February and I was immediately hooked by its storyline and art style. I've been following it since then.
I love baseball anime and manga. When I read the first chapter of this manga, I got excited because the "soon-to-be" battery looked promising. It's an odd combination of an inexperienced pitcher but with lots of potential and an ordinary-looking but very smart and observant catcher.
They both tried out for a powerhouse school. The pitcher was accepted, but the catcher wasn't because he "had nothing special". However, the pitcher wanted to form a battery with him and decided to decline the offer.
Unknowingly, they were both being observed by Karin, the granddaughter of Kokuryuzan High School's owner. She is a huge fan of her grandpa's team which was hailed the champion years ago. The team disbanded as years passed, and she wanted to revive it. So, she's scouting for interesting players to join her team.
Upon sharing her views to the newly formed battery, they were even more encouraged and swore to create a dream team with her.
There only problem is that, scouting season has almost ended and most of the top players from middle school already found their own team. However, their search for their teammate was so fun and interesting. Azu, the catcher has a wide range of information... even on spectacular players but somehow problematic.
Little by little, they were able to gather a group of amazing yet eccentric players. This is what made me really excited. I'm a sucker for "gap" in characters. I love characters who are eccentric but excels in something. It's like, you can't expect such character to be like that, but that's the character and there's nothing we can do about it.
Their infielders and battery were already complete and they were looking pretty good so far. Although there were some bickering inside the group because of their differences, they were still able to compensate and complement each other. It was really looking like an aspiring dream team.
They found some "normal" players who completed the outfield positions and they were finally on the starting line when this happened.
I immediately vented out my frustration on social media.
I am so sad and frustrated. Why can't others see the potential in this manga? It's heartbreaking seeing it end like this. I really anticipated how this manga would go in the long run. Sometimes I wonder, why are weird manga (Kuro-Gyaru and Yubisakinantoka) getting anime adaptations??? Is it because of the smut?? T_T I mean, I have nothing against them since I also read the manga, but other manga deserves to continue and even get an anime adaptation more than this. Storywise, that is.
Another thing... sports manga or anime isn't BL~!!! I am a Fujoshi and I love BL and I'm not against shipping who and who as I also have my own ships, however, don't generalize sports manga or anime enthusiasts as just liking them for the ship.
Those ships are just a freakin' bonus!!! I enjoy sports manga and anime as it is... even without the "ships"!!!
I really hope more sports manga and anime will be given a chance. Recently, making an anime version of "AO ASHI" made me really happy as it deserves it. It's a really cool and inspiring soccer manga, so do support or watch it when it comes out. (^_^)/
Anyways, I will really miss NINE DRAGONS' BALL PARADE. It was a short time with you, but hopefully someday, I would get to read the continuation, even not in JUMP. XD
NOTE: The pictures used are all screenshots from the SHONEN JUMP app and Twitter.