Posted On May - 5 - 2008


  PAGES:   200




  REVIEW DATE:   05/05/2008

Everybody has a dream, and for Sho Kazamatsuri, that dream is simple: he wants to be the best soccer player he can possibly be. He’s the spirited leader of the Sakura Josui Junior High team and everyone looks up to him. In turn, he tries to keep the team together at any cost. Sho’s impressive play for Josui eventually lead to a spot on the world-traveling Tokyo Select team as a substitute. Tokyo Selects first real challenge is a tough match against the Seoul select team in South Korea. Despite a hostile crowd and terrible weather conditions, Sho plays well as a super sub, and right before the game ends, Tokyo gets a free kick and a chance to win. Tatsuya and Eishi (other players on the team) have put aside their differences and prepare to take the shot.

In volume nineteen, the Tokyo Select Team returns from Korea with a great deal of experience and hard-learned lessons they received at the hands of the Seoul Select Team. But before they have a chance to sit back and reflect, they are thrown into a new maelstrom, when they find out they've been invited to play in the Japan Toresen — a national tournament for the best youth teams in the country!

The art is clean and clear – it is very professional. Every line and detail has obvious care and attention given to it, resulting in well-managed visuals for a well-flowing read. Sports action sequences are easy to follow, but are all fully dynamic. Fans of soccer, or even just sports manga in general will love this – it’s definitely up there in the top five for the genre – it’s unlikely that anyone could disagree. Everything about the visuals is easy on the eyes – no complaints about the art style whatsoever. As for little extras, there are some character designs and information located at the back of the book that will give further insight into the creation of these characters and who they are as soccer players and people alike.

Just to round things off, here’s a bit about the author/artist’s life and manga creation career: Daisuke Higuchi’s manga career began in 1992 when the artist was honored with third prize in the 43rd Osamu Tezuka Award. In the same year, Higuchi debuted as creator of a romantic action story titled Itaru. In 1998, Weekly Shonen Jump began serializing Whistle! Higuchi’s realistic soccer manga became an instant hit with readers and eventually inspired an anime series, debuting on Japanese television in May of 2002. That seems like a pretty good career so far – hopefully we will see more for him in the future with further volumes of Whistle!

Whistle is a very well-drawn manga with a lot of positive lessons for youngsters and anyone else wanting to read a great sports manga. It’s also easy on the wallet being under ten dollars, so really you can’t go wrong!

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