Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Blue Box GN 3

Finally, the national qualifiers have begun! After intense training with Haryu, Taiki will finally be put to the test in a grueling tag team match. Can Taiki beat her opponent from the mighty Sajikawa High School? Or will his dreams of reaching the nationals be dashed around him?

Blue Box Translated by Christine Dashiell, letter from Mark McMurray.



97819747362639781974736263 I’m not even a traditional sports comic. The story doesn’t really deal with the mechanics of badminton or basketball. While the artwork is incredibly detailed and composed, there is more emphasis on the outcome of the game than on the actual events that took place during the game. There are even parts where we don’t see a match at all, despite it being established. If I wanted to see this series as a dynamic sports series that should fascinate me, then I would definitely leave it with more criticism. However, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this isn’t the type of series it wants to be.

is a series that is more like a comforting slice of life with a sports theme. At its core, it’s a simple story about characters setting specific goals for themselves and going to great lengths to achieve them. The reason it focuses more on the preparation and the outcome of the game is that sometimes those are the things that really matter to the athlete. You can spend dozens of hours exercising and training, but it doesn’t mean anything if you lose. What’s more, you can scrutinize every step of the game, but your first step should be deciding what to do next. Do you want the loss to overwhelm you, or use it as fuel to try harder next time?

Volume 3 leans more towards this message than the previous books, and I can’t help but get sucked into it. Repeated attention to training makes the loss even worse. I’m usually not a fan of overly straightforward characters like Taiki, but he works in this story because it doesn’t paint him as emotionally invulnerable. He’s frustrated and depressed, but there’s no point letting those feelings take over, especially when he has someone who’s as focused as he is on living under the same roof. I can understand why he sees Chinatsu as a source of inspiration.

Speaking of Chinatsu, I’m thankful that the book sheds more light on her character and worldview. We see more brazen sadism in her, and her moments of introspection are more painful than before. As we’ve seen outside of Taiki’s perspective, she’s definitely developing into a more independent character. However, my problem with the series so far is that I haven’t really bought the romance component that I think I should buy after three volumes. I liked how the book seemed to use infatuation as the initial spark before focusing more on personal growth, but I couldn’t necessarily feel the romantic chemistry. As a friend who understands the frustration of pursuing goals? Absolutely! But if anything, I feel like Taiki has more chemistry with his best friend Hina, and the story has established her feelings.

I’m not a big fan of love triangles personally. I also don’t like a story where a character clearly loses a romantic competition because they are more closely and personally connected to the main character than the main love interest. But who knows, maybe the book will surprise me? I like the slow revealing and even denial of Hina’s feelings here, but I think it comes at the expense of making me wish she had more success.

Regardless of where the story’s romantic component lies, if it continues to develop its themes of outspoken devotion with convincing emotional moments through trial and error, Well I will definitely find myself coming back to this series over and over again. The artwork continues to impress me, Taiki’s attitude is contagious when combined with the story’s motivations, and I really like all of these characters. If anything, it’s a great thing to read whenever you feel like your heart is shaking, because sometimes, we just have to see someone keep trying, no matter how many walls they may face. I wonder what’s next for volume 4!




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