It’s getting harder and harder to decide on mangas to write about every day OTL It’s not that I can’t think of any titles to write about, but that I need to be able to remember the feelings and thoughts I had while reading it. Just vaguely remembering what happens and the developments throughout the series don’t make very interesting posts to read nor write. I don’t have that much time to refresh my memory by re-reading either argh… But I can’t give up now.
Manga: Rising Impact 「ライジングインパクト」
Rising Impact is a Shounen, sports series featuring Golf, written and illustrated by Suzuki Nakaba. (If this mangaka might sound familiar to you, that’s because he also wrote Kongou Banchou that I posted about previously). It was serialised in Weekly Shounen Jump from 1998 to 2002 and is completed at 17 tankobon volumes. I’ve actually only read 15 chapters of this manga because that’s all that’s been scanlated online since 2008, but its still a pretty fresh memory, so I’ll write about it anyway.
A young boy, Gawain, lives in a mountainous, rural area with a dream. He aims to be the best in the world at making the ball fly with his baseball batting. One day he runs into a visitor to the small area and she introduces him to a sport that can make the ball fly even further, golf! Just one shot and Gawain is hooked. With his grandpa’s approval, he sets off to Tokyo with this mysterious woman to learn about the sport and become a professional golfer.
WARNING: The only thing would be the romance between an older female and a MUCH younger male. But that’s nothing, man.
Before reading this manga, I seriously had no idea about golf. I never played it (besides during Physical Exercise in school, or like mini golf twice in my life for fun.), no one in my family played it. And even though I have friends who play, I mean, it never really interested me at all. All I knew was that you had to get the ball into the hole by hitting it in the least number of hits as possible. Nothing else… I guess reading this manga was eye-opening in the way that I got to learn about the sport of Golf. The different clubs, how to count points, how a competition is run… Not much, but at least that’s something XD
From what I’ve read so far of Rising Impact, it’s pretty amusing. It does a relatively good job at keeping interest even if you might not be much of a golf-person (like me). It doesn’t portray the sport in that much of a realistic light, considering many, if not all, of the main characters are prodigies and their skill is unreal. Oh, forgot to mention they’re already amazing when they’re grade-schoolers, yup. The development is cliche and very much the same as any sports manga out there. At least from the first 15 chapters I’ve read.
The pacing of the manga is pretty weird too. The story progresses fast. Sometimes too fast and everything just skips ahead, leaving you to wonder “How the heck did he get so skilled?! The weeks towards the competition was just fast forwarded?!” It’s like all this level-up happens ‘behind-the-scenes’. Sometimes there’ll be random, off-tangent chapters which are nothing short of weird… Even though you might get a deeper glimpse of a character during that short story, they’re so random I just couldn’t help but think they’re unnecessary. Those just left me pretty confused…
In terms of the characters themselves, the only reason I like the protagonist, Gawain, is the fact that he’s really cute. Everyone else is just meh. No one distinctive that actually stood out as a memorable character to me at least. Just from the first 15 chapters of the manga, it’s already pretty clear what sort of romance path and with who the protagonist is inching towards.
That’s actually all I’ve got to say about Rising Impact. I really appreciate how Suzuki-sensei can write a manga about golf and keep it interesting to a certain extent, but from what I’ve read of 15 chapters, even if I could read the whole series, I’m not sure it’ll be something I can make it through to the end. I wonder if Rising Impact is the kind of series that gets better as the story goes on. Guess I’ll never find that out.