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Genres: Shounen, Sports, Comedy, School Life
Author: MORITA Masanori
Artist: MORITA Masanori
Publication: Shueisha’s Weekly Shounen Jump
Start Date: 1998
End Date: 2003
Number of chapters at review: 233 chapters in 24 volumes (125 chapters of English scanlations by JJ/Deadbeat/The Legendary Fifth Rookies Group)
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 233
General Overview: A Rookie of the grown-up world: a zealous teacher Kōichi Kawatō. The Rookies of youth: the juvenile delinquents of the ill-famed Futagotamaga high school’s baseball club. Using baseball games as major narrative, Morita Masanori brings these Rookies together creating an inspiring story of flaming boyhood, dreams, morality, friendships and (student-teacher) connection.
The story simultaneously impresses on Kawatō’s influence towards the people around him in a role of enthusiastic and non-conventional teacher; and on the advancement of the baseball team’s dream towards “Kōshien” (short-call for a stadium where the annual National High School Baseball Championship being hosted).
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
Emotive and every panels’ pictures has movie-like continuity. Morita’s art is one of those detailed realistic types. He inclines to be by the book with human’s anatomy, though not quite perfect, and whenever he put his characters into comical expressions, Morita intends to bend the truth a little to give his characters hilarious feelings. Screentones are also regularly used on various objects, making the scenery backgrounds photographic.
50% Baseball – 50% morality. Rookies is realistic yet comedical. It is about determination, endeavour and diligence. The majority of the baseball team members are hot-tempered bullies who never actually play baseball but dream of the moon (Kōshien). Readers are always to prepare of their ruining their half-way matches or losing their hope by others’ affront. Morita brings moral lessons into his baseball plot in a figure of teacher Kawatō – whose heavy sermons and the common baseball games make a flowing go together so humorous and impressive. Morita also adds a few chapters of incidents between Kawatō and other students who are not the baseball team member to stress the importance of Kawatō’s teacher role.
Its hero is an idealistic character, but his sermons/speeches are realistic and sincere enough that I can’t be bothered to stay offended. There are at least nine members in a baseball team, plus some significant roles are continuously and reasonably introduced as the story goes until a certain point. Yet Morita runs into such a depth for all of them. Every members of the baseball team are emphasized in captivating ways, and every introduced consequential characters have their notable style of development.
Never insult other’s dreams. Never insult other who has dreams. Never insult your own dreams and never leave your dreams unmade. Rookies always sticks to these four Nevers in spite of the main story’s dynamic, charming proceeding.
There is Fujisawa’s GTO (influential teacher), there is Nishiyama’s Harlem Beat (dreams), there is Adachi’s H2 (baseball), and plenty of other mangas that speak of One Hero Changing The World and Dreams. Even so, I still insist on Morita’s quality of originality in presenting those hot topics ever so classy in an exceptional traditional way.
Regardless of baseball’s particulars that slightly makes this manga advantageous to readers with some knowledge of the sport (small things really, e.g. the rules and game-play), Rookies is fun and inspiring. The plot is well-written; the manga is well-drawn, not to forget the ordinary yet entertaining games of general throwing-batting-running-catching. It contains bundles of swearwords, but Rookies definitely gets my five-stars as an outstanding Shounen manga.
Last edited by Yabe; February 24, 2010 at 10:37 AM.
Wow!! after that review i have to get to know this manga
Thx for the suggestion
You really should do, Raysen! (whenever you like), and come correct my words if it's not that good.
Last edited by Yabe; July 09, 2008 at 11:19 AM.
It's not often i can agree with a perfect ten, but even with it's slight mish mash of other manga, Rookies makes the elements it's own in one of the most powerful and amazing shonen manga about. Perfect review!