Blue Box Vol. 1 Review – Aiming to Score in Love And Sports

    Title: Blue Box Vol. 1
    Author: Kouji Miura
    Release Date: November 1, 2022
    Publisher: VIZ Media

While some people may associate Shonen Jump with your typical battle shounen, they also include many series with other styles such as comedy, sports, and romance. Blue Box Vol. 1  is one such story, offering a mix of sports, romance, and drama that makes it a compelling read.

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Blue Box tells the story of Taiki, a boy who has long admired and liked one of his senpai called Chinatsu. She’s an elite basketball player, and everyone expects her to play at nationals. Besides her impressive skills, she’s popular, a very charismatic girl who enchants people all over. Many boys from other schools admire her playing, and she has even appeared in a few magazines as a prominent name in her field.

Meanwhile, Taiki is just a regular first-year badminton player. He’s not even on most people’s radar, as neither his skills nor his charms are compelling enough. As such, he feels they’re worlds apart and that he isn’t worthy of this girl he admires so much.

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Blue Box Vol. 1 shows his efforts to get her to know him, but soon he notices living only for this relationship goal would be silly. What he admires in her isn’t simply her beautiful looks, cute behavior, or anything like that. Instead, hee sees all the effort she puts into her game, and that’s why she shines so bright.

Chinatsu always starts training before anyone else, doing her best to fulfill her dream so she’ll never look back in regret. Her straightforward nature and ironclad resolve are things Taiki also strives for, but she’s already shown results while he’s still on baby steps.

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However, by some twists of fate, Chinatsu and Taiki get closer during this volume. It honestly feels like what once he and his friend regarded as impossible can come true. The manga also subtly hints that things may not be as one-sided as they initially seem.

Most of the manga is composed of gentle interactions between the characters, with some introductions to the secondary cast, such as Taiki’s friends and a boy who is friends with Chinatsu. However, in between, we also see how Taiki is playing badminton, and this love situation has given him an extra push to strive for nationals himself. It’s not simply to impress Chinatsu but because he loves the sport.

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Even so early in the story, it’s already easy to see Taiki’s growth. He’s doing his best, and it shows, even if the volume never feels like it dives as deep into the sports aspect of it all as your typical sports manga would. It is closer to a romantic slice-of-life experience with a touch of sports than a sports manga with romance overall. What moves it is the fascinating characters, and Kouji Miura knows how to make them compelling.

Blue Box Vol. 1 is a curious romance story about a boy whose fascination for a sports senpai drives him forward. What holds together the mix of romance, drama, and sports is the charismatic, straightforward characters. I couldn’t help but root for them the whole volume, and I’m eager to see the tribulations they’ll face in the future.

4/5

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Ivanir Ignacchitti

Random Japanese games are my jam. Handhelds, RPGs, VNs and PC banzai.