By Anike Hage
Published in U.S. by TokyoPop
Slugline: For a German title called Gothic Sports, I expected more pillaging and violence on the field.
More evidence that the manga phenomenon is worldwide: this title was an OGL (Original German Language) mangaput out by TokyoPop Germany. I had seen the title and some cover art pieces, but even with little information I was looking forward to this series just from the title. It immediately conjured up images and a style that, while it is part of this manga, was nowhere near as strong or as important as I hoped.
In fact, in this first volume there is little to tell you that this was first released in Germany. Perhaps that's proof of the saying that there are no new stories, so far as this story is unfolding much like other sports stories do. There is the plucky new girl at school, Anya who wants to be on any sports team she can get on, the mysterious boy Leon from her past who wants to be on her team, and the school's already-existing soccer team that doesn't want any girls on it for fear it would harm their chances of winning.
There are a couple of character mysteries, such as why Anya is so desperate to go to school and be on a sports team despite not having any sport in particular in mind, Leon's role, and what is the deal with Delia, a member of the basketball team. But the reason the series is called Gothic Sports is because in order to attract attention the team wears Gothic-Lolita inspired uniforms. Funny, but I thought the Gothic connection would run deeper than that. This is not a particularly bad series, but I think it is missing opportunities by being, for the current volume at least, just another inspirational sports manga.
Gothic Sports vol. 1 is also available from Right Stuf, Intl., an online retailer specializing in anime and manga.