Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Featured Review: Blue Box, Vol. 1, by Kouji Miura

  • Blue Box, vol. 1
  • by Kouji Miura
  • VIZ Media
  • Publication Date: November 1, 2022
  • ISBN-13: 9781974734627

Blue Box, vol. 1 is the first volume in a new series written and drawn by Kouji Miura. Taiki is on the school badminton team, and practices in the school gym at the same time as Chinatsu, an upperclassman. Chinatsu is a star on the girls’ basketball team and very popular. When Taiki first sees her, he instantly falls in love. During their days in the gym, the two get to know each other. Unaware of Taiki’s feelings, Chinatsu offers to help him improve at badminton and qualify for nationals. To complicate matters more, Chinatsu’s parents move away, and Taiki’s mother offers to let her stay at their house for the remainder of the school year. Now Taiki has to face his embarrassment and agony of having his sempai and crush living with him!

Blue Box combines the themes of sports, humor, friendship and romance in a new manga series with big teen appeal. The art fits the mold of realistic high school manga, and readers will jump right into the familiar feel. Supporting characters have their own storylines and are used for more than just comic relief. The anxiety and doubts that both Chinatsu and Taiki face about their sports careers mirror what real life teen athletes often go through. Miura manages to balance both Taiki’s crush on Chinatsu and the importance of their respective disciplines. Much of the story focuses on the bond the two main characters create through their love of sports, and how their friendship helps each other become better at them.

Recommend Blue Box to teens who enjoy sports manga such as Blue Lock by Muneyuki Kaneshiro and Haikyu! by Haruichi Furudate. Teen readers who like sports combined with romance should also read the Wandance series by Coffee and Cheeky Brat by Miyuki Mitsubachi.

Jacqueline Bush

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The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.