Check out the Pride Celebration Treasure Hunt!
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Real, Volume 4 by Takehiko Inoue

Real, Volume 4

by Takehiko Inoue

Series: Real (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
301543,885 (4.3)None



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

I am a huge fan of Takehiko Inoue's illustrations and manga. Everything that I have read by him has impressed me; his artistic skills and storytelling, as well as his complex characterizations, are fantastic. When I first began reading Inoue's manga I fully expected to enjoy his series Vagabond the most. Vagabond is marvelous and I love it, but it was Inoue's wheelchair basketball series Real that became my favorite. Real also happens to be the first manga by Inoue that I read. Since I don't follow sports of any sort very closely, I was somewhat taken by surprise by how much I enjoyed Real. But the series is about so much more than basketball. Inoue adeptly portrays hard-hitting challenges and life-changing events in Real; basketball is just one part of the whole. The fourth volume of Real was published in Japan in 2004 while the English-language edition was released under Viz Media's Signature imprint in 2009. Inoue received a Japan Media Arts Award Excellence Prize for Real in 2001, the same year the manga began serialisation.

After a violent falling-out with the captain of his wheelchair basketball team, Togawa has only recently returned to the game. There is still a fair amount of tension between the members of the Tigers, but with the Sunflower tournament coming up the team has started to pull together in a way that it hasn't been able to in a long time. Togawa's hard work and enthusiasm for basketball have served as an inspiration for some of his teammates. Unfortunately, some of the other players aren't as appreciative of his attitude and the grueling practices that he leads. It is very likely that the Tigers forward momentum is only temporary and that the team will soon fall apart again. For Togawa, playing basketball and playing for the Tigers means everything to him. Having his right leg amputated as a middle school student because of bone cancer brought his dream of becoming a sprinter to an abrupt end. Togawa struggled immensely with this loss and it wasn't until he discovered wheelchair basketball that he was able to find himself and his passion as an athlete again.

Just as the third volume of Real largely focused on the beginning of Takahashi's rehabilitation, the fourth volume in the series delves more deeply into Togawa's past, looking closely at the state of his life immediately following the amputation of his leg. It shows how the young track star, after having his ambitions crushed, came to play wheelchair basketball. The loss of his leg was devastating for Togawa. He became withdrawn, cutting himself off from his classmates and his friends, and his father unintentionally reinforced this isolation. Along with his leg, Togawa lost his sense of purpose, drive, and direction in his life. Even greater is the tremendous loneliness that he experiences. Togawa doesn't want pity from others, he wants understanding. At the same time he is shunning contact and pushing people away, he is desperate to ease the loneliness that he feels. Togawa is extremely fortunate to meet a man by the name of Tora who helps drag Togawa back out of the shell he created for himself, serving as a much-needed role model--something that Takahashi has yet to find.

Despite all of the sweat and tears in Real, Volume 4, it tends to be slightly more ruminative and quiet than the volumes that precede it. One of the major themes that Inoue explores in the series--the meaning and purpose of a person's life--becomes particularly prominent in the fourth volume. Both Togawa and Takahashi are faced with enormous challenges and changes in their lives which require them to completely reevaluate who they are as people. They are both struggling to rediscover and redefine their identities. Having lost something incredibly important to them, they anguish over the reasons why and what could have been done to prevent it. Ultimately, these are questions that don't have an easy answer or solution. Over the course of the series, Takahashi frequently lashes out at those around him. In contrast, as seen in Real, Volume 4, Togawa tends to internalize his anger and despair. The similarities and differences in their situations and personalities are striking and an extraordinary effective part of the series. Real is a powerful and emotionally engaging work.

Experiments in Manga ( )
  PhoenixTerran | Mar 23, 2014 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Kiyoharu Togawa is selected to compete for a coveted spot on Japan's National Wheelchair Basketball Team. But with the prospects of this upcoming challenge weighing heavy on his mind, he reflects upon the demons of his past--his battle with cancer and rehabilitation as well as his bitter conflicts with his father. Togawa's passion for his sport is just about the only thing in life that can give him the strength to pull through.… (more)

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.3)
3 1
4 5
5 4

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 135,488,561 books! | Top bar: Always visible