Back on land! Feels pretty rough compared to the sand and saltwater I was living in for the past 10 days.
But speaking of Rough, Mitsuri Adachi’s manga by the same name (Rough) has been adapted to a novel and will be released this September. Rough, which was first released in 1983, has also been adapted to a live action film and will have a simultaneous release with the novel.
Adachi is one of Japan’s most prominent sports manga writers/illustrators. His series Touch, serialized from 1981 to 1986 in Shonen Sunday , mixed romance with a softer drawing style – quite literally giving the genre a gentler…touch. What was once gritty and sweaty and graphic and macho, became smooth and a bit more feminine. Adachi essentially opened up sports manga to a female readership. I would even go so far as to say that he shifted the genre so that it became less gendered. The sports manga of today, SlamDunk, EyeShield 21, can be enjoyed by anyone who picks them up. As for Prince of Tennis, which is a more competition based storyline, girls can get with it for all the pretty (not sweaty, but pretty) boys in the pages of the comic.
As for Rough, the storyline seems to focus on competitive swimming and, well, the romance between a swimmer and a girl. Most websites featuring Adachi are in Chinese which means I should be able to find the manga downtown if I look. The cool thing about Rough is that it’s about swimming, a sport that everyone does and loves in Japan, but is considered new (not old and stodgy like baseball). If Australian superswimmer Ian Thorpe goes out on a date, everyone in Japan knows. The Japanese are crazy about swimming. I’m kinda looking forward to checking this series out.
If the novel is substantial, or even if it’s not, if it’s just well done, then maybe we’ll see it Stateside via Viz Media.
Hey, coming out of the water may not be so rough after all…