Namaikizakari is a manga by Miyuki Mitsubachi which I thought I'd check out after looking through the manga site I visit quite often. If you have read Honey X Honey Drops, you'll notice that this is somewhat similar in the sense that the main guy has a great interest in basketball. That's the only similarity, but Honey X Honey Drops is an interesting read nonetheless, though a bit maturer (which also has an anime, but after seeing a part of the first episode I can say that I prefer the manga).

The story revolves around Machida Yuki, a second year student who became the manager of the basketball team so she could get closer to third year student Kido. Machida meets Naruse Shou, a first year who joins the basketball team. His first encounter with her starts off the story and is slightly awkward, which becomes one of the reasons why she hates Naruse. She has an even greater dislike for him when he tells her that he likes her. But even though she tries to deny her affection for him, she does try to open up to Naruse.
What holds her back is the fact that Naruse is younger than her and how that would look to others if they were to go out in public, as well as the fact that he acts like a child at times and tries to make advances on her when there's a risk of them being seen. There are some moments when Naruse shows how much he likes Machida, which is a mix of "aww" and comedy. It may seem like all the focus is on the romance, but thankfully none of it is piled onto readers in one go - the story is steady paced and has a balanced focus on basketball, comedy and romance, and is not too serious either.

Other characters get some focus in the manga too, with some having links to either Machida or Naruse. This makes the story more interesting, and allows the story to progress through character development as well. They also add to the comedy when some of them go to where Machida and Naruse are, but I'll stop with the [vague] spoilers I've just mentioned.

Namaikizakari brings a nice change to the type of girl you see most of the time in the world of animanga, but still makes the romance and comedy work. For those of you who are interested, the manga is still ongoing, and is one you should read if you've read manga like Honey X Honey Drops or if you want something different from fantasy-based manga. Hopefully it shouldn't stop when Machida graduates from highschool. It seems like it won't (if you've read the story you'll know what I mean), but it probably might have a predictable ending (if they get married for example). If you'd like a slice of life manga with some romance, sports, funny characters and school life, I recommend this one to you.


A student becomes manager of the school's basketball team, and encounters a younger student who joins the team and has taken an interest in her
Anything else: Naruse says some really cute things to Machida