Namaikizakari (Revisited)

Love at first touch?

More like grope, but I'll get onto that in a bit.

I can't remember how exactly I first came across this manga, but after a long break from it because it's ongoing, I went back to it only to find about 20 newly translated chapters. Talk about good things come to those who wait am I right?

Anyway, I started it again from the beginning and I loved Namaikizakari all over again, and how it progressed in the new chapters.

Namaikizari stars Machida Yuki as the MC. She's a second year at Ryohoku high school and manager of the basketball club. As she's recruiting first years at the start of the new school year, she encounters Naruse Shou, a rather tall and good looking guy who accidentally gropes Yuki after someone knocks him over. But Yuki bravely continues on acting as though nothing happened, given how she has younger brothers and sisters to deal with and is able to deal with stuff (not this kinda stuff though).

Little does she know that that's not the last of Shou being like that, since it's pretty much from there that Shou has taken a liking to Yuki, but that's not the reason why, and so begins Yuki's challenge to manage the basketball club and getting through high school whilst dealing with Shou's advances and wish for her to be his girlfriend.

Given their personalities, this makes for pretty interesting stuff. It's like oil and water; Shou's childish behaviour and attitude contrast Yuki's maturity and strictness, but they're a perfect match. Not that I am confirming nor denying whether they get together; you have to read this for yourselves to find that out. What I will say is that Yuki and Shou do have some sweet moments in amongst all the high school life and training for basketball matches, the latter of which reminded me of Kuroko no Basket in the more recent chapters. But I digress. 

Namaikizakari has a good balance of characters and story, featuring others in the basketball club such as Yuki's crush and those who see Yuki as their big sister (you'll know what I mean when you read it), and people in rival clubs who we get to see in action during basketball matches. The matches do get pretty intense and add in action you wouldn't get in high school romance manga, and brings a nice change of pace and an element of realism in terms of sports. It balances the story well so nothing is concentrated on too much no matter the events/time of year in the story and we get a bit of everything as we progress.

It was nice to see all this happening from the beginning, especially when you can refresh your memory of everything that's happened and then continue on with new content. You see Shou, Yuki and the others develop in each school year, with new people coming in as the new school year commences. I enjoyed the comedy relief that comes with their relationship as Shou isn't the type to stay quiet about his feelings, in particular those towards Yuki, whilst Yuki tries to hide his actions from everyone so they don't know what's going on without showing how this is affecting her. You gotta love how her expression changes from serious to animated and back again, and Shou is just there going with it whilst anyone who "interrupted" them is confused by what's happening. Bless them both.

I hope that when new chapters are released things continue to be as good as they have been after catching up with the latest ones. Like Black Bird and Horimiya, I'll gladly read this again from the beginning whilst it updates and when it's completed. I recommend this to anyone who wants a romance manga with a side order of sports to mix things up a bit.