Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Awesome Manga Review: Teppu

Almost through a Diane Wynne Jones book so for the moment let me talk about Teppu. Man, I love these off beat, away from the mainstream mangas.

What is Teppu? It's mostly a sports manga revolving around female ...what would you call it? boxing? martial arts? anything-goes-martial arts? Something like that. Our main girl Natsuo is big, strong, smart and good at everything she tries, therefore she's bored with life and filled with an undercurrent of rage that occasionally finds an outlet in kicking the shit out of people.

One day while she's fighting her ex-best friend (who is a master at martial arts) a lone female jogger happens upon them....and sits down on a bench to watch the fight. Weird? yes. BUT, it turns out this woman is Japan's number one MMA fighter and has an interest in Natsuo. Throw in some other incredibly strong girls, Natsuo comes to the conclusion that she would like to join the MMA gym, be trained by Karin (the jogger/number one female fighter) and become even stronger (it's mostly so she can kick the crap out of a girl who actually beat her in a spar)

Generally, I don't like sports manga.

BUT I made an exception for this one because it was weird (the characters are so awesomely strange) it had a girl who was a giant (for some of Japanese descent - she's 5 '10, that's HUGE for a woman in Japan), it had female body types that were different, realistic, and HAD MAJOR MUSCLES going on

Not only that but it has a wide variety of woman of all ages, women who were NOT high school girls saving the world but grown (in their 30's) taking a major part in the manga story and NOT being cast as mother and side character.

The art is a little rough but it's worth going through at least once - just to see if Natsuo can get up to a point where she can win against that psychotic weirdo girl who is super happy to get the shit get kicked out of her. I will leave you with a picture of Natsuo being badass:

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