Reviewed by: PaulB
Released by: TokyoPop
Publishing Country: USA
Author: Anike Hage
Age Rating: 13+
Page Count: 174
Anya is a new student at Lucrece High, but has trouble fitting in. Unable to join any of the school’s sports teams she resolves to form her own. Teaming up with a collection of oddballs and misfits Anya creates the first Gothic Lolita football team.
Anya has been trying to transfer into Lucrece High for years, sold on its reputation for elite sports teams.
On her first day she runs into an old friend from grade school – Luise, who helps her to get familiar with the school and the other students. This includes Marie, the arrogant basketball player who is clearly going to be a thorn in Anya's side.
Anya also encounters another face from the past in the form of Leon. Clearly unhappy at seeing his face again, their as-yet undisclosed history is also going to cause some friction in the future.
Naturally Anya's attempts to join the basketball team fall flat when Marie is determined not to let her in. Disheartened, Anya finds herself watching the school's football team in practice – and also meets Julia, who has joined the football team but is always sidelined by the coach (who clearly is happier with a boys only team).
With her hopes of joining the football team seemingly defeated, Anya instead looks at forming her own football outfit. The principal seems unwilling to grant Anya's wishes, but he hasn't reckoned with her determination.
Gothic Sports is a German manga created by Anike Hage who appears to have adapted many of the classic tropes of manga, while still maintaining an individual style that shines.
The art is wonderful – a minimalist line-style coupled with a prudent use of tone. The wide range of emotions the characters display are wonderfully captured in the art and promises bigger and better things from this artist in the future.