Shojo Fight by Yoko Nihonbashi
I’m very glad that sports series have been gaining so much momentum in the U.S., but there still are too few women-centered ones to enjoy in English. But never fear because now we have Shojo Fight!
Neri is on an all-star middle school volleyball team, but even in her third-year she’s the lowest rung and barely putting in the effort to be there. However, she is more than capable and it comes out in small moments noticed by few. Turns out Neri is hiding a passionate devotion to volleyball and a sometimes belligerent attitude that isolated her in elementary school.
Like many sports series, Neri is having trouble moving past an unexpected death in her life. Her grief has driven a wedge between Neri and volleyball, Neri and her friends, Neri and herself. Just as she starts reconnecting, a fateful meeting with a coach gives her the final push she needs.
Shojo Fight has a classic sports setup while still feeling fresh. It has the passion, the humor, and the sadness it should. On top of that is Yoko Nihonbashi’s unique art style which has thick, graphic lines and detailed use of screentone has the feel of something more Western.