Little Boy manga review

Little Boy is a miserable excuse for a manga. Its only redeeming feature is that it’s about baseball. And I suppose there might be points of interest for Mitsuru Adachi fans, since he drew the art for this series. Since this manga came out in 1974, early in Adachi’s career, it might be interesting to people seeking to trace the evolution of his art, before he settled on the same few character archetypes and evidently decided, why fix what ain’t broke? The story is by Mamoru Sasaki, who I’d never heard of before and hope to never hear of again.
I’ll skip lengthy explanations of the story and characters because it really doesn’t deserve it. I’ll just say it gets worse and worse as the series progresses and it’s a good thing Little Boy only lasted one volume. Gou, the main character only gets more and more difficult, rude, selfish and impossible to root for. In many series this is balanced out by letting you root for the rival instead, but all the “rivals” in this series show up for only a few pages a chapter to lose unceremoniously to Gou’s overwhelming skill and power. The one match he does lose isn’t satisfying either, because he isn’t that torn up over it. He’s just like, welp, gotta work harder. Typical shonen hero.

little_boy_034His ‘girlfriend’ Michi isn’t worth writing home about either. Gou threw one bloody ball (literally) which landed near her, and that makes her go all “I’ll follow you forever!” Michi even kicks up a stink when Gou agrees to marry another girl so the other girl can teach him a secret pitch (because that’s the kind of guy Gou is. He sucks.) The question of what she sees in him is never, ever answered. Unless it has to do with their mutual fetish for public peeing (yes, you read that right). Every Jack has his Jill, as the saying goes.

For the reasons I’ve mentioned above, Little Boy has zero merit as a romance or character-based manga. More importantly, because of the monotony of the matches, the nastiness of Gou and the colorlessness of the opposing batters, it has zero merit as a sports manga as well. The art is actually decent for a manga that old, and the action is always simple and easy to follow, but that’s as far as it goes for the positive side of this manga.

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