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Old 2016-12-16, 16:05   Link #1
judasmartel
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Mai Ball (manga)



===============
Title: Mai Ball
Author: Sora Inoue (JAM!!, Real Bout High School)
Genres: Comedy, Ecchi, Sports, Seinen
First Release: 2012
===============
Synopsis: Mai has been helping out her childhood friend, Kunimitsu, every morning with soccer practice ever since they were little. After years of practice, Kunimitsu has been MVP for 2 years in a row at the middle school nationals. One day, Reika—one of Kunimitsu's admirers—witnesses the two childhood friends practicing, and is shocked by Mai's ability to keep up. Determined to prove herself to Kunimitsu, Reika challenges Mai to a soccer challenge!

Caught between her childhood crush and new competition, will Mai be able to hold her composure? With a tendency to get too nervous or fantasize about Kunimitsu, Mai has a hard time playing soccer outside of practice. Can she stop her lewd fantasies long enough to beat Reika?
===============

So I picked this title up as I was told it could make a good women's sports anime in the future. I decided to create a thread about this FABULOUS (lol) manga that is equal parts LOOD, funny, and intense rolled all into one! I have doubts about it though, but I'll keep close tabs on this title, especially on the realistic side of things. It does seem realistic to me, but that's because I only picked up football recently.

Calling our resident sports experts at AnimeSuki to see for themselves whether or not the moves, plays, and strategies featured in this manga are realistic enough to be performed on a regular basis at the professional level.

The real reason I picked this up is that Mai Ball came out just a year after Japan won the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2011 and two years before they won the Under-17 edition in 2014. In addition, Japan also made back-to-back Finals appearances in both editions of the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The senior women's team lost to the US, while the U-17 team lost to North Korea. Japanese female youth players IRL thankfully look like your average Japanese girl, with quite a few outliers who are both pretty and skilled (2-time U-17 FW Fuka Nagano won the Golden Ball award this year, and she's actually quite the cutie off the pitch, and so is her former teammate from the 2014 team if you REALLY stretch your definition of cute, GK Mamiko Matsumoto, who won the Golden Glove award that year) so I think it is quite easy to market an anime adaptation of Mai Ball to both otakus and sports fans (anime or RL) alike.

Maybe they can pitch it like, "Look, we have cute girls playing football, but we're not doing this because we want to shit on the beautiful game; I mean, you know Japanese women are the best, right? Guess what, they are also crazy good at football IN REAL LIFE, not just in manga and anime; they're even better at it than the men if you take current World Rankings into account. So only cute girls playing football, but no superpowers, just pure mad skillz!" Japan is #8 in the FIFA Women's World Rankings, but is only #45 in the FIFA Men's World Rankings. There is considerable difference in the level of competition between the two gender divisions, but still. Yet who knows? Maybe they can use an anime adaptation of Mai Ball to advertise the Japanese national soccer teams for the 2018 FIFA Men's World Cup, the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
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Old 2016-12-16, 17:45   Link #2
Kurohane
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Oh, yeah I've come across this before. This by the same guy who did Zero In.
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Old 2016-12-16, 18:09   Link #3
judasmartel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurohane View Post
Oh, yeah I've come across this before. This by the same guy who did Zero In.
I saw dat glorious NTR from a freaking mile away! Holy cow!

Huh. Somehow the hero team reminds me very much of the Deimon Devil Bats. VERY quirky members, insane moments all-offense mentality, struggles hard against defensive teams. Typical hero team in sports anime taken up to eleven. The only things different from Deimon other than the sport is that their Sena-equivalent is not the main character, Mai is actually more like Raimon than Sena, and Reika is not even close to the level of insanity that is Hiruma.

Mai's trance moments remind me a lot of Kanna Aoyagi from Koe de Oshigoto. Generally a crappy player overall (we shall see as the manga progresses), MASSIVE stage fright, but goes BEAST MODE only during trance, though the author seemed to have found a way to get rid of it so that she doesn't have to rely on Kunimitsu all the time to activate her Beast Mode.

Inoue seems to be a fan of Italian and English football. Their supposed 4-4-2 formation was actually at one point the most popular football formation in Italy, while their actual 4-4-1-1 formation had quite some success in the English league. I wonder if Japan copied stuff from the Italians and the English on their way to football supremacy in Asia. I mean, Captain Tsubasa is one reason Japan turned from zero to hero in football, after all.

He mentioned AC Milan, Juventus Turin, and some legendary Italian players during Italy's heyday, and I think he also mentioned World Cup teams which are probably the powerhouses at the time, namely: Italy, England, Mexico, Brazil, Holland (aka Netherlands), Germany, and Portugal.

Spoiler for edit:


Double Edit: Inoue referenced Japan winning the 2011 Women's World Cup in Chapter 37.

Spoiler for reference:
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Old 2016-12-19, 02:11   Link #4
judasmartel
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Wow, the protagonist team and their first official opponents are actually mostly first years, when most anime have second year protagonists.

That's something new to me.
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Old 2016-12-19, 13:52   Link #5
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Been keeping up with this series. I LOVE IT =03! ALLLL of the girls are just so precious(so many best girls =03), and the artwork is exceptional; less emphasis on breasts, more emphasis on hips, thighs of all sizes. Even the opposing team's girls are great and have their own charms.

I think its cute how its only male character, Kunimitsu, is loved by the team. He's not like those wishy-washy shoujo male protagonists; he has backbone(not afraid to tell the girls to stop goofing around),but is generally kind; he's very observant of all of the girls' playstyles, quirks, and abilities. He is a bit clueless when it comes to their romantic affections for him, but it's certainly well-deserved why he's loved so much.

The latest arc however.... for the first time in this series, I can say I'm not going to like it that much, at least in until the later half.
Spoiler for chp 76:
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Old 2016-12-19, 14:01   Link #6
judasmartel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frubam View Post
Been keeping up with this series. I LOVE IT =03! ALLLL of the girls are just so precious(so many best girls =03), and the artwork is exceptional; less emphasis on breasts, more emphasis on hips, thighs of all sizes. Even the opposing team's girls are great and have their own charms.

I think its cute how its only male character, Kunimitsu, is loved by the team. He's not like those wishy-washy shoujo male protagonists; he has backbone(not afraid to tell the girls to stop goofing around),but is generally kind; he's very observant of all of the girls' playstyles, quirks, and abilities. He is a bit clueless when it comes to their romantic affections for him, but it's certainly well-deserved why he's loved so much.

The latest arc however.... for the first time in this series, I can say I'm not going to like it that much, at least in until the later half.
Spoiler for chp 76:
There's always that kind of team in sports anime. Yamabuki and Nagoya Seitoku from Prince of Tennis, the Amino Cyborgs (IIRC) in ES21, pretty much every single opponent team past the first round in tournament anime. #DealWithIt

I'm just finishing on the match between Kijikita and Franklin, I'll post here the final score board as soon as I'm done. I'll be making flags for each school if you're interested, I have done Kijikita and Franklin, I'm going to do a flag for their current opponent, maybe I can use some help here with Kijinan's uniform or at least their color scheme?

"I am your resident Onii-chan, and this is a friendly reminder that everyone in Mai Ball is best girl."
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Old 2016-12-19, 14:04   Link #7
Chosen_Hero
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I have read this manga, I like it but would rather see the anime.
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Old 2016-12-19, 14:13   Link #8
judasmartel
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I have read this manga, I like it but would rather see the anime.
It would definitely fit as an anime, but it's only been three official matches for the hero team so far, and things doesn't seem to be good for them atm. But Japan will probably announce an anime adaptation sooner or later, and what better way to hype up Japanese football for the 2018 FIFA Men's WC and Under-17 Women's WC, the 2019 FIFA Women's WC, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics than a very well-adapted soccer anime in the vein of Captain Tsubasa.

If they ever adapt this, I would like Kaji to voice Kunimitsu, but Matsuoka or Nakamura would be fine as well. Dute has to be voiced by "Harasho", though.

EDIT: So it's stated that Franklin's coach was supposedly a striker for the 2011 Japanese team that won the Women's WC. Anyone has ideas which RL player she is based on?

DOUBLE EDIT: Behold, the results of Kijikita's first official match!

Spoiler for Kijiyama North v Franklin:

TRIPLE EDIT: Is Seirin in Mai Ball the same one where Kuroko and co. attend in? That would be a nice crossover with KnB if it is.

UPDATE: Nope, it isn't. Seirin High in Kuroko has a different Kanji from Seirin High in Mai Ball.
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Old 2016-12-19, 17:21   Link #9
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Upon reading this Topic's title I instantly thought


https://youtu.be/NFRY_n_Q_ck?t=28s
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Old 2016-12-19, 17:33   Link #10
judasmartel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyero Fox View Post
Upon reading this Topic's title I instantly thought


https://youtu.be/NFRY_n_Q_ck?t=28s
Punny title. Don't worry so much about it.

EDIT: Onward to the brutal third round!

Spoiler for Kijiyama North v Seirin:


DOUBLE EDIT: Now, Kijinan reminds me of Hyoutei.
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Old 2016-12-24, 04:28   Link #11
judasmartel
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Spoiler for 77:
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Old 2016-12-24, 04:37   Link #12
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Reika End please~
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Old 2016-12-24, 04:49   Link #13
judasmartel
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Reika End please~
It's still far away, man. And besides, football is all Kuni thinks of right now, and we all know he is the one for Mai.
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Old 2017-02-14, 20:24   Link #14
judasmartel
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Spoiler for 78:
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Old 2017-02-25, 01:47   Link #15
judasmartel
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Spoiler for 79:
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Old 2017-03-11, 07:10   Link #16
judasmartel
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Spoiler for 80:
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Old 2017-03-11, 07:49   Link #17
wuhugm
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Damn this match takes forever

But really like Amane's pose here :

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Old 2017-03-12, 17:54   Link #18
judasmartel
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Damn this match takes forever.
The match is going to take quite some time before it ends. We still have the final against Kijinan after that and if the author decides, the series might just go onward to the national tournament with opponents far more powerful than the already insane Kijinan and Kuryuin teams and even beyond that to the Asian Under-16 and World Under-17 tournaments, considering this manga was first released a year after Japan won the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and two years before they also won the 2014 FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup.

My bets for Team Japan U-16 from the two Kijiyamas' region if ever the author decides to go international are Reika, Mai, Chidori, and Tsubame from Franklin. Amane, Mirai, Jaina, and Shuna can probably join Team Japan U-18 instead.

I bet this series would be even longer than Saki, which is still ongoing at a very slow pace with Ritz beating around the bush as the national finals is underway and there are even hints Ritz is going international after the national tournament!

Hoo. Freaking. Boy.

Anyways, so far, I noticed GK's don't get much respect in this series, very much like in real life, except prolly for Rinka, the GK of hero team Kijikita. Either Rinka will turn out to be the best young female GK in Japan at the end of the series, or Kijikita will face a super defensive team which is basically a taller and stronger version of Franklin whose captain or ace player is a GK. Think Ojou White Knights, except it's a girls' soccer team instead of a boys' American football team.
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Old 2017-05-19, 13:01   Link #19
judasmartel
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Spoiler for mai ball 82:
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Old 2017-05-19, 13:19   Link #20
wuhugm
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Kiiro best girl! Woof!
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