(Para toda la gente de habla hispana: http://coyuhi.foros.ws/viewtopic.php?t=533. Gracias Laura-sama!)
On January 20th, I reviewed Ace wo Nerae! (Aim for the Ace!). Well, let’s face it, this 30-year old manga hasn’t changed much in seven months, but there’s a few fun updates I wanted to share with you.
Firstly, Ace is now a live-action television show. It’s been on for a while, but I’ve only managed to see one episode of it. So far, it looks like the show is playing pretty close to the original manga. The akogare Hiromi has for Ochoufujin remains intact, as she goes all doe-eyed and gooey when the older girl comes close or, gasp!, touches her. What is funny to see is how sily the character design of Ochoufujin looks in real life. What played as uber-cool and mature lady-like in a 1970-something shoujo manga, looks kind of goofy when transferred to reality, now. But to her credit, the girl playing Ochoufujin, aka Ryuuzaki Reika, is doing a nice job being competent and focused. And Hiromi is being played pretty much as affable and charming as the original, with a touch more strength, so you can see right from the beginning what the coach sees in her. Speaking of the “Oni” Coach, the actor playing Coach Munakata is stellar. Brooding and dark, intense and nearly sadistic, he’s absolutely *perfect.*
On a different note, I was re-reading Ace! recently while watching Wimbledon. Because Ace! was written in the 70’s, many popular 70’s tennis stars appear in the story, especially later on, as Hiromi approaches world-class. We see cameos of Bjorn Borg, Martina Navritalova, Chris Evert and Hiromi even plays a singles match against Billie Jean King. It occurred to me that Billie Jean King probably did not know that she was in a 1970’s Japanese manga, so I emailed her and told her. I offered to send a copy of the volumes in which she appears. I received an email back, saying that she’d love to have a copy. So, I’m sending her Vol. 8 and 9 of the Akita Bunko reprint with a note that states, “In a climactic international match, Hiromi plays Billie Jean King…and loses. You might be amused to learn that you are gracious in victory and offer Hiromi a few encouraging words.” ^_^
I also took the liberty of throwing in a copy of ALC Publishing’s Rica ‘tte Kanji!?, just for fun. We’ll see if Ms. King responds. ^_^
One last note – I’ll be out of town for work for a few days, so don’t expect an update until I get back. If you’re starving for Yuri manga and anime talk, join the folks at the Yuricon Mailing List and talk away!