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The story revolves around three teenagers with a desire to play basketball. Nomiya, being a high school dropout, has no future in his life. Engulfed by the guilt of crippling a girl in a traffic accident where he invited her on a bike ride finds himself in a deep predicament. Togawa, a former talented sprinter who once strove to become the best in Japan now putting his all in wheelchair basketball finds it hard to deal with the disinterest and psyche of his own teammates. Takahashi, once a popular and arrogant team leader, an honor student, a self proclaimed elite now finds himself being unable to move from the chest down.
Real also deals with the reality of physical disabilities, and the psychological inferiority that the characters struggle against. The characters break through their own psychological barriers bit by bit.

Note: Won an Excellence Prize for manga at the 2001 Japan Media Arts Festival.


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Associated Names

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Latest Release(s)
v.14 c.79-84 by Illuminati-Manga over 2 years ago
v.13 c.73-78 by Illuminati-Manga over 3 years ago
v.12 c.67-72 by Illuminati-Manga over 4 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
14 Volumes (Ongoing)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews
REAL by The Dystopian


User Rating
Average: 9.1 / 10.0 (402 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.9 / 10.0
 49% (196 votes)
 27% (108 votes)
 15% (60 votes)
 5% (19 votes)
 2% (9 votes)
 1% (3 votes)
 0% (0 votes)
 0% (1 votes)
 0% (1 votes)
 1% (5 votes)

Last Updated
December 29th 2015, 9:53am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Shuukan Young Jump (Shueisha)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Viz (14 Volumes - Ongoing)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #341 increased(+133)
Monthly Pos #569 increased(+64)
3 Month Pos #664 increased(+7)
6 Month Pos #616 decreased(-3)
Year Pos #628 decreased(-26)

List Stats
On 1505 reading lists
On 1038 wish lists
On 57 unfinished lists
On 369 custom lists

Note: You must be logged in to update information on this page.

Forum Posts
senseless apreciation thread over 3 years ago
REAL manga (Inoue Takehiko) over 7 years ago

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User Comments [ Order by time added ]

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Inoue's best work   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by ddvdsv
April 8th, 2012, 9:46am
Real is nothing shot but brilliant and is Inoue's best, more mature work. The art is as always, amazing, but it's not the protagonist like in Vagabond, instead it's essential and functional to the storytelling.
The story is realistic, deep and psychological and has one of the most emotional scenes I've ever seen in a manga.
It deals with the small and great tragedies of life, but with a inner feeling of strength and hope. From personal, intimate instances the manga manages to tell a collective tale about human dignity and personal affirmation.
Basketball is not the main focus of the story, but is used instead to demonstrate how a passion can have a major role in overcoming seemingly insurmountable situations.

... Last updated on April 8th, 2012, 11:18am
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Much better than Slam Dunk.   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by pearlesque
June 12th, 2007, 9:27am
Don't get me wrong, I love Slam Dunk! But this manga is more mature and more interesting from a psychological perspective. The characters have more depth, at least in my opinion -- and the art is, as always, fabulous. Inoue-sensei is one of the best manga artists out there, and it shows. Each panel flows seamlessly into the next, with enough kinetic energy to drive the narrative forward at a breakneck speed. For that reason, reading this manga feels less like reading and more like watching -- watching a high-speed sports event on TV, for example.

So incredibly awesome. Human pride and human dignity are the central themes of this manga, along with the theme of basketball, of course!

A must for any sports fan.

... Last updated on June 12th, 2007, 9:28am
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Worth the Read   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by jfaerr
August 9th, 2013, 2:49am
This is one of those titles that you decide to look over a bunch of times, but wonder why you did so in the first place.

Quality art, quality story, and characters that are quite interesting. I highly recommend this one.
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one of the best!   
Rating: N/A
by arrha
October 19th, 2007, 3:32am
Although I love Slam Dunk for the longest time, I think it's about time to admit that it's time has passed. I read this manga without any expectations and with the knowledge that REAL is going to be a whole lot different (more mature, less fun) from SD. After finishing the whole volume, I must say that I'm really taken with this series. I love the way how Inoue Takehiko handled the story about something as rarely thought or talked about as wheelchair basketball and juvenile delinquency (the real deal not like the immature delinquency we see in other manga). The manga as a whole presents to us the reality that we often times do disregard these people in our society. We see them, we 'accept' (more along the lines of toleration) them, but we really don't do enough to address their concerns as much as we abled people fight to address ours. I also like how different relationships are addressed in the story, enough of the infatuated nonsense and more on the much deeper relationships which really shapes who we become. Although despite all this I still like how funny (yet still relevant) moments is injected into the storyline (here and there) to bring out the positives in the depressing situations.
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this sh*t is Real   
Rating: N/A
by barbapapa
September 6th, 2005, 10:46pm
Excellent manga! To be expected from the mangaka that gave us Vagabond & Slam Dunk. Very serious stuff this is tho, high on drama and emotions, very intense read. Beautifull art, what more can you ask?
Check it out! even if the topic of the manga doesnt speak to you.
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Worh Buying   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Ser3n
October 31st, 2008, 8:58am
I'm buying the whole manga from VIZ. Believe me, it's well worth it.
The story is deep and realistic and the characters evolve fantasticly.
The art is superb.

... Last updated on January 16th, 2010, 6:49am
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better and better   
Rating: N/A
by fudg
April 23rd, 2011, 4:11pm
This is one of the best mangas I've ever read. It's realistic and it really shows the big challenges they have to overcome. As some people already said I love the character growth of Tokomi and the fact that he is getting more spotlight with trying to go pro
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Best sports manga ever   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by McCamyTaylor
December 27th, 2010, 10:20pm
The addition of Takahashi to the starting line up of main characters has really improved the manga. "Real" used to be about wheelchair athletes who played basketball. Now, it's about basketball that is played by a variety of characters, some with physical disabilities, some with emotional problems and some with both.

I admire the restraint which Inoue Sensei has shown in developing Takahashi's character very, very slowly. This gives the reader a sense of how difficult his journey is and what an accomplishment it will be if he finally gets back to playing basketball.

Much as I admire the character (and character design) of Togawa, I have always had the sense that for him basketball was second best. Maybe he should try out wheelchair track and field.

... Last updated on December 27th, 2010, 10:21pm
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Rating: 8.5 / 10.0
by Hell_Clues
August 13th, 2011, 2:47am
Everyone agrees, this manga is an enjoyable read. The surprising thing about this manga is how it maintains being realistically upbeat about some horrific circumstances.

It covers some of accidents that can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, ect. The stuff we'd rather not think about.

I can't put to words what makes this manga enjoyable but I can say that it's worth checking out.

... Last updated on August 13th, 2011, 2:49am
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Endearing Message   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Green Mylle
December 18th, 2014, 11:47am
When one falls and the world seems to go down with you, There's this light and it's REAL.
Just make it happen.

I don't know if people get what I typed, but yep.
This has got be ONE of the best mangas I have ever read. Give it a read and guaranteed you won't regret.... (or not, according to your type.)
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