MANGA series Toppu GP isbyKosuke Fujishima, the author of the famous, long-running Oh My Goddess!. If you happened to have read that series, the switch from a fantasy, magical and adventurous story to a thrilling and exciting motorcycle sport manga would surprise you.
Toppu Uno was never into motorbike racing. However, he is influenced by Myne whom he addresses as “big sis” and who is apparently a racer.
Toppu, who always observes her style and technique when she is racing on the track, has the ability to replicate the techniques he observes, perfecting and applying them in real time.
Surprisingly, that little boy is also able to tell Myne’s racing record even without a stopwatch.
The manga opens with a grown-up Toppu reflecting on how he started racing as a young boy. It was not his intention to start racing initially. But, he found himself loving the adrenaline rush and the feeling of winning brought by racing. Starting from riding a minibike, he is now aiming to race at the highest level – MotoGP.
Of course, these would not happen if not for his father, Teppei, and Myne’s encouragement (I would say bribing, actually).
Toppu resembles the typical teen. He spends most of his time assembling Gundam models, to an extent where Myne can actually make him participate in a race by promising to buy him the plastic models!
Apart from the excitement of racing, the sense of humour instilled in some of the panels are also worthy of praise.
I found myself loving Myne the most. Fujishima dedicates one whole chapter to her in this volume. Her incredible racing skills, her furious need to get justice for Toppu, her aim-to-win racing style on the track ... all these tiny details are well-illustrated in the panels.
The art captures perfectly the world of racing from the racers’ point of view. The drawing is splendid and some of the panels accurately illustrate the details of the motorcycle and the highly energised racing scene.
Fujishima’s fascination with motorcycles is perfectly portrayed through his work.
For a first-time manga reader, I found it
easy to understand the story, to feel the emotion of the characters, to feel the thrill on a racing track, and the excitement of winning a race.
Don’t worry about not understanding the motorcycle racing jargon, they actually do explain the meaning. Credit to Fujishima for being thoughtful and understanding to newbies like me!
Basically, I am looking forward to the development of the relationship between Toppu and his “big sis” as their bond definitely seems more special than just family.
The opening remark where Toppu reflects back to seven years ago left me with some questions to ponder. How did the little boy Toppu started his journey in world championship competition? Where is Myne? Why is she not physically present for Toppu’s competition? Did something happen to her?
The intensity and curiosity towards the development and transition of storyline and relationship grows stronger from there. All in all, I think it marks a great opening for the series.
Writer/Artist: Kosuke Fujishima Publisher: Kodansha Comics Toppu GP, Volume 1
Toppu finds himself loving the adrenaline rush and the feeling of winning through racing.