Whistle! 3 by Daisuke Higuchi: B+

From the back cover:
It’s the first game of the season and Josui Junior High is matched up against cross-town rival, Musashinomori. Without question the elite private school has the better soccer players, but Shou Kazamatsuri and the rest of Team Josui are hoping to steal a win with extra hustle and desire.

But at halftime it doesn’t look too good. The kids from Josui find themselves down by two goals. For Shou, losing to his former school is not an option. Even when he suffers a debilitating injury, Shou is determined to lead his team to victory!

It took a few chapters for me to get back into the flow of the Josui vs. Musashinomori match. Of course, the team gets inspired and manages to hold their own, though they’re running themselves ragged in the process.

The game was well-drawn as always, and easy to follow. For the most part, the shots made seem plausible enough, though I wasn’t entirely sure something the goal keeper did at the end is legal. Mistakes were made by players, there were a couple of fouls, a penalty kick, a non-villainous rival, etc. This part was fun.

What was pretty cheesy was a chapter near the end where every exhausted Josui player had to have a flashback of why they had something to prove, and had to declare aloud their love for soccer as they managed to successfully complete a pass to their teammate.

Despite the flaws, Whistle! is still a good series and definitely recommended.

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