Monday, February 10, 2014

Once upon a time, someone wrote a manga about curling (yes, curling!)

As anyone who watched Friday's spectacular opening ceremonies can attest, the 2014 Winter Olympic Games are in full swing. This means that for the next two weeks, millions of eye will be trained on the best figure skaters, skiers, and slopestylers of the world.

Some might find this time of year boring, but Crunchyroll dug up a bit of interesting trivia for otaku Olympic buffs - once upon a time, someone wrote a four-volume manga about curling.

Yes, curling. This sport right here.

It's hard to imagine that curling, the underdog sport of the Winter Olympics, would inspire a manga but writer Bohemian-K and artist Toshinori Sogabe (best known for his work on Amaenaideyo!! / Ah! My Buddha) took one look at the sport and built a story around it.

That story, Orange Delivery, ran in Jive's Comic Rush monthly magazine back in 2004 and follows the story of best friends and bowling buddies Miho Shirokawa and Miho Yoshii.  After one of the Mihos (Yoshii) moves up to Hokkaido - aka, way the hell up north - the other, Shirokawa, finds she just doesn't enjoy bowling without her friend.

One day, the Miho up in Hokkaido calls the other Miho to gush about he awesome new sport of curling and before long, Shirokawa finds herself leading her high school's new curling club as her friend Yoshii's team gears up for an Olympic bid.  The only catch is that Shirokawa doesn't know the first thing about the sport and hilarity, invariably, ensues.

It's not the deepest story in the world, admittedly, but it looks like a nice departure from the usual sports manga and - hey - it's a story all about curling.  So if you've ever swept a stone or skip'd a team on the ice, you can check out the translations for all four volumes online.