One Pound Gospel by Rumiko Takahashi (amazon)
I like Takahashi’s work, but I don’t have the stamina or financial commitment to read all of her longer series like Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha. I was intrigued by the idea of a book about a struggling boxer and a nun, so I pre-ordered the reissued edition of One Pound Gospel.
Kosaku is in many ways the typical hapless Takahashi hero. He’s a professional boxer whose gluttony is always spoiling his chances to make weight before a fight. He makes a habit of confessing a list of sins (hamburger, noodles, pork and rice) to a novice nun named Angela. While Kosaku is too oblivious to realize that his weight fluctuations effect everyone at his boxing gym who are counting on him to make it as a pro, Angela feels some compassion for Kosaku’s coach who is often bursting into tears of frustration over his wayward boxer. After a stolen kiss, she slaps Kosaku and calls him a coward. He vows to win a fight for her but his road to victory isn’t easy.
Kosaku struggles with his fights and his weight. It is hard not to root for him because he’s so good natured despite being rather clueless. A romantic relationship between a boxer and a nun doesn’t seem like it will turn out well, but you never know. While my manga had a sticker on the cover saying “From the creator of Inuyasha”, I think that fans of Takahashi’s slice of life romantic comedy Maison Ikkoku are more likely to enjoy One Pound Gospel.