(ディア・ボーイズ, Dia Bōizu
?) is a sports manga by Hiroki Yagami, published by Kodansha in Monthly Shōnen Magazine
. As of June 2007, the Dear Boys
series has 25 volumes in total, including the Dear Boys: The Early Days
and Dear Boys: Act 2
. In 2007, Dear Boys: Act 2
was awarded the Kodansha Manga Award for the shōnen manga.
The story concerns the progress of the Mizuho High School basketball team as it attempts to win the prefectural championship. It also deals heavily with the relationship between the players on the team, especially the two main characters Kazuhiko Aikawa and Takumi Fujiwara.
At the outset of the manga, the team is in trouble, as there are not enough players to play a game. Additionally, the coach has left after a conflict with Fujiwara. However, Aikawa transfers to Mizuho and through his enthusiasm and sheer love of the game, infuses the few remaining members with a sense of purpose.
Despite the fact that there are only five of them (i.e., they have no substitutes), they manage to get the coach of the girls' team to coach them as well. At first, she seems very strict, but later reveals her attachment to her "Dear Boys". Together, they do their best to make their dreams come true and take their team to the top of the prefecture.
The manga isn't only focused on the Mizuho team, but also on several rival teams. In fact, the mangaka spends a bit of time developing the characters of other teams' members.