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Harlem Beat (ハーレム・ビート, Hāremu Biito) is a 1994 basketball manga by Nishiyama Yuriko, known in U.S as “Harlem Beat” from volume 1-9 and “Rebound” from volume 10-29.Naruse “Narucho” Tohru (or “Nate Torres” in Tokyopop version) just wanted to be someone; he tried on basketball club only to find himself ended up as a mere benchwarmer. A chance meeting with his Childhood Friends Kusuda Mizuki brought him to the world of streetball, and after his unexpected win against famous streetball player Shu, Naruse renewed his resolve to be a basketball player. Along the way he met Ozaki Kosuke and Sawamura Masahiro, and then together with Mizuki, the four of them formed a streetball team named Scratch.Naruse’s progressions as basketball player proved to be a great asset to his high school team, Johnan. With supports of SakuraiShuuji, his senpai; YabeKiriko and ImagawaKiyoshi, the team managers; UmakureHiroaki, team captain; KobayashiSumisugu, and other members of the team, Naruse tackled the world of high school basketball and continued to mature as a player.Not to be confused with Harlem Beat wa Yoake Made by Kazusa Takashima.
Alternate Universe: There are two omake segments in the manga; Super Ultra Basketman Shu (adventure of Shu in Superman flavor with Narucho as his sidekick) and Fantasy Harlem Beat (the characters casted in RPG-like fantasy world).
Animal Motifs: Naruse is a monkey, Sawamura is a fox, Kiriko is a shark…
Art Evolution: The art started in rough and realistic style before it gets softer and ‘prettier’.
Defrosting Ice Queen: Kiriko was such a Jerkass before Sakurai and Johnan guys defrosted her, same with Sawamura before he joined Scratch and Johnan. Kobayashi also mellowed out during the story and he later smiled more. And then there’s Mikami after Johnan defeated his team.
Delinquents: Kiriko, Kosuke, Sawamura, the WHOLE Kyan team.
Determinator: Getting punched, kicked, beaten up? Naruse will still play, come hell or high water. Sawamura could only use one arm? Then one arm he’ll use. Ankle injury? Don’t worry, Sakurai still storms the court like a Bad Ass.
Hot-Blooded: Kosuke. Higa Yuuta from Kyan; the reason his team was disqualified in previous year was because he started a fight.
In-Series Nickname: Mizuki calls Naruse “Narucho”. Sawamura calls Kiriko “Witch” and Kobayashi “Umbrella Guy” (based on the image of aloof umbrella maker during Jidai Geki). Takao nicknamed Kobayashi as “Musashi” for his samuraiesque attitude. Zukeran Tetsuya from Kyan was often called “Kemp” for his resemblance to Shawn Kemp. Those Three Guys from Threemen’s Hoop only known by their nicknames.
Those Two Guys: Saito Nobuyuki and Takakura “Gan” Iwao. Heck, they even have combo move and rarely enter the court without the other! Shades, Ultraman/T-Rock and Bucky from Threemen’s Hoop are those three guys.
Tomboy and Girly Girl: Kiriko and Mizuki. Subverted appearance-wise in that Kiriko fits Yamato Nadeshiko stereotype (she always looks good in yukata or kimono) and was seen wearing skirts more often than Mizuki, but Mizuki is the one that's more caring and ladylike between the two.