Review: Slam Dunk (Volume 4) (1991) Manga | My Reviews 27 DEC 2012

Winning isn’t everything in the game of basketball, but who wants to come in second? It takes dedication and discipline to be the best, and the Shohoku High hoops team wants to be just that. They have one last year to make their captain’s dream of reaching the finals come true – will they do it?

Shohoku’s (somewhat) friendly game against Ryonan gets underway. Old rivalries reignite with captain Akagi going toe-to-toe with Ryonan’s center, Uozumi. Hanamichi has flat-out declared that he will personally shut down Ryonan’s ace, Sendoh, but will Kaede Rukawa take care of things before Hanamichi even gets a chance to hit the floor? Either way, this is bound to be a game to remember!

I’m particularly fond of Takehiko Inoue’s classic school basketball comedy drama saga, and Slam Dunk volume 4 certainly does not let one down in any way whatsoever. Loads of basketball action, plenty of flip-flopping drama as both teams duke it out, and of course the side-splitting laughs that come courtesy of that loveable tough guy idiot Hanamichi Sakuragi!

Volume 4 kicks off the big Ryonan practice game, which of course the book makes out to be far more important than just any old practice game. Of course, this is Inoue meaning that a single basketball game will stretch out over a number of volumes, which unfortunately means that you’ll have to sit down with more than just volume 4 if you want to see how things pan out. Of course, that said, it is a testament to Inoue’s ability to leave you wanting more, even tricking you into forgetting your frustration that time in his basketball games can be rather elastic!

The artwork is a fantastic mix of detailed backgrounds, dynamic character action poses, and of course Inoue’s signature silliness and deformed art tricks to heighten the slapstick comedy, all of which works together perfectly with the tale being told.

It may be a little long in the tooth by now, but if you haven’t read Slam Dunk before and you do enjoy a good laugh combined with sports action, then you would do well to pick up Slam Dunk volume 4 (as well as the rest of them if you can!).

Loads of fun and well worth the read.

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.