Tag Archives: haruko

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.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slam_Dunk_(manga)

Slam Dunk (Volume 3) Manga | My Reviews 09 NOV 2010

The Challenge of the Common Shot – For a self-proclaimed genius such as Sakuragi, executing a dazzling slam dunk is no problem at all, but what about some other basketball moves that require a bit more finesse? With the help of Haruko (and some goading from captain Akagi), Sakuragi attempts to put his pride in check and learn how to pull off a basic layup. In theory it should be easy… but sometimes the simplest shots are the toughest to master.

Now that Sakuragi has proved beyond a shadow of the doubt that he wants to play basketball for Shohoku, the fiery tempered red head is at last allowed into the team proper, training with the guys and slowly but surely upping his skills. Of course, the intense rivalry between him and Rukawa continues unabated (with pretty violent outcomes), while his never-ending quest to impress Haruko flames as strong as ever.

However, Sakuragi is still very much a beginner and in order to improve, he is going to have to learn some new shots, starting right from the beginning with the basic layup. Needless to say, something this simple but which requires a delicate touch, is still very far out of Sakuragi’s reach. However, if there is one thing this hothead has, it is determination, and with some unexpected bonus help from Haruko and Akagi himself, Hanamichi might just learn it in time.

Because the first practice match for the season has already been pencilled in. It’s Shohoku versus Ryonan – and that means facing their superstar, Sendoh!

(Not that this means Sakuragi is going to be picked for the match mind you…)

As per usual, Takehiko Inoue’s school boy basketball comedy is as enjoyable to read as ever. Hanamich Sakuragi is at his simple minded, determined best and his logic and approach to things will keep you in stitches through the book. There is plenty of character growth in terms of basketball skills in offer here, but perhaps not so much in terms of actual character deepening. Still, there is plenty of laughs and action on offering in this volume, even if we still haven’t reached an actual game of basketball by the end of the third volume yet!

Complementing this fun story is of course Inoue’s beautifully detailed pencils where his incredibly precise backgrounds meet his often super deformed characters to great effect. He captures the various basketball poses and action shots well and he just seems to make his characters work, even if they don’t always look so perfect in places.

Nevertheless, one thing you have to give this creative genius is his ability to capture the comedy moments absolutely perfectly, always ensuring that there is a smile on your face with each and every page turn!

In summary, if you are looking for a sports-related read which is guaranteed to keep you laughing while building up a decent story with some fun characters to boot, you can’t go wrong with Slam Dunk!

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slam_Dunk_(manga)