Slam Dunk, Vol. 4 (英語) ペーパーバック – 2009/6/2
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R to L (Japanese Style). Shohoku's (somewhat) friendly game against Ryonan finally 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.
Takehiko Inoue is the creator of one of the most popular manga of all time, Slam Dunk, which has sold over 100 million copies worldwide. He followed that series up with two titles lauded by critics and fans alike--Vagabond, a fictional account of the life of Miyamoto Musashi, and Real, a manga about wheelchair basketball. Inoue is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Tezuka Osamu Culture award and the Media Arts Festival Award. In addition to his work on manga, Inoue has worked on television commercials, character designs for video games, and is the founder of a scholarship to foster Japanese basketball talent.
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The story of a brute named Hanamichi who has his issues finding a girlfriend (or any girl to like him), but has fallen for Haruko Akagi, the sister of Shohoku High’s Takenori Akagi, the team captain of the basketball team. But knowing that she loves basketball and likes star player Kaede Rukawa. So, Hanamichi is determined in proving to her that he can excel in basketball but also hopefully winning her heart.
But because of Hanamichi’s lack of manners and basketball knowledge, will he be able to prove to Haruko and the team that he deserves to be a player for the team? Or will he be the laughing stock of Shohoku High School?
In volume 4, the intensity of basketball and the strategy from the coaches is featured as Shohoku High School has its first exhibition game against rival Ryonan High School. Ryonan’s phenom Sendoh, and their team captain Uozumi just dominate the game and as Captain Takenori Akagi tries to figure them out, Rukawa is also having a hard time figuring out the game.
Ryonan’s coach wants his team to defeat Shohoku by 30 points and feels that the game is too easy as Rukawa is just a first year student, the other players aside from Akagi are not that good and the red head on the team (Hanamichi Sakuragi) is just a troublemaker and big mouth.
But when Akagi gets injured during the matchup, what happens when Coach Anzai sends Hanamichi to play?
Can Shohoku, who are behind by 19 points make a comeback?
So far, what a exciting and fun series “Slam Dunk” has come to be! The characters are awesome, the story is well-written and Takehiko Inoue just knows how to capture basketball on the pages of “Slam Dunk”.
His illustrations have always been a highlight for me and I was always amazed of how he captured movements, the offensive and defensive stances to how the players penetrate the perimeter and score. The detail of Inoue’s artwork is just wonderful and I look forward to volume 5!
Overall, “Slam Dunk” is an enjoyable manga series that is not just for basketball fans but for those who want a manga series that captures the spirit of basketball, competition, the strategy involved in the sport but a captivating storyline with cool characters that makes this series worth recommending!
The latest volume is somewhat of a quick read because it focuses on basketball and with Takehiko Inoue’s artwork, he tries to capture the intensity of basketball in his pages with very few word balloons. But for basketball fans, you can’t help but be captivated by the underdog/beginner Hanamichi as he tries to show his worth to the team, Haruko and his friends!
“Slam Dunk” Vol. 4 is highly recommended!