Manga Review: Slam Dunk Vol 4 by Takehiko Inoue @vizmedia

May Contain Spoilers

Volume 4 showcases the practice game against Ryonan. Ryonan has a huge center, Uozumi, and he and Akagi are bitter rivals. Ryonan has a chance to make it to the Nationals this year, and they have been gifted with several proficient players, including their ace, Sendoh. The match up between him and Rukawa is intense, with neither player willing to give the other an inch.

The game starts and Ryonan is steamrolling over Shohoku. Shohoku can’t do anything right. Their shots are blocked, their passes are stolen, and neither Rukawa nor Akagi can make use of their talents. They are scoreless and trailing by double digits, when Rukawa makes a momentum altering play. Can Shohoku keep up the heat and make a comeback?

Honestly, Hanamichi annoyed the heck out of me in this volume. He is bouncing around the sidelines like a bunny on uppers, and he keeps getting into trouble. He even gets a foul called on him, and he’s not even playing! The heck!? He is just as disrespectful as you would expect, both to the rival coach and to his own. He keeps asking to be put in the game, and I don’t think he deserved the privilege.

After Akagi takes a shot to the head, he has to leave the game, giving Hanamichi the chance he has been incessantly whining for. Will he make a complete tool of himself, or will he help drive Shohoku to victory? I don’t know, but I hope Rukawa clocks him a good one for being such a pain on the sidelines.

Grade: 4.25 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

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.