Manga Review: Slam Dunk V 7 & 8 by Takehiko Inuoue @shonenjump @vizmedia


May Contain Spoilers

Volumes 7 and 8 are basically one long, drawn out battle for supremacy in Shohoku’s gym. Miyagi has earned the unwanted attentions of Hisashi Mitsui, and a fight between them sent them both to the hospital. Now Mitsui has recruited his thug buddies to teach Miyagi and the entire Shohoku basketball team a lesson.

I was little disappointed with V7 because of the lack of basketball. But that turned out to be okay, because Mitsui’s back story is one of those angsty moments that all good battle, er, sports manga needs. To get things rolling, Miyagi and Hanamichi are still sniping at each other, until they discover a shared misery – they have both been rejected numerous times by girls they liked, and now they are suffering from unrequited love. Misery loves company, and now the two are BFFs. It was so funny, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the team evolves with Miyagi back on the court.

Then the two volume street fight, on the basketball court. Mitsui, nurturing his grudge against Miyagi, brings a bunch of his hardnosed buddies on a hunt for the unsuspecting Miyagi. Their true intention, beyond beating the snot out of Miyagi, is to get the Shohoku basketball team suspended by involving them in a fight. At first, the team refuses to throw a punch, fearful of being suspended. But then Hanamichi’s thug friends come racing to the rescue, and fists fly without remorse.

The fight itself was very engaging. Hanamichi is one tough SOB, and he takes blow after blow without reciprocating. Until his temper is fully bloomed, and he rushes in, swinging. While he took quit a beating, he returns it with interest. Rukawa is another guy who just refuses to back down, and I can hardly wait until he and Hanamichi are forced to put their animosity aside and work together on the ball court, because they made one heck of team during the fight.

Akagi arrives at just the right moment, and Kogure, who is trying to get emotions to blow over, reveals the truth about Mitsui. Wow! It gave so much  meaning to the otherwise senseless brawl.

Grade: Volume 7  – 4 stars

Volume 8  –  4.25 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

Volume 7

He tried to slam her with love, but she dunked his heart. R to L (Japanese Style). Though they initially got off to a rocky start, Hanamichi and Ryota Miyagi quickly form a bond based on their mutual experiences with heartbreak (and being all-around losers when it comes to the ladies). Their unlikely camaraderie also helps in firing up the rest of the Shohoku team and gives everyone a substantial morale boost. This all comes to an abrupt halt, though, when a group of thugs with a score to settle with Ryota crash a practice session. Explosive personalities collide as everyone in attendance braces themselves for an all-out brawl! 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? Takehiko Inoue’s legendary beloved basketball manga is finally here and the tale of a lifetime is in your hands.

Volume 8

He tried to slam her with love, but she dunked his heart.
R to L (Japanese Style). He tried to slam her with love, but she dunked his heart.
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? Takehiko Inoue’s legendary beloved basketball manga is finally here and the tale of a lifetime is in your hands.
The fists continue to fly as Hanamichi and Ryota refuse to back down from their full-court rumble with a group of angry thugs. Luckily, the fight comes to an abrupt halt when Kogure–one of the more sensible members of the Shohoku squad–begins reminiscing about one of the combatant’s pasts. He may be a punk now, but a little while ago, Hisashi Mitsui was a star player with almost limitless potential. Though a nasty injury cut his ambitions short, is Mitsui truly ready to give up on basketball forever?