Manga Review: Slam Dunk V 20 by Takehiko Inoue @shonenjump @vizmedia

May Contain Spoilers

Shohoku is building up a double-digit lead over Ryonan, and it looks like luck may finally be on their side. They can make it to Nationals if they just hold on for eight more minutes. With Rukawa and the rest of the team on fire, things look good. Until Coach Taoka puts Uozumi back in the game. Can Shohoku hold their lead and pull off a win?

My heart is literally pounding because the game is still not over by the end of this volume! So you don’t have to worry about spoilers, because I have no idea who is going to win. I thought that Shohoku had nailed things down and that they had a respectable lead, but guess what? That would be boring! So after Miyagi gets his fourth foul trying to put the brakes on Ryonan’s scoring drive, things take a turn for the worse. Oh dear.

Everyone on the Shohoku team has at least three fouls, and they have no depth on the bench to fall back on if someone does foul out. Coach Taoka is well aware of that fact, and he is having his players push the envelope for all that it’s worth. Get out there and draw fouls. Oh, and don’t forget to draw that inexperienced rookie, Hanamichi, into making stupid, stupid, stupid mistakes! Yeah! How I wish Coach Anzai was not in a hospital bed, but on the sidelines! Kogure isn’t experienced enough, or cool headed enough, to give the guys a winning strategy, and I am gasping in pain as Shohoku’s lead evaporates. Ugh!

Make sure you have several volumes of Slam Dunk lined up on your bookshelf before you start this story arc. The last three volumes have all ended with cliffhangers, and it would have been agonizing to have to wait to find out what happens next. The art is still top notch, and the illustrations make the game between Shohoku and Ryonan come to life.

Grade: 4.25 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

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 steadily increases their lead against Ryonan with less than ten minutes remaining in the game. But the all-out attack wears Shohoku down and fatigue is getting the better of them. Without Coach Anzai’s guidance, Shohoku struggles to hold on against Ryonan as their weaknesses are exposed one by one. Sakuragi’s inexperience is one of their biggest and the margin for error is slim with Sakuragi on the court. Is this game going to push Shohoku to the edge of total collapse?