Manga Review: Slam Dunk V 28 by Takehiko Inoue @vizmedia @shonenjump

May Contain Spoilers

Things are not looking so great for Shohoku. Despite going into the second half of the game with a two point lead, they haven’t scored one point so far. Hanamichi is on the bench, trying to soak up Coach Anzai’s wisdom, while the rest of the team looks like they have already lost. Enter the Phenom, who  has such an overinflated ego that he can’t see the writing on the wall. After making an obnoxious declaration and making himself a villain for the Sannoh crowd, he’s ready to show the world what he’s got! Will it be enough?

I think the timeframe of this volume of Slam Dunk is a little over three minutes. Let me tell you, an awful lot can happen in three minutes. Souls can be destroyed, or hope can be reignited. With Hanamichi around, you can’t be too sure which is going to occur. Thankfully, with his amazing rebounds, he has breathed new life into the team. If only Akagi would wake up, too.

Akagi is so focused on Kawata, and his undeniable skills, that he has completely lost sight of his role on the team. The team isn’t just Akagi. The team is everyone working together to get a rally going and to make plays. Until Uozumi makes Akagi remember what his job is, things looked bleak (and what? Uozumi just carries around radishes and cutlery??). Finding a new resolve, Akagi gets back in the game.

This was a great installment. Hanamichi provides comedic relief, as well as outstanding rebounds, and harangues everyone else on the team to wake the heck up. Once again, he shows how far he’s come, but he still needs so much work. The book ends with seven minutes to go, and now that there’s a new fire lit under the Shohoku team, Coach Domoto is getting a bad feeling. With Kawata now guarding Hanamichi, will the momentum turn away from Shohoku?  It’s agonizing waiting to find out.

Grade: 4.25 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

The best-selling series from Eisner-nominated Takehiko Inoue, one of Japan’s greatest manga creators.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?
With Sannoh pulling away with a big lead on the scoreboard in the second half, Shohoku is looking clearly outmatched. With the team foundering, Sakuragi decides he’s got to get everyone fired up and boldly declares that he’s going to take Sannoh down. Shohoku still has a long way to go, and Akagi himself needs to find a way to overcome Kawata’s strong defense. But if Shohoku can find their rhythm, they just might get back in the game.