Manga Review: Slam Dunk V 30 by Takehiko Inoue @vizmedia @shonenjump

May Contain Spoilers

No, no, no, no NO! And no, the game isn’t over yet. But Hanamichi! No! I did not see this coming, and I hope I’m wrong about what’s going to happen. No!

This was the best volume so far. And that’s saying a lot, because there have been several incredibly exciting, incredibly moving volumes of this series. I don’t even like basketball, and I’ve been captivated by Slam Dunk. Inoue’s diverse cast of characters have grown into a solid, if sometimes bickering, unit, all motivated by the same goal. To win. Despite the odds. That’s what draws me to shonen fighting manga, and sports manga. The desire to be the best, to become the best, is a trope that I just can’t ignore. Even when reaching beyond your skills, when driving with everything you’ve got, for the greater good, and it all blows up in your face.

As the final minutes of the game tick down, and Shohoku is still trailing, but steadily catching up, Hanamichi makes a life altering realization. He loves basketball. It has brought out the very best in him, and made him feel part of something much larger than himself. Plus he gets to showboat and slam the ball into the basket, much to the delight of the cheering crowd. What will become of him if it gets ripped away from him?

Grade: 4.5 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?

The second half is winding down and Shohoku is working harder than they ever have before to close the seemingly impossible lead Sannoh has over them. Rukawa has found something inside him and continues to evolve as a player, and Sakuragi is totally in his own zone. But will pushing themselves beyond their limits lead Shohoku to victory or ruin?