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Slam Dunk Vol. 6 by Takehiko Inoue (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

July 13, 2013 by  



“Slam Dunk” vol. 6 concludes the exhibition matchup between Shohoku and their rivals Ryonan. Meanwhile, who is this new guy, Ryota Miyagi that has shown up back to school? Find out in volume 6 of Takehiko Inoue’s hit manga series “Slam Dunk”!

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© 1999-2009 Takehiko Inoue and I.T. Planning, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Slam Dunk Vol. 6

STORY AND ART BY: Takehiko Inoue (井上 雄彦)

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: October 6, 2009

With just a minute remaining on the game clock, Shohoku still trails Ryonan by four points. Hoping to put this match away for good, Ryonan hands the ball to their ace Sendoh, but they make the fatal error of overlooking the incredibly erratic (and at times phenomenally talented) Hanamichi.

 

With a shot block that sets up a clinching basket for superstar Kaede Rukawa, Shohoku still has a chance for the win, but have they already chewed up too much time in the process?

It’s the final minute in the exhibition game between Shohoku High School vs. their rival Ryonan.

With Ryonan having a comfortable lead in the first three quarters, the team has now come back and are now for points behind.

Can Shohoku High School find a way to defeat Ryonan?

Meanwhile, who is this troublemaker named Ryota Miyagi and what is his connection with Shohoku high School? And what happens when Sakuragi confronts him?

Find out in “Slam Dunk” Vol. 6!

What is “Slam Dunk”?

I can easily remember the popularity of “Slam Dunk” during the early ’90s. Despite being here in America, I would venture to the local Tower Records or travel to Japan Town and head to the Japanese bookstore to pick up the latest Shonen Jump magazine and watching the anime series.

Granted, I came into “Slam Dunk” several years late but I recognized how popular the manga and anime series was, especially the music and sure enough “Slam Dunk” was one of the first anime soundtracks (on cassette) that I had purchased. For me, it was quite intriguing because the sports that I have watched from Japan and manga and anime being based from those sports are typically baseball, soccer or tennis. You just don’t think about basketball but sure enough, “Slam Dunk” captured the essence of high school basketball and the excitement of team dynamics, offense/defense and squaring off against a rival team.

But this is what Takehiko Inoue is known for. A mangaka who is a basketball fan, his manga series is considered iconic in the fact that many kids in Japan played basketball and became interested in the sport because of “Slam Dunk”. In fact, the series was not just popular in Japan but also throughout Asia. The manga sold over 100 million copies in Japan between 1990-1996, earning a Shogakukan Manga Award in 2005 and in 2007, the series received the distinction as “Japan’s Favorite Manga”.

Inoue would eventually follow up with “Buzzer Beater” in 1997 (which he collaborated with ESPN) which was a more farfetched story about basketball ala intergalactic competition. Followed by a samurai manga story titled “Vagabond” in 1998 and back to a basketball manga with “Real” in 2001 (based on people with disabilities in wheelchairs who compete in basketball), so Inoue has a pretty strong following for his works.

And his hits series “Slam Dunk” has been released ala manga in America courtesy of Viz Media.

“Slam Dunk” revolves around a cocky and rough street punk named Hanamichi Sakuragi who is a first-year student at Shohoku High School. He had to be a tough kid growing up. Often teased for his red hair, Hanamichi and his friends would be part of a gang that grouped together to fight other gangs and to show that they are not afraid of no one. And for the tall Sakuragi, he has shown his power in defeating other people in fights.

But there is another side of Hanamichi Sakuragi and that is the fact that he has been rejected by 50 girls in junior high school and now that he’s in high school, #50 tells him that her heart is for Oda who plays for the basketball team.

One day he meets Haruko Akagi, also a first-year student and is the sister of Takenori Akagi, a third-year student and the team captain of Shohoku High School’s basketball team. She also happens to have a crush on star athlete, Kaeda Rukawa, a basketball player that many girls at the high school have fallen for. And because of that, a rivalry between he and Rukawa is instantly created and Hanamichi always feels he must one-up Rukawa (despite Rukawa being a phenom high school basketball player in Japan).

And now Hanamichi Sakuragi wants to prove that he can also be a very good basketball player. And while he doesn’t know the fundamentals of the game, he shows his aptitude of learning quickly.

So, to prove his worth in front of Haruko, Hanamichi joins the Shohoku basketball team which includes Kiyota, Maki, Hisashi Mitsui, Ryota Miyagi and their team manager, Ayako.

In volume 6, the exhibition matchup between Shohoku vs. Ryonan continues as Shohoku has made an exciting comeback and now with a minute left and four points behind, Shohoku High School is making their comeback.  But can they win their first matchup?

Also, a troublemaker named Ryota Miyagi has been released from the hospital, but what is his connection to Shohoku High School and what happens when he and Sakuragi confront each other?

If you love basketball, you will love “Slam Dunk”.

The story of a brute named Hanamichi who has his issues finding a girlfriend (or any girl to like him), but has fallen for Haruko Akagi, the sister of Shohoku High’s Takenori Akagi, the team captain of the basketball team. But knowing that she loves basketball and likes star player Kaede Rukawa. So, Hanamichi is determined in proving to her that he can excel in basketball but also hopefully winning her heart.

But because of Hanamichi’s lack of manners and basketball knowledge, will he be able to prove to Haruko and the team that he deserves to be a player for the team? Or will he be the laughing stock of Shohoku High School?

In volume 6, the intensity of basketball and the strategy from the coaches have been built up since volume 4 and now it’s the final minute of the game and Ryonan’s once 19-pt. lead has now dwindled to four points.  85-81 and one minute left, can Shohoku come back and win the game?  And does Sakuragi Hanamichi have what it takes to show the team that he can be a great player?

Meanwhile, after the game, a troublemaker named Ryota Miyagi has been released from the hospital and he also happens to be a member of the Shohoku High School basketball team (thanks to his infatuation with Ayako, the team manager).   Similar to how Hanamichi feels protective towards Haruko, Ryota feels the same for Ayako.  But what happens when he mistakes Sakuragi as a guy trying to hit on Ayako.  And can these two hot heads co-exist with each other?

With volume 6, you get another exciting and enjoyable volume of “Slam Dunk”! The characters are awesome, the story is well-written and Takehiko Inoue just knows how to capture basketball on the pages of “Slam Dunk”.

His illustrations have always been a highlight for me and I was always amazed of how he captured movements, the offensive and defensive stances to how the players penetrate the perimeter and score. The detail of Inoue’s artwork is just wonderful and I look forward to volume 6!

Overall, “Slam Dunk” is an enjoyable manga series that is not just for basketball fans but for those who want a manga series that captures the spirit of basketball, competition, the strategy involved in the sport but a captivating storyline with cool characters that makes this series worth recommending!

Definitely check this volume out!

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