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REAL vol. 14 by Takehiko Inoue (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

March 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

real-14

Volume 14 of “REAL” showcases various individuals discovering something about themselves and possibly going in a new direction with inspiration.  Recommended.

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© 1998-2010 I.T. Planning, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: REAL vol. 14

STORY AND ART BY: Story 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: March 14, 2016


Takahashi has finally decided to pick up the ball again. But wheelchair basketball is a completely different game, and he’ll have to start from the fundamentals. Will Takahashi’s ego and his old ways prevent him from finding his passion?


Mangaka Takehikou Inoue is well-known for his artwork especially for his manga creations such as his basketball series “Slam Dunk” and “Buzzer Beater” and his samurai series “Vagabond”, but in 2001, Inoue decided to continue to work on a second series while “Vagabond” is still ongoing.

And with his comfort zone having been on the sport of basketball, Inoue created a more mature and serious series about those who compete in wheelchair basketball.

When the series originally started out, the series revolved around three teenagers.

Kiyoharu Togawa was one of the fastest athletes at school, but his life changes when he is diagnosed with osteosarcoma and his right leg had to be amputated below the knee. Feeling his life is over, he changes after meeting an older disabled man named Tora who introduces him to wheelchair basketball.

Nomiya Tomomi, a high school dropout and a troublemaker. One day, he gave a girl named Yasumi Yamashita a ride and due to an accident, she lost both of her legs. He feels terrible and guilty for her accident that he aims to take care of her, but one day while taking her out for a walk, he sees Kiyoharu Togawa competing in wheelchair basketball and he inspired to change his life for the best.

Hisanobu Takahashi is the captain of the basketball team, popular at school, intelligent but also a bully. One day, he steals a bike in hopes to give his girlfriend a ride to school. But he is hit by a garbage truck and becomes paralyzed from the chest down. Feeling unworthy and nothing to live for, his grades drop to the lowest level and feels terrible and feels his life is going nowhere.

In volume 14 of “REAL”, the story focuses on individuals now accepting their disability and wanting to get involved in sports, as they did when they were ready to walk.  Former professional wrestler, Scorpion Shiratori wants to get back in the ring one more time.

Takahashi, the once former captain of the basketball team who became paralyzed after an accident, has finally decided to play wheelchair basketball.

Togawa finding new meaning of wanting to play wheelchair basketball.  Nomiya trying to find answers in his life.

And others wanting to face their disability and find a way to compete or even support their friends, even though they face difficulties ahead.


I have been a big fan of Takehiko Inoue’s work. His artwork is able to convey the sport of basketball wonderfully and is able to communicate with the reader, the struggles and the challenges of the human spirit in competition.

In the case of “REAL”, the competition is more of the psyche of the individual who has lost their will to live, to fight and to go on with their lives after losing their legs (or with someone who has lost their legs). While one finds solace in wheelchair basketball, others find solace in seeing people fight and compete at a high level despite their disability.

And with volume 14, the volume focuses on acceptance and self-discovery. Various individuals are featured and accepting their disability or their new direction in life.

From Takahashi, who was once the captain of the basketball team, finding new meaning of wanting to play basketball and compete once again but this time in wheelchair basketball and to excel.

Fumika, as she finds her new direction to coach the Tokyo Tigers.  Togawa being inspired of a friend who is deadly sick but never gives up.  And Nomiya, depressed but starting to slowly come out of his shell.

As mentioned, the artwork by Takehiko Inoue is wonderful, but his storytelling for “REAL” is well-written and like his other manga, he is able to capture the human spirit, despite their challenges, in an effective way.

Because he is writing his hit samurai series “Vagabond”, “REAL” is an manga series that you will find yourself following sporadically as release are done a few times a year. So, for those who can stay patient by reading a manga series with only a few volumes per year, “REAL” is a manga worth reading and it may inspire you to check out his wonderful, hit manga series “Slam Dunk”.

Overall, “REAL” is a fantastic manga series by Takehiko Inoue about athletes and individuals who deal with a disability but are able to try and push themselves to a different level, despite their hardships and daily challenges of not being able to use their limbs. But in the hopes that they are inspired to make a difference in their lives and hopefully for others through athletic competition or some other life changing moment.

Volume 14 of “REAL” showcases various individuals discovering something about themselves and possibly going in a new direction with inspiration.

Recommended.

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Slam Dunk Vol. 12 by Takehiko Inoue (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

May 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

slamdunk-12

“Slam Dunk” vol. 12 features Shohoku High School vs. the prefectural favorites, Kainan High School. Tip off begins between the two teams but will Shohoku be ready to take on the “Kings”? Find out in volume 12 of Takehiko Inoue’s hit manga series “Slam Dunk”! Recommended!

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

MANGA TITLE: Slam Dunk Vol. 12

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 5, 2010

The final four teams that will play in the round-robin tournament have been decided, and Shohoku’s one of them. However, Shohoku’s next opponent is Kainan, and they’re known as the “Kings” for good reason – they’ve made it to Nationals sixteen years in a row. Ever since he joined Shohoku, Akagi has dreamed of playing Kainan. His wish is about to come true, but is it one he’ll soon be regretting?

Shohoku has advanced in the Prefecturals by beating the Shoyo High School basketball team. But now, Shohoku must take on their most difficult rivals yet, Kainan High School coached by Takato.

Tipoff begins and will Shohoku be ready to take on the “Kings”?

Find out in Takehiko Inoue’s “Slam Dunk” vol. 12!

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 12, the latest volume features the beginning of the Shohoku vs. Kainan game. As Kainan are the overwhelming favorites to compete in the nationals, the underdogs are Shohoku and the guys know that they only way they can go against Kainan is if they give everything they have and play as a team.

But will Kainan coach Takato find out the team’s weakness?

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

The continuing 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, he has gone through training to learn the fundamentals and from Team Captain Akagi and others on the team, he has learned to sharpen his offense and defense slowly. But most recently, learning the importance of rebounding but trying his best not to foul out (a major problem that Hanamichi has yet to figure out).

Having to learn the discipline of being a master rebounder, now Hanamichi must prove that he has what it takes to use his height, his strength and rebound skills but most importantly to be a team player.

In volume 12, the team goes against Kainan High School, a team that has made it to the prefectural finals 16 straight years.  And in the final four game, Shohoku must now take on the “Kings” in order to survive and make it to the next stage.  But can they do it?

Tip off begins in volume 12!

Takehiko Inoue’s artwork is simply wonderful. 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. But what I enjoyed about each volume is the progression of Sakuragi Hanamichi as an important player on the team and how he went from being this brute to an actual team player.

As for the manga, the detail of Inoue’s artwork is just wonderful, the action, the sweat, the emotions are captured amazingly well on each page.

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!

If you love basketball, definitely check out “Slam Dunk” Vol. 12! Highly recommended!

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REAL vol. 13 by Takehiko Inoue (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

real-13

“REAL” is a fantastic manga series by Takehiko Inoue about athletes and individuals who deal with a disability but are able to try and push themselves to a different level, despite their hardships and daily challenges of not being able to use their limbs. But in the hopes that they are inspired to make a difference in their lives and hopefully for others through athletic competition or some other life changing moment. Volume 13 of “REAL” is recommended!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

© 199-2014 I.T. Planning, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: REAL vol. 13

STORY AND ART BY: Story 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: November 18, 2014


Pro wrestling super heel of all time Scorpion Shiratori is determined to make a comeback, despite the fact that he doesn’t have the full use of his legs. Takahashi’s in the crowd and can barely watch. But will witnessing Shiratori attempt the impossible open up something new within Takahashi?


Mangaka Takehikou Inoue is well-known for his artwork especially for his manga creations such as his basketball series “Slam Dunk” and “Buzzer Beater” and his samurai series “Vagabond”, but in 2001, Inoue decided to continue to work on a second series while “Vagabond” is still ongoing.

And with his comfort zone having been on the sport of basketball, Inoue created a more mature and serious series about those who compete in wheelchair basketball.

When the series originally started out, the series revolved around three teenagers.

Kiyoharu Togawa was one of the fastest athletes at school, but his life changes when he is diagnosed with osteosarcoma and his right leg had to be amputated below the knee.  Feeling his life is over, he changes after meeting an older disabled man named Tora who introduces him to wheelchair basketball.

Nomiya Tomomi, a high school dropout and a troublemaker.  One day, he gave a girl named Yasumi Yamashita a ride and due to an accident, she lost both of her legs.   He feels terrible and guilty for her accident that he aims to take care of her, but one day while taking her out for a walk, he sees Kiyoharu Togawa competing in wheelchair basketball and he inspired to change his life for the best.

Hisanobu Takahashi is the captain of the basketball team, popular at school, intelligent but also a bully.  One day, he steals a bike in hopes to give his girlfriend a ride to school.  But he is hit by a garbage truck and becomes paralyzed from the chest down.  Feeling unworthy and nothing to live for, his grades drop to the lowest level and feels terrible and feels his life is going nowhere.

In volume 13 of “REAL”, the story shifts to former professional wrestler Scorpion Shiratori.  Having been disabled and unable to walk for nearly a year, he is in rehabilitation.   But when his former partner and rival, professional wrestler Mamba Matsuzaka continues to check on Scorpion’s progress, Scorpion wants to go back into the ring, despite being disabled.

And so, Shiratori returns to the wrestling ring to take on his friend/rival Mamba Matsuzaka.

While Takahashi is shocked that the audience will find out that Scorpion can no longer walk and wants Shiratori to leave the ring because it may embarrass him, Dr. Hanasaki is confident that Scorpion Shiratori will put on a great show despite the fact that he can’t walk.

But how is this possible?


I have been a big fan of Takehiko Inoue’s work.  His artwork is able to convey the sport of basketball wonderfully and is able to communicate with the reader, the struggles and the challenges of the human spirit in competition.

In the case of “REAL”, the competition is more of the psyche of the individual who has lost their will to live, to fight and to go on with their lives after losing their legs (or with someone who has lost their legs).  While one finds solace in wheelchair basketball, others find solace in seeing people fight and compete at a high level despite their disability.

And with volume 13, Takahashi’s story continues as he sees life as going south and not able to do anything with his life at all since losing his legs.  But having hung around former professional wrestler Shiratori, he sees Shiratori, despite his inability to walk and has been stuck in a wheelchair, seeing Shiratori in the wrestling ring becomes very unnerving to him.

How is Shiratori going to fool the audience that he can no longer wrestle because he can’t walk.

But that is the positivity of “REAL”, showing hope and possibilities.  And in this case, Scorpion Shiratori going back into the ring but somehow, because it is sports entertainment, finding a way to not let people know how bad things are with his legs but to continue and compete in wrestling.

The entire volume goes into Shiratori’s working relationship with his partner Mamba Matsuzaka and how this championship duo became separated and how their lives would change drastically as partners and friends.

As mentioned, the artwork by Takehiko Inoue is wonderful, but his storytelling for “REAL” is well-written and like his other manga, he is able to capture the human spirit, despite their challenges, in an effective way.

Because he is writing his hit samurai series “Vagabond”, “REAL” is an manga series that you will find yourself following sporadically as release are done a few times a year.  So, for those who can stay patient by reading a manga series with only a few volumes per year, “REAL” is a manga worth reading and it may inspire you to check out his wonderful, hit manga series “Slam Dunk”.

Overall, “REAL” is a fantastic manga series by Takehiko Inoue about athletes and individuals who deal with a disability but are able to try and push themselves to a different level, despite their hardships and daily challenges of not being able to use their limbs. But in the hopes that they are inspired to make a difference in their lives and hopefully for others through athletic competition or some other life changing moment.

Volume 13 of “REAL” is recommended!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Slam Dunk Vol. 31 by Takehiko Inoue (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

November 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

“Slam Dunk” has been one of the most delightful, most exciting manga that I have read.  It was a six year journey from vol. 1 to vol. 31 but it was all worth it!  For those who love sports and basketball, “Slam Dunk” Vol. 31 and the entire series is highly recommended!

© 1999-2011 Takehiko Inoue and I.T. Planning, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

MANGA TITLE: Slam Dunk Vol. 31

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: December 3, 2013

With only a minute left in the game, the players of Shohoku High have closed the gap on the scoreboard with a supreme effort that has the crowd on its feet. Sannoh, the reigning champions, are still in the lead, but the game now hangs in the balance, and it isn’t over until the last whistle blows. Both teams know this is it – time to lay everything on the line and no holding back, because only one team will leave the court victorious!

The final volume of “Slam Dunk” is here and the National Tournament (the summer championships) continues as the underdogs, Shohoku High School has managed to keep the game close Sannoh Kogyo and Sakuragi making an important move but getting badly injured at the same time.  But with one minute left in the clock, which team will emerge as victorious?

The volume leading to the explosive final volume, find out what happens in volume 31 of Takehiko Inoue’s “Slam Dunk”!

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. And through various matches, the Shohoku High School team have evolved, as have Sakuragi’s gameplay, which he continues to shock people with his quick adaptability of the fundamentals of the game.

What is happening so far?

Shohoku High School made themselves known to the championship team, Sannoh Kogyo that they had what it takes to go against them and win. And with the first quarter looking like Shohoku High had the potential to be the better team, Sannoh uses the defensive press (double teaming the ball carrier) and now Shohoku is unable to shoot or get inside the paint. Rukawa can’t even make one point with Sawakita on him, Akagi can’t even get a basket off with Kawata guarding him and the speed of Ryota Miyagi is proving to be ineffective.

Sannoh Kogyo figures out Shohoku High School and dominantly comes up ahead by 19 points. But now it’s the 4th quarter and Shohoku High School has managed to prevent Sannoh Kogyo from scoring and trimmed their lead down to 10 points.

But now Sannoh’s star player, Eiji Sawakita and the team intends to end this game and beat Shohoku. Sawakita challenges Rukawa but each time Rukawa tries, he is unable to figure Sawakita out.

Fortunately, Hisashi Mitsui’s three pointers have brought Shohoku back to the game and Rukawa found a way to make a difference as a team player, while Ryota Miyagi and Captain Akagi find ways to bring a new offensive and defensive style to halt Sannoh Kogyo.

And as for Hanamichi Sakuragi feeling the team getting closer and catching up to Sannoh Kogyo, during a rush for the ball, the competitiveness of Sakuragi and his desire for his team to win leads him to being injured.

But now with a final minute left, Sakuragi playing injured and Shohoku still behind, is there any chance this team can win this matchup?

Having read “Slam Dunk” since the first volume, it has been a reading journey of six years.

While “Slam Dunk” was one of the first manga I have tried (or tried to in Japanese) back in the early ’90s via “Shonen Jump” and having watched the anime series in Japanese back then, my first time reading the graphic novel was back in 2008 with the very first volume.

And here we are now in 2013 with the final 31st volume of “Slam Dunk” as Takehiko Inoue’s popular manga series has now come to an end.

The journey of one troublemaker who joined the Shohoku High School basketball team just to impress a girl but instead, became one of their most fast-learning, dedicated players in the team.

The team has suffered their fair share of ups and downs, injuries and other unfortunate situations but they have bounced back.  And now with this final volume, the final minute against Sannoh Kogyo, a team that has won the championships for consecutive years, Shohoku has managed to bring the score close with awesome defense and three-point shots.

And now, they will be able to have the opportunity to win the game and knock out the champs.

The series began with Hanamichi Sakuragi but it ended in a complete team effort (how it should be!) and I loved how this overall manga series progressed.  It was an awesome experience reading this entire series from beginning to end, seeing Takehiko Inoue’s artwork show the agony of defeat, the joy of winning and the blood, sweat and tears captured in each page!

For the most part, the conclusion to the series is satisfying and while many hoped to hear or see of these players again, Takehiko Inoue has moved on to creating another basketball series titled “Real” and his artwork has changed even better as one can see in the non-sports manga of his titled “Vagabond”.

But since “Slam Dunk”, there have been other Japanese manga and anime about basketball, but “Slam Dunk” will forever be one Japan’s most popular manga series on the sport.  It was a series that was inspiring, full of hope, preached perseverance and team work and a more!

Overall, “Slam Dunk” has been one of the most delightful, most exciting manga that I have read.  It was a six year journey from vol. 1 to vol. 31 but it was all worth it!

For those who love sports and basketball, “Slam Dunk” Vol. 31 and the entire series is highly recommended!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

 

Slam Dunk Vol. 30 by Takehiko Inoue (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

August 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

slamdunk-v30

Underdogs..Shohoku High School have now cut the lead by 15 points again Sannoh Kogyo in the national tournament.  With a few minutes left in the fourth quarter and down by 15, will Shohoku be able to make a comeback with three minutes left on the clock? Find out in volume 30 of Takehiko Inoue’s “Slam Dunk”!

© 1999-2011 Takehiko Inoue and I.T. Planning, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

MANGA TITLE: Slam Dunk Vol. 30

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 1, 2013

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?

The National Tournament (the summer championships) continues as the underdogs, Shohoku High School has cut the deficit to 15 points after a late surge from Sannoh Kogyo.

Shohoku is exhausted but with several minutes left in the fourth quarter, they can feel momentum on their side as they finally found a weakness in Sannoh High School’s offense and defense.

With the crowd shocked with Shohoku trimming Sannoh’s lead, can they make their comeback while behind with three minutes left?

The volume leading to the explosive final volume, find out what happens in volume 30 of Takehiko Inoue’s “Slam Dunk”!

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. And through various matches, the Shohoku High School team have evolved, as have Sakuragi’s gameplay, which he continues to shock people with his quick adaptability of the fundamentals of the game.

What happens in Volume 30?

Shohoku High School made themselves known to the championship team, Sannoh Kogyo that they had what it takes to go against them and win. And with the first quarter looking like Shohoku High had the potential to be the better team, Sannoh uses the defensive press (double teaming the ball carrier) and now Shohoku is unable to shoot or get inside the paint. Rukawa can’t even make one point with Sawakita on him, Akagi can’t even get a basket off with Kawata guarding him and the speed of Ryota Miyagi is proving to be ineffective.

Sannoh Kogyo figures out Shohoku High School and dominantly comes up ahead by 19 points. But now it’s the 4th quarter and Shohoku High School has managed to prevent Sannoh Kogyo from scoring and trimmed their lead down to 10 points.

But now Sannoh’s star player, Eiji Sawakita and the team intends to end this game and beat Shohoku. Sawakita challenges Rukawa but each time Rukawa tries, he is unable to figure Sawakita out.

Fortunately, Hisashi Mitsui’s three pointers have brought Shohoku back to the game and Rukawa found a way to make a difference as a team player, while Ryota Miyagi and Captain Akagi find ways to bring a new offensive and defensive style to halt Sannoh Kogyo.

And as for Hanamichi Sakuragi feeling the team getting closer and catching up to Sannoh Kogyo, something unexpected happens to the phenom.

For over 29 volumes, we have seen Shohoku High School start the season as underdogs.  Never major contenders and looked at as a team of troublemakers, the team led by Captain Akagi have shown they are a team with talent and can be something special if they played as a team.

And their culmination of practice and becoming better has resulted in one of the most exciting sports manga’s ever created.

Volume 30 of Takehiko Inoue’s “Slam Dunk” continues the matchup between Shohoku High School vs. Sannoh Kogyo but showing that even great teams have weaknesses and for the underdog Shohoku team, they have found the weakness of Sannoh Kogyo but the question is if the have enough time to make a comeback.

15 points behind and several minutes left, they are going to have to play their best offense and defense in order to make a comeback.

While focusing on the fourth quarter of gameplay, the storyline focuses on how Shohoku intends to make their comeback with new strategies but also giving your all!

The thrill of the game of basketball is quite evident in the pages of volume 30 of “Slam Dunk”. With a total of one volume left in the manga series, Takehiko Inoue is setting readers up for one exciting finale!

Takehiko Inoue’s illustrations have always been a highlight for me and I was always amazed of how he captured movements of basketball. From the layups, the dunks, the defensive coverage and just the feeling of basketball, he captures it so well in the pages of each manga release. And in the case of volume 30, he manages to capture intense fatigue and even the emotions of the audience and everyone on both sides.

“Slam Dunk” is an exciting manga series with fantastic characters and there is no special abilities, it’s a sports manga series with dramatic elements but focusing on the soul of basketball competition.

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!

“Slam Dunk” Vol. 30 is highly recommended!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

 

Slam Dunk Vol. 11 by Takehiko Inoue (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

July 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

“Slam Dunk” vol. 11 features the thrilling conclusion of Shohoku High School vs.  Shoyo High School. Can Shohoku High School find a way to win this tough game? Find out in volume 11 of Takehiko Inoue’s hit manga series “Slam Dunk”!  Recommended!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

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

MANGA TITLE: Slam Dunk Vol. 11

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: August 3, 2010

Shoyo’s ace, Fujima, drops himself into the lineup and quickly helps his team retake the lead from Shohoku, and despite struggling with fatigue, Mitsui stays on the floor as well. Realizing that they are the keys to winning the game, coach Anzai focuses on both Mitsui’s scoring finesse and Hanamichi’s monstrous rebounding, but with only five minutes left on the game clock, Shohoku will need to deliver, and fast.

Which player will ignite the spark that will carry Shohoku on to victory? And does Mitsui have enough stamina left to hit some crucial three-pointers?

The semi-finals for the prefectural high school basketball tournament featuring Shohoku High School vs. Shoyo High School continues as Shohoku has the lead!

Despite Shoyo High’s size difference, Shohoku High has found a way to counter Shoyo’s size.  But when Shoyo High’s phenom (who is also the coach), Fujima comes into the game, Shoyo’s transformation is amazing as the team dynamics have changed and now Shoyo is mounting their comeback.

Can Shohoku contain Fujima?  Will Sakajima foul out again?  Find out in “Slam Dunk” volume 11!

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 10, the group have now made it into the semifinals but the team feels very stressed because their matchup is against the dominant Shoyo High School, a team that is better than Sendoh and has been dominant because of their height advantage. Also, they are led by third year Kenji Fujima, a star athlete but also doubling as the coach of Shoyo High School.

And immediately, Shoyo High School shows their dominance thanks to their height advantage. But what if Shohoku High School can find a way to use Hanamichi’s dominance as a rebounder. Will it help them defeat Shoyo High School?

In volume 11, as Shohoku High School has managed to find a strategy to beat Shoyo, everything changes when their team phenom and coach, Fujima comes into the game.  And with Fujima back in the game, everyone on Shoyo becomes better players and manage to cut the point deficit but also now have taken the lead.

With a whole different team in the second half and the Shohoku players become exhausted, what will they do?

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

The continuing 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, he has gone through training to learn the fundamentals and from Team Captain Akagi and others on the team, he has learned to sharpen his offense and defense slowly. But most recently, learning the importance of rebounding but trying his best not to foul out (a major problem that Hanamichi has yet to figure out).

Having to learn the discipline of being a master rebounder and trying not to foul out, it has been tough for Sakuragi in the semi-finals against Shoyo High School.

But with the semi-finals on the line, they need to put up the best defensive game as Shoyo High School’s phenom, Fujima, has entered the game and literally has changed the dynamics of the team.

Not only has Shoyo cut down the deficit but now have taken the lead.  Not knowing how to contain this new offense/defense since Fujima comes in, it means others on the team will have to step up to the plate.  Including Hisashi Mitsui, the former junior high MVP and a player known for being a deep threat on the three-point line.

But in order for Shohoku to win the game, everyone is going to have to give their best offensive and defensive effort but will they figure out how to come back and win with time expiring?

Once again, Takehiko Inoue’s artwork is simply wonderful. 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. But what I enjoyed about this latest volume is showing Hanamichi’s progression as a player. While he has learned the game quickly, he is still learning the fundamentals and finds himself worried because he fouls out of a game too quickly. So, it’ll be interesting to see how he improves from this latest challenge.

As for the manga, the detail of Inoue’s artwork is just wonderful, the action, the sweat, the emotions are captured amazingly well on each page.

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!

Volume 11 features the thrilling conclusion of the Shohoku vs. Shoyo semi-final match.  Can underdogs Shohoku High School win the game?

Love basketball and manga? Takehiko Inoue’s “Slam Dunk” vol. 11 is highly recommended!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

 

Slam Dunk Vol. 9 by Takehiko Inoue (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

July 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

“Slam Dunk” vol. 9 showcases the beginning of the prefectural tournament and who gets to advance to the national tournament.  Will Shohoku High School do well in their first round of competition? Find out in volume 9 of Takehiko Inoue’s hit manga series “Slam Dunk”!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

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

MANGA TITLE: Slam Dunk Vol. 9

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: April 6, 2010

He tried to slam her with love, but she dunked his heart. As luck would have it, the basketball team narrowly avoids suspension over the all-out-brawl incident when Yohei and Mitsui’s friends take responsibility. Now, with Mitsui back in the lineup for the first time in two years, Shohoku quickly resumes practice in preparation for their upcoming tournament.

As punishment for the lack of discipline they displayed in the fight, though, Coach Anzai decides on a starting lineup for Shohoku’s game without Hanamichi, Rukawa, Ryota and Mitsui. Can Anzai’s squad hold their own when their best players (and perpetual problem children) ride the bench?

With Sakuragi, Rukawa, Mitsui and Miyagi getting involved in a fight with athletes from another school, the last thing these troublemakers of Shohoku High School need is to get in trouble before the Prefectural Tournament which is to start on May 19th.

Fortunately, Sakuragi’s buddies are there to take the blame but Coach Anzai knows that he needs to show his team that fighting is not a solution and holds them back from starting in the first game of the tournament.

With the first game of the Prefectural Tournament about to begin, will Shohoku High be ready?  Meanwhile, Sakuragi finds himself in a predicament of being fouled out of games, can he find a way to minimize his fouls, so he’s not taken out of the game?

Find out in “Slam Dunk” Vol. 9!

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 9, it’s the time of the year that all basketball players for various high school teams have been waiting for and that is to compete in the Prefectural Tournament.  And for Shohoku High School, they need to win each game to make it to the national tournament.  But are they ready for the big game?  And how will Sakuragi do?

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 9, the intensity of basketball and the strategy is the main focal point for “Slam Dunk” as the Prefectural Tournament is now here and for Shohoku High School to advance to the nationals, they must win!

For this volume, we get to see Shohoku High School playing in three matches and to see how each player does in competition but as Hanamichi Sakuragi, he has one major problem and that is his defense is good but he gives to many fouls, in fact, he fouls out in every game.  But can he keep his fouls to a minimum?

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.  But what I enjoyed about this latest volume is showing Hanamichi’s progression as a player.  While he has learned the game quickly, he is still learning the fundamentals and finds himself worried because he fouls out of a game too quickly.  So, it’ll be interesting to see how he improves from this latest challenge.

As for the manga, the detail of Inoue’s artwork is just wonderful, the action, the sweat, the emotions are captured amazingly well on each page.

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!

Takehiko Inoue’s “Slam Dunk” vol. 9 is highly recommended!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

 

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

July 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

“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”!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

© 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!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

 

Slam Dunk Vol. 29 by Takehiko Inoue (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

June 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Underdogs..Shohoku High School takes on the defending champions, Akita’s Sannoh Kogyo. In the fourth quarter and down by ten, with only a few minutes left, will Shohoku have an answer to Sannoh Kogyo’s awesome offense or defense? Find out in volume 29 of Takehiko Inoue’s “Slam Dunk”!

© 1999-2011 Takehiko Inoue and I.T. Planning, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

MANGA TITLE: Slam Dunk Vol. 29

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: August 6, 2013

With seven minutes left in the second half, Shohoku slowly chips away at Sannoh’s large lead thanks to Sakuragi’s rebounds. But Sannoh’s star player Sawakita isn’t going to sit still for that! Faced with an apparently unstoppable opponent, Rukawa and Sakuragi both have to dig deep to understand themselves and their own game, and become the basketball players they were meant to be!

The National Tournament (the summer championships) continues as the underdogs, Shohoku High School has cut the deficit to 10 points against the three-time championship team, Sannoh Kogyo.

Sannoh Kogyo has dominated with their phenom Sawakita, their strong center Kawata and another top player Fukatsu.  And as Rukawa has difficulties of trying to find a way to play against Sawakita, Hanamichi Sakuragi’s gameplay has elevated.

But Eiji Sawakita is seen as the most dominant player in high school basketball in Japan.  A player who had a chance to play in America and plans to go back to America and play more basketball to elevate his game.  But what is it between Sawakita and Rukawa that they feed off from playing against each other?

As the fourth quarter winding down, can the underdogs Shohoku High School mount a comeback and trim the deficit or will the dominant Sannoh Kogyo continue the dismantling of Shohoku?

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.  And through various matches, the Shohoku High School team have evolved, as have Sakuragi’s gameplay, which he continues to shock people with his quick adaptability of the fundamentals of the game.

What happens in Volume 29?

Shohoku High School made themselves known to the championship team, Sannoh Kogyo that they had what it takes to go against them and win. And with the first quarter looking like Shohoku High had the potential to be the better team, Sannoh uses the defensive press (double teaming the ball carrier) and now Shohoku is unable to shoot or get inside the paint.  Rukawa can’t even make one point with Sawakita on him, Akagi can’t even get a basket off with Kawata guarding him and the speed of Ryota Miyagi is proving to be ineffective.

Sannoh Kogyo figures out Shohoku High School and dominantly comes up ahead by 19 points.  But now it’s the 4th quarter and Shohoku High School has managed to prevent Sannoh Kogyo from scoring and trimmed their lead down to 10 points.

But now Sannoh’s star player, Eiji Sawakita and the team intends to end this game and beat Shohoku.  Sawakita challenges Rukawa but each time Rukawa tries, he is unable to figure Sawakita out.  What kind of strategy will the team come up with the fourth quarter winding down?

The excitement of Japanese high school basketball continues in volume 29 of “Slam Dunk”!

Volume 29 of Takehiko Inoue’s “Slam Dunk” continues to explore the Shohoku High School strategy in the underdogs taking on the A-ranked Sannoh Kogyo. With Shohoku behind, it’s going to take a new strategy and full-on teamwork for them to come back from behind.

While focusing on the fourth quarter of gameplay, the storyline focuses on Sannoh Kyogo’s phenom Eiji Sawakita and how he became a dominant player.  From the moment he was born to when he was a baby, he was already playing around with a basketball and focused his life around it.  His goal is to play in America, which Rukawa has wanted to do, but was told by Coach Anzai that he’s not good enough.

And now Rukawa is learning that his strategy is not even making a dent against Sawakita.  But he remembers when going one-on-one against Ryonan’s phenom, Sendoh, he once told him that his gameplay is the same as playing one-on-one and that if he continues to play that way, he will never win in a game against him.

With those words, Rukawa thinks he may now know a way to defeat Sannoh Kyogo but they better find out how to do it as the time is dwindling under three minutes in the fourth quarter.  Can they mount a comeback?

The thrill of the game of basketball is quite evident in the pages of volume 29 of “Slam Dunk”. With a total of two volumes left in the manga series, Takehiko Inoue definitely wants to show readers that this game will not be like any game Shohoku has played. This time, the defending champs will show why they have won three years straight but will Shohoku have an answer to their amazing offense and defense?

As for the manga series, Takehiko Inoue’s illustrations have always been a highlight for me and I was always amazed of how he captured movements of basketball. From the layups, the dunks, the defensive coverage and just the feeling of basketball, he captures it so well in the pages of each manga release.

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!

The latest volume is somewhat of a quick read because it focuses on basketball and with Takehiko Inoue’s artwork, he tries to capture the intensity of basketball in his pages with very few word balloons.  But for basketball fans, you can’t help but be captivated by the underdog/beginner Hanamichi and the entire Shohoku High School Basketball Team because they fought this hard…can they beat the champs?

“Slam Dunk” Vol. 29 is highly recommended!

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Slam Dunk Vol. 28 by Takehiko Inoue (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

June 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

slamdunk-28

Underdogs..Shohoku High School takes on the defending champions, Akita’s Sannoh Kogyo. In the fourth quarter and down by ten, with only a few minutes left, will Shohoku have an answer to Sannoh Kogyo’s awesome offense or defense? Find out in volume 29 of Takehiko Inoue’s “Slam Dunk”!

© 1999-2011 Takehiko Inoue and I.T. Planning, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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MANGA TITLE: Slam Dunk Vol. 28

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: June 4, 2013


 

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.


 The National Tournament (the summer championships) continues as the underdogs, Shohoku High School are losing by 24 points against the three-time championship team, Sannoh Kogyo.

With the second quarter beginning and the team already spent and tired, Hanamichi Sakuragi tries to get the team motivated by screaming on top of the table that he will bring down Sannoh.

But against an elite team such as Sannoh Kogyo, does Shohoku High School have any chance of winning?

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. And through various matches, the Shohoku High School team have evolved, as have Sakuragi’s gameplay, which he continues to shock people with his quick adaptability of the fundamentals of the game.

What happens in Volume 28?

Shohoku High School is 24-points behind and the guys are tired, with the exception of Hanamichi who proclaims that he will bring Sannoh down.

Wanting to prove that he is a basketball phenom, will Hanamichi’s athleticism and skill help motivate the team and trim Sannoh’s lead?

The second quarter begins and if there is one thing that Sannoh should be prepared for…that’ s never to count Shohoku out from a comeback!


The excitement of Japanese high school basketball continues in volume 28 of “Slam Dunk”!

Volume 28 of Takehiko Inoue’s “Slam Dunk” continues to explore the Shohoku High School strategy in the underdogs taking on the A-ranked Sannoh Kogyo. With Shohoku behind, it’s going to take a new strategy and full-on teamwork for them to come back from behind.

But victory looks so far as the Shohoku is losing by a 24-point margin.  But with Hanamichi using rebounds to get the team excited and motivated, can Shohoku trim Sannoh’s lead?

The thrill of the game of basketball is quite evident in the pages of volume 28 of “Slam Dunk”. With a total of three volumes left in the manga series, Takehiko Inoue definitely wants to show readers that this game will not be like any game Shohoku has played.

This time, the defending champs will show why they have won three years straight but will Shohoku have an answer to their amazing offense and defense?

As for the manga series, Takehiko Inoue’s illustrations have always been a highlight for me and I was always amazed of how he captured movements of basketball. From the layups, the dunks, the defensive coverage and just the feeling of basketball, he captures it so well in the pages of each manga release.

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!

The latest volume is somewhat of a quick read because it focuses on basketball and with Takehiko Inoue’s artwork, he tries to capture the intensity of basketball in his pages with very few word balloons. But for basketball fans, you can’t help but be captivated by the underdog/beginner Hanamichi and the entire Shohoku High School Basketball Team because they are an unknown team with a lot of heart, but also skill.  Can they beat the champs?

“Slam Dunk” Vol. 28 is highly recommended!

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