Slam Dunk is probably the best manga ever published and the anime version is one of the best I have ever seen. Even though the series has ended more than a decade ago, many people wiill wholeheartedly agree that this franchise has stood the test of time.
The story is simple but the execution is incredible, each chapter is filled with humor, action, drama, comedy and a whole lot more. The anime series was good and worthy of being considered a landmark anime, but if you have yet to see the anime then you don't know what you're missing. However there are things that
are not shown in the anime series which is why it is crucial for you to read this manga. The interhigh games are a blast!
Takehiko Inoue certainly knew how to end the series with a bang! The last game is so good, every character is at their best and certainly no other title can rile up the readers emotions like this, it really feels like your watching the NBA finals.
The artwork is simply great even though there are a lot of better looking manga out there, the decade old graphics still manages to go toe to toe with other more recent titles out there.
The characters of this title are by far the most fully developed in any title out in the market and I'm not just talking about the main characters, I'm also talking about the supporting cast even those belonging to rival teams. The character development is so good that it is difficult to choose one character as a favorite. Each character has a well told background even those who appear in just a few chapters have a very detailed and well executed background story. You'll probably remember the names of not only the Shohoku players but also the names of their rivals, most notably "Sendoh".
Overall Slam Dunk is one of the best Manga ever made and I'm sure that once you read it, you will agree with me. I guarantee that you won't be able to resist finishing the manga in a few days if not a few hours because it is that damn good. If you think the anime was great, try reading the manga and I'm sure you'll feel that the anime series could have been better, the interhigh games are one hell of a joyride!
Before I start, I must point something out. If you're expecting something like Kuroko no Basket with Zone, 100% accuracy shooting, perfect copy and other supernatural powers, stop reading right now, because it has none of that. Also, SD focuses more on the whole team, rather than just 2 characters (Kuroko and Kagami). Now, onto the recommendation.
The story follows Sakuragi Hanamichi, a delinquent who is in love with a girl named Haruko and wants to impress her in some way, so he decides to join the basketball club. That was his initial reason for joining, but he gradually develops a love for the sport and
starts working harder than anyone else. Starting off from the very basics like dribbling, lay ups and defense, slowly gaining experience, you can see him improving with every match that passes.
The art looks rather simple at first, but improves after some time. The matches in particular, are really well drawn. Shots, dunks, passes, player movements - everything is drawn in a way you'd understand what's going on.
The characters is probably the strongest point of this manga. Sakuragi is one of the most well-developed main characters I've seen in all of manga/anime. The same can be said for the rest of Shohoku's team members. Heck even the rival teams are so well-developed, you would have a problem chosing who to cheer for. My favourite non-Shohoku character is Ryonan's ace - Sendoh. He is such an amusing and fun character that you just can't help but love.
As a sport manga, it's really beginner friendly. Even if you don't know much about basketball, this manga will teach you everything about the sport. From the basics like how to dribble, how to shoot a ball correctly, passing, to advanced skills like how to grab a rebound successfully, how to screen-out and set up screens, how to avoid the different kinds of fouls (double dribble, travelling, pushing and so on) and to use fouls to your advantage. Speaking of fouls, there are a lot of them in this manga, unlike in Kuroko no Basket where there was barely any contact between the players. If you get 5 fouls, you leave the game. Fouls bring more tension into the matches (which are already intense enough) and makes them more enjoyable. When the players are tired, they are tired. What I mean by that is that their movements slow down, shooting percentage goes down and the players become more vulnerable to mistakes. This is what realism is.
I also have to mention the final game (don't worry, I'm not gonna spoil it). This manga probably has the best final game ever. It hit all the right points and it was so damny emotional. I was barely holding my tears in the last 4-5 chapters of the last game and I doubt any other sports manga can make me even tear up like this.
Slam Dunk is the closest thing you'll get to a realistic basketball series. I also have to mention the humor. The humor in this manga is pure gold. I dare say it's near Gintama's humor level. It also references some things from real life, mostly from NBA. That is something rarely seen among anime/manga.
Highly recommended for fans of: Hajime no Ippo (it's like its basketball equivalent), Kuroko no Basket (I love Kuroko, but KnB fans must feel the greatness of this manga), Haikyuu and sport fans as a whole.
I also recommend this manga to people who want to get into basketball. This one will surely help you with your basketball studies.
If you're a regular basketball watcher, or a solid fan of the sport, then Slam Dunk is a must watch for you. This piece of work is skillfully written by the famous author Inoue Takehiko, also known for his other works such as REAL and Vagabond. Slam Dunk also had outstanding sales in Japan and a successful adaptation series (along with four movies) which were sold worldwide, thus inspiring young people to practise basketball passionately.
As said above, Slam Dunk is for those who are into basketball. Inoue Takehiko himself has been a basketball player in his high school days, and he is an active NBA
watcher, so you don't have to worry about technical mistakes or poorly developed games, 'cause Takehiko truly knows how to write a basketball game and illustrate it, also adding as many intensity as possible, to make a thrilling and memorable game. (There are a few matches involving such great writing). Reason why I mentioned this is, this is the basic feature a basketball series should contain, to attract readers/watchers.
The characters are Slam Dunk's strongest point. A meaningful quote (from a review) by Inoue Takehiko is: "I don't force my characters to do things their personality doesn't allow, even if it means to progress the story". I wholeheartdly agree with this saying, and this is possibly why Takehiko's characters have been a successs.
Now let's focus on the actual story and characters of Slam Dunk. The main character of the series, which invests more time in him is Sakuragi Hanamichi. In the beginning, Sakuragi is a punk and delinquent who socializes with others of his kind and make troubles. He gets into fighting a lot and a notable characteristic of his, he gets rejected by every female he's confessed to. Heartbroken, Hanamichi stumbles upon Haruko Akagi, a pretty girl, who makes Sakuragi fall in love with her real quick. Due to her being the sister of the basketball club's captain, Hanamichi ended up in the basketball team and that's when his journey as a baskettoman (Hanamichi's pronunciation of basketball player). Simply put, Hanamichi starts a complete beginner, starting from the scratch, such as dribbling the ball, doing lay ups and rebounding. (Also to note that Slam Dunk explains almost every important and basic rule of basketball, via DR.T, a short and amusing tertiary character who has enough knowledge in basketball). And this said, Inoue Takehiko brilliantly develops Hanamichi's gradual growing love for basketball.
The Shohoku team's members are all nicely developed. Starting from Akagi, a tough, gorilla looking young boy who is the captain of the Shohoku basketball tean. Akagi has an unbeatable spirit for the sport of the basketball. This very spirit drives along the team in high morale which is very helpful and basically the core of their accoplishments. His relationship with Sakuragi Hanamichi is also one of the best things in the show, they have a cat and mouse relationship in the beginning which develops into a long term friendship. Next, we have the megane kun, which is the essential characteristic to every sports series. A megane kun who is loyal to the team and boosts their morale in times of trouble. Kogure is the vice captain of the Shohoku team and the helping hand of Akagi. They both have known each other since childhood and have a trusting friendship between each other.
Rukawa Kaede is the everlasting rival of Sakuragi Hanamichi. Rukawa is always one step ahead of Hanamichi, which irritates him the most and motivates him to actively practice basketball and get better at it. At first, Rukawa gives an impression of a popular, quiet, good looking guy who excels at what he does. And he really does excel at basketball. Though slow (very slow), his relationship wih Hanamichi gives fruits. (Not going to spoil). Also necessary to say, Hanamichi also considers Rukawa a rival in love. Unfortunately for Hanamichi, Haruko is all over and drools over Rukawa, not that the latter cares anyway.
Lastly, the trouble makers of the Shohoku. Ryota Miyagi and Mitsui Hisashi. Both have been delinquents and have had constant conflicts with each other. Due to a fight, Ryota is sent to hospital, resulting in a long break in bball.Ryota's quite short, and this makes him a key player for Shohoku. He excels at dribbling the basketball and giving no look passes, cause he knows where his teammates are in the court. He also shoots two pointers at times and has an unmatched speed which comes to hand Shohoku plenty of times. On the other hand, Mitsui Hisashi took a different path from Ryota. He decided to stop playing basketball (reasons stated in his arc, which it's pretty spoiler heavy), but he eventually comes back at the team after an exhaustingly long mini arc (in the anime, mostly).
Though those were the main characters, which are awesomely developed, Slam Dunk also focuses on the "opponents" of Shohoku. Aces such as Sendo Akira, Shinichi Maki, Kenji Fujima, Eiji Sawakita are all equally developed and sometimes you root for their team to win.
The distinct art of Inoue Takehiko is also enjoyable to watch and read. Slam Dunk actually is one of his first drawn series, and it's a very good chance to watch Inoue Takehiko develop as an artist.
Overall Slam Dunk is located at the 2nd place (of sports series). It was an undescribable ride with lots of fun, funny and sad moments. It clearly deserves a 10 in my book, as these kind of series are very rare.
Slam Dunk is the most popular and iconic basketball manga around, thanks to a dynamite main character and Takehiko Inoue's clear passion for the sport.
Hanamichi Sakuragi, a red-headed delinquent and complete basketball neophyte, is the heart and soul of Slam Dunk. He's great at various things (beating up other delinquents, being tall, and being rejected by girls are chiefs among them), and while playing basketball is clearly not one of them, don't tell him that; in fact, Sakuragi's brand of unreasonable confidence and swaggery is a breath of fresh air in a genre usually populated by bland genius or meek underdogs as main protagonists.
He's a very easy character to root for, and it's delightful to watch him slowly transform from playing just to impress a girl into being genuinely affected by all the feelings that the game entailed. Whether it's his one-sided rivalry with the prodigious Rukawa, his constant goofs in the court, or his endearing simple-mindedness, Sakuragi will make you laugh and face-palm until eventually he'll also make you fist-pump in pride as he successfully defended a dangerous opponent, secured a key rebound, ,nailed his first jump shoot, and many more.
This might seems like an unnecessarily obvious statement, but there's really a lot of basketball in Slam Dunk. It's drawn at a very deliberate pace; Inoue likes to take his time, often going over two or three volumes to depict a single match (for the final match, he went all-out and spread the match through 6+ volumes). Although there's a significant amount of humor, rom-com triangle, and off-court basketball events in the initial volumes, once the main cast is assembled it's pretty much Basketball Action all the time. Non-playing characters like Sakuragi's love interest Haruko and his amusing band of delinquent pals are inevitably demoted into the role of spectators, and character development is practically confined in the realm of basketball court as the main cast (especially, but not limited to, Sakuragi) learned to utilize/expand their strengths, overcome their weaknesses, and develop chemistry with each other. It's safe to say that if you enjoy the entirety of Slam Dunk, you're already a big fan of basketball or on your way into becoming one.
Inoue's art is a big part of what makes the matches, slow as they are, so enjoyable. You'd be hard-pressed to find more passionate depiction of a basketball game on manga pages; whether it's rim-shattering dunks, ferocious blocks, or gorgeous three-point swishes, there's a range of dramatic moments native to the sport that he successfully captured. It gets increasingly beautiful and detailed, too. Homages to the 1990s NBA are abound, from the players themselves (Sakuragi and team captain Akagi, for example, were clearly modeled after Dennis Rodman and Patrick Ewing respectively), some iconic poses, and jersey color schemes. There's also a sense of real-life plausibility within the games, as the players in Slam Dunk thrived with realistic skills and athleticism rather than over-the-top superhuman traits. Questionable tactical moments do exist (quad-teaming a single player, anyone?), but in terms of the general flow of the game,it's still a lot more faithful than your typical sports manga.
Slam Dunk ends rather abruptly, covering only a single tournament season, and some potential future opponents/match-ups being teased ultimately never materialized. It could've become a long-running epic a la Hajime no Ippo, but apparently Inoue had other plans. Even then, it's still a powerful and memorable journey, led by a beloved red-headed brat.
Everything about this was jus incredible, it was one smooth hilarious touching ride, one after the other.
Art: each character looks unique, can recognize each of them quickly (unlike some mangas where characters jus get a hair-style change and they call it another character). Gets better and better, quite realistic drawings compared with other mangas. The people look pretty real and the guys look damn cool when they're supposed to be. The girls are pretty cute too.
Story: Read to find out, don't wana give spoilers. Nothing feels extra in this, everything fits together. Be prepared to laugh lots and feel inspired with the characters' perseverance.
If someone asks me whose my favorite character, I find it hard pressed to name one. Their interactions are funny to see and even the loss of a single character in the Shohoku team will surely be sorely missed. The whole Shohoku team combined is my favorite character.
Slam Dunk is a great manga. When I first got into Slam Dunk I thought it was gonna suck mainly because I'm not much of a basketball fun and lost alot of interest in the beginning so I ended up dropping it. When I finished reading Hajime No Ippo I went back to this manga and fell in love with it, the story for Slam Dunk is phenomenal and the characters are impossible not to like especially the tensai xP. Though Slam Dunk is a great manga you will be disappointed, because you will not want this series to end.
holy crap..! when im reading this i was so excited and i even got chills!!! Its one of the longest series ive read so far (POT 379 these two were my all time favourite sports manga/anime), & honestly, it never bored me... they were totally awesome and theres a part that i almost cried!!! (what?) no, what i mean is i cried from laughing b'cuz of Sakuragi stupidness & cute boastfullness..LoLz.. this is the best ever.. I mean this is my best anime/manga & my favorite.. I REALLY REALLY REALLY LOVE THIS.. from the story line,characters, oh everything.. though Im not a basketball
fan but through this Ive learned more about basketball.. the line art was awesome & the story were so cool.. oh man, Sakuragi is so funny & hilarious all the time & certainly hes my favorite character in this anime/manga i mean of all the characters.. hes my number 1..!! he really makes me laugh...I really love this.. Yeah.. SLAMDUNK IS GREAT.. it REALLY ROCKS.. \m/ \m/ \m/.. Sakuragi is absolutely a tensai.. but an idiot tensai...Lolz.. still he's the best..hahaha.. ill give this one a 10/10 its all becuz I LOVE SAKURAGI that much.
The skills are pretty realistic, at least from a non player point of view.
Unlike some manga which the main character always win the fight, or manage to gain some realistically impossible secret moves (read: kuroko no basket), or even a super jutsu that is applicable to every situation (read: naruto & bleach), this develops the character real. They face ups & downs. They need to train to get better.
" Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts "
Does this quote describes what this manga is about? Probably not, but I felt that it would be cool writing it before I start review. This is already 24 years old, it started back in 1990 and was publishing to 1996 (six years)
Back then, basketball wasn't that popular in Japan, very few really talked about it, but mangaka Takehiko Inoue liked basketball, and even though he was told by his editor that basketball is almost a taboo in Japan, he decided to write manga about it,
mostly because of his love for the same sport. Takehiko Inoue understands what sport is about, he understands the value of friends and basketball, and he puts that in this amazing art work
Hanamichi Sakuragi is teenager that just started high school, and he doesn't have any luck with girls. He was rejected 50 times in middle school, and his friends always make fun of him because of that, telling him that he is "breaking records" . He stumbles upon a beautiful girl named Haruko Akagi that asked him if he does like basketball - because he was tall, standing 6''2' . He immediately says yes, altough he doesn't know anything about it, and there is the the so called "plot" . The guy picks up basket to get attention from the girl she likes, and that's the simple story, but simple can sometimes turn out to be best.
Many sport, shonen manga tend to have great characters, the case is same with SD. Maybe the best thing about this work are characters. They are vivid, have their own personalities and you can relate to many of them. It's not just that they are vivid, but after reading few chapters you imagine them as real persons, like they truly exist, they're alive and are making a story by themselves. They are filled with joy and freshness, comedic touch and great sense of humour. For example, Sakuragi, the main character is stating himself as a "genius" all the time, he believes to be the best even though he is (at the begininng) the worst in Shohoku basketball team. That personality of his is what makes this manga so funny and enjoyable, with that attitude he sometimes get in trouble with captain of the team, Akagi Takenori ( brother of Haruko). Because of his dark skin and extremely tall height, Sakuragi calls Akagi "Gorilla" or "Gori" , and that sometimes pisses of Akagi, but to readers, in many situations, that is hillarious. Akagi is the captain, best man on the team, leader and he appreciates dedicated person and likes cleanliness, everything that Sakuragi in the beginning isn't. Haruko, crush of Sakuragi on the other hand, likes someone else - Rukawa Kaede. first year student like Sakuargi, talented basketball player who is often silent and favorited by all the girls. And that makes both of them rivals - Sakuragi doesn't like Rukawa because he sees him as an obstacle to Haruko's heart. When Sakuragi makes a mistake in a game, Rukawa always comments on him with his favourite word "Moron" comically, which pisses of Sakuragi even more. The chemistry between those two is always funny and interesting to read, with Gorilla Akagi and two other players, Ryota Miyagi and Mitsui Hisashi, the team Shohoku is full of troublemakers, laughter, and great potential to win the National Championship - which is Akagi's dream, and the center of the story. The greatness of the main character Sakuragi is not just his humour and attitude, but in development he experiences through the story. It is how he becomes more mature-like person, a realy sportsman and basketball player. From short tempered and arrogant self calling genius, which started basket just to get attention from the girl he likes, he begins to realise the importance of practicing, and starts appreciating other people, their hardwork and of course, basketball. That doesn't happen at just one moment in manga, but through the whole story.
There are many other basketball schools, like Ryonan and Kainan, and they also have their stars (some of them are Akira Sendoh, Uozumi Jun, Shinichi Maki), with explained background stories and great personallities.
I have to mention one of my favourite characters from Slam Dunk - Mito Yohei, one of Sakuragi's best friends from school. He isn't the main character, he doesn't appears to often, but whenever he said something, I liked him more. He is usually silent and cool, but when it comes to making fun of Sakuragi's bad luck with girls, he acts like a kid, he is a good fighter, and understands Sakuragi the best. He is also very happy because of his friend, finding and focusing on something he likes(basketball).
Yep, starting this manga, prepare for many great, inspirational characters and a lot of laughter, heartwarming moments and great way to get more fond of basketball, or any sport.
I don't want to talk much about art, it fits sport manga, good character design, Inoue knows how to express character's feelings through their facial expressions, from panel to panel, they can be drawn pretty funny, like caricatures (when the scene is comic), and they can be drawn pretty serious (when panel is serious). Inoue knows how to tell story with drawings, and none panel doesn't feel unnecessary or out of the place, he is a genius when it comes to telling a story with only pictures - no text.
Ultimate sport manga, the best in its own genre, and even further. It has everything in it, from comedy to sadness, from love story to inspiring sport story, everthing stored in one work.
If you haven't read the manga, the rest of the review will be something like a spoiler and my personal disliking , so if you don't want some minor spoilers, stop reading
- - - - - - - -
Okay so, the way that manga came to a close. Not the ending, but the way it came to an end. Was it rushed? The last game was perfect - it had everything, but I wanted manga to go on. Inoue introduced many characters for national championship tournament, and were they all used to max potential? No. I can't remember the name but the tall guy with an older serious guy, they were watching game between Shohoku and Sannoh and left saying that Sannoh is winning. Hiroshi Morishige, the arrogant genius who was seen playing by Sakuragi? Maybe after match with Sannoh I wanted to see more of Sendoh apperiance, Sakuragi's bothering past (the thing with his father which he wanted to forget), Kainan match, and than maybe more of Sakuragi's gang, Aota judo guy. There was a big thing for national championship, many characters introduced, and it felt like few of them were forgoten.
That's why I'm giving it a 9, I still sometimes when I'm bored start thinking about Shohoku team, and what they did after.
First of all, I'm gonna make a comparison, this is not Kuroko no Basket at all, it's a whole different concept. Slam Dunk is probably the best manga (in the sports category, although I can say it's one of the best in general) ever published and the anime version is one of the best I have ever seen.
The story is somewhat considered as simple, I mean, it's a sports manga, you don't need to make it complicated it, nevertherless, the execution is incredible, each chapter is filled with humor, action, drama, and comedy. The anime series was good and worthy of being considered a landmark
anime. However there are things that are not shown in the anime series which is why it is crucial for you to read this manga. The interhigh games are a blast! One thing I can reproach to Takehiko Inoue (but that's a selfish thought) is that he could have make more chapters, its ending is quite, well, a full stop. You'll understand if you read it, I really recommend it.
You guys have to know that back then, in the 90's in Japan, Basket was considered as "taboo" in anything related to manga/anime, for the sole reason that basket wasn't developped at all in Japan's highschools and middleschools. The manga and animes which came later, every single one of them were inspired by Slam Dunk. This manga is so well known across Japan because it was the first to achieve so much success.
The artwork is simply fantastic, if we take in consideration that it was done from 1990 to 1994. I doubt you can find a lot more "realistic" manga out there, coming from those years. The characters have something, out-of-manga concept. They still have the general lines which defines a manga, but if you compare it to other ones, you'll understand, you have the impression you can see human faces under these tired and happy "basketmans" faces.
The characters of this title are by far the most fully developed in any title out in the market and I'm not just talking about the main characters, I'm also talking about the supporting cast, even those belonging to rival teams. The character development is so good that it is difficult to choose one character as a favorite. Each character has a well told background even those who appear in just a few chapters have a very detailed and well executed background story. You'll probably remember the names of not only the Shohoku players but also the names of their rivals, most notably "Sendoh".
Overall Slam Dunk is one of the best Manga ever made and I'm sure that once you read it, you will agree with me. I guarantee that you won't be able to resist finishing the manga in a few days if not a few hours because it is that damn good. If you think the anime was great, try reading the manga and I'm sure you'll feel that the anime series could have been better, the interhigh games are one hell of a joyride!
I've never read sports manga before since I thought they surely must be boring and predictable (with the good guys always winning). Well, excluding Hajime no Ippo, but fist fights have a kinda different feeling to them. Anyway, Slam Dunk was able to hold my attention despite my bias. It wasn't perfect, but it was an enjoyable read.
- - - S T O R Y - - -
The story starts off with... surprisingly little to do with basketball. Basketball is there, but the focus is more on delinquent kinda things. Sakuragi's group of friends add some humour, you can easily relate to the
characters, and easily get into the story.
After that, we get some heated basketball games where the players are filled with insane amounts of passion. The games themselves aren't really that interesting, I think, besides Sakuragi's antics and great plays. There's just something hilarious and satisfying about Sakuragi doing good at the game, as well as when he unwittingly breaks the rules. The final match is really thrilling and well done. It's just a bit of a shame the manga ends the way it does. It feels so... incomplete.
- - - A R T - - -
The art is simply outstanding. The basketball players are sometimes drawn with longer limbs to exaggerate their height, but, other than that, the art is quite realistic. The hair is also quite nicely detailed, but half of the characters kinda have 80s hair.
- - - C H A R A C T E R S - - -
Eh... there isn't really that much character development or anything. Everyone's kinda just a one man show striving to be the best. Sakuragi is the only character you really get to see grow, which makes him the most interesting. Sakuragi's best friend, Yohei, is also a surprisingly interesting character. He's not just some punk, he's the definition of a true friend. I really respect his character.
One character that really disappoints me is Haruko. She started out having a very important role in the story, teaching Sakuragi the basics of basketball and helping him improve. She cheers for him and comforts him as a friend, but only has Rukawa in her heart, just like the dozens of other shallow girls. It's fine for comedy at first, but I think her feelings should've changed after a while. It's not that "the hero has to get the girl" everytime, but it just felt like what naturally should've happened with the bond they built and care they showed for each other.
Haruko was just pretty pointless to include for most of the story, really. She was usually just shouting stuff like "Defense! Defense!" and "Go Shohoku!" from the sidelines. Her character looked cute, I can see why you'd want to include her in a shounen manga for that reason, but that shouldn't be the sole reason. So what if she cheers for the team and cries often? It doesn't build her character nor add anything to the story.
- - - O V E R A L L - - -
Overall, this was kinda addictive. The ending was a let down and the basketball games are mostly only moderately entertaining for a person who isn't into sports. It's good, but not as satisfying as it could've been.
"One of the greatest shounen sports in history" is not a bit exaggerated, is it? Actually, not at all. Before "One Piece" robbed the laurels in 2002 as the highest-selling series by volume, Slam Dunk was the one who held that position for 8 years. And, even today, the only series that have managed to get past their success was exactly "One Piece" and "Attack on Titan".
Even more surprising that Slam Dunk is, as said, a sports shounen (specifically basketball) who, although he has a good reputation in Japan, usually loses to fight and adventure shounen such as
Naruto, Bleach, Fairy Tail, etc. In fact, the second largest sports shounen is Mitsuru Adachi's "H2", with the apex of 1.5 million copies by volume 17, against the 2.5 million Slam Dunk by volume 21. And it looks that Adachi also ends up being an exception, most do not reach the millions. "Kuroko no Basket", for example, another well-known basketball manga published here, had a maximum of 1 million copies by volume 21.
In total, Slam Dunk has already surpassed the 120 million volumes sold in the world, counting any versions and re-releases (Tankobon and Kanzenban)
The fact that an author's manga until that relatively unknown moment of a not-so-famous category thus reaching these heights is by itself impressive. And the fame was so great that it boosted thousands of young people to become interested in basketball, receiving a prize in 2010 by the Japanese Basketball Association precisely because it was so important in popularizing the sport in the country at the time of its launch.
And how did Slam Dunk get that feat? It is true that the author was in the right place at the right time, with Shounen Jump at its apex. Every week the new magazines brought "Rurouni Kenshin", "Yu Yu Hakusho", "Dragon Ball", "Dragon Quest" and several others of unquestionable fame. Being in the middle of works of this suit certainly gave the author the chance he needed, until he even turned the magazine's flagship.
Slam Dunk is a very simple premise story, in fact, a new year is starting and the Shohoku High School basketball club finds itself in a delicate situation: it urgently needs new players. Meanwhile, Hanamichi Sakuragi begins another school year being rejected for the fiftieth time by a girl, but his luck changes when he meets Haruko, the sister of the current captain of the basketball team who recognizes in the boy the body of a potential athlete. Surprised by the girl's attention, Sakuragi falls in love and begins to try to impress her and after some resistance, he joins the basketball team. From here you follow the mess of the boy and boy your team beyond troublesome.
The main source of laughter in the story is exactly Sakuragi who lives almost in an alternate reality in his mind, he finds himself the best player in the world and lives in childish and ridiculous quarrels with his own teammates, especially Kaede Rukawa, the "lady's man" of the team, for whom Haruko clearly has a downfall.
The series also features several other charismatic characters and their own stories and problems, whether teammates or rivals from other colleges, of course always accompanied by the distorted and absurd view of Sakuragi, who thinks everyone should be kissing the ground by where he goes.
Slam Dunk is a great read to chill and laugh, far from having a heavy or questioning story. It's the kind of story you read fast and get frustrated that it's over, wanting to follow more of Sakuragi's antics.
Personal Note: If you have never read or watched the anime, give volume 1 a try, you might also find a new addiction in the title. I'm saying this because I bought the first Kanzenban volume, of course, in the original Japanese language.
Slam Dunk depicts the sport of basketball truthful. No Generation of Miracles but their certainly are some very skilled players in the series, that give our favorite team a run for their money. I was actually really sad when it ended. I wanted more out of the series but I was actually quite pleased with how things ended up wrapping up.
Their last game was really intense. It gave a really realistic look at what happens when you fight a really strong opponent. You start to see your weaknesses and that makes the battle difficult but if you can push yourself past your limits in
that moment, it’s possible you can surpass those limitation.
I don't want to spoil the ending but the manga had loose ends in the sense that the mangaka didn't tie them into neat bows like you would expect to when ending a story. It made it feel so much more realistic, as if it's only the beginning for these characters.
The story starts off with this delinquent Hanamichi, falling in love with a basketball fanatic who only talks to him because he is tall and looks perfect for the game. I gave up on the anime because I was 14 episodes in and all I heard was Hanamichi complaining about basic training, hating Rukawa, and only playing the sport just to be with a girl. Those fourteen episodes made me want to shoot myself and when I got to their first ever practice match in the anime, Hanamichi was being all high and mighty that I wanted to bash my head against something, I couldn’t take it anymore. Resulting in me dropping the anime, instantly. When Hanamichi doesn’t have a voice he is a lot easier to deal with.
Interestingly enough as the story progressed (in the manga anyway), you really started to see Hanamichi change. Eventually, I started to see him grow into a real basketball player and appreciate even the simple basics of a sport he initial only joined because of a girl. He learned to use his natural talents for his benefit and in 4 short months started to actually look like a basketball player. Also, thank god, for that haircut. His hair was way too flashy even for a delinquent.
One of the things I was a little disappointed about was Rukawa’s and Hanamichi’s relationship. I was expecting a lot more development in that front. I was expecting a Kagami and Kuroko team up. That did not happen but their relationship did get better. Those two are more the rival type. They egg each other on and even if they piss each other off, they trust each other as team mates or at least that’s what I would like to believe. Those two were difficult to deal with. Even I had moments where I was like really? Your being like this now? At such a critical moment, you should be helping each other out.
I did not end up being a Rukawa fan girl. I personally could not see the appeal to Rukawa especially with his shitty personality. As much as Hanamichi pissed me off, I could totally relate to him. His fiery nature and his desire to become better. I definitely wanted to cheer him on and see him beat Rukawa.
I personally got really excited when I was reading the games though I was surprised there weren’t more Slam Dunks considering that’s what the manga is called.
Hanamichi started basketball because of the girl he liked but ended up falling in love with basketball instead and I am so grateful he didn’t end up confessing. The series honestly would have been ruined for me if that’s what had happened as, that was his only real concern in the beginning.
First of all, I'm not a basketball player so my opinions on this would be from a more non-basketball accuracy manga reader. However, most if not all of the content look really accurate, especially with the manga reader being a long time basketball player.
As much as the story is realistic, with amazing detail and art, sometimes going frame by frame of how the basketball players play, as well as the story focusing on Sakuragi Hanamichi and the Sohoku team of how they progress, there is still some "too remarkable moments", especially early on.
This is pretty amazing already, given how most sports mangas like to
perform "Giant Killing" using underdogs using a lot of willpower and/or strategy to blow away the rest of the teams/competitors. It's quite amazing how the story flows smoothly as well, given that there are multiple complications, climaxes and comedy. There is hardly one part of the manga that seems out of place, and from start to end as reality is, there are good times and bad times.
I would give 12 if I could, the art is just amazing, especially at various points of the last chapters, where there were a lot of different tones and styles used to highlight certain areas, and detailed skillful drawing of various basketball moves, facial expressions, background and so on.
This is another selection I would like to point out, the character characteristics and backstories of some characters are incredibly explored. However, for the few main characters (5 + 1 actually), a few of them were only touched on surface and there is still little understanding of how the "incredible rookie" could possibly be so incredible, aside from talent, a term which I believe every sports manga tries to exploit.
Still, the amazing portion of the characters might be character development, as we watch how the various characters grow through their toughest periods inside games, as well as what we can learn from their "experiences".
I would give a 11 if I could. The emotional rollercoaster and growing potential of both the home team and competitor team alike gives great pleasure to the reader, very much like how I enjoyed reading "Zatch Bell". It is where you will not be able to predict much of what will happen next and the suspense hangs thick in the end due to improvements during battles/matches on both sides.
All in all, this manga is amazing, furthermore I had read that Slam Dunk was a manga that popularised basketball in Japan. This is amazing, since this meant that when it was starting, basketball is actually not a hot topic, but the manga managed to catch on to several volumes and even influenced culture.
This sport manga about basketball is truly a classic. I watched the anime the first time back in 2010. Then I decided to read the manga in all one go. Here, I'm writing this review after 3 years. I have read this manga 4-5 times already. As I said, it's a classic. It never gets old! And once you start, you cannot stop on reading. The manga is better than the anime, as the pacing for the anime is quite slow, but it is also good watch.
Of course, this story is about a man name Sakuragi Hanamichi who is a delinquent and
plays basketball all because of one girl. She, obviously likes his supposedly rival. As the story goes on, his love for basketball grows more and more. Turning his attention more than just a game to get Haruko to like him. The story seems like it's been done before right? This was one of the earliest basketball mangas so I can't say it's cliche, but this manga has charm to it. Though it contains aspect of expected scenes, little scenes and parts to it make it up.
Art: 9/10 .
So, the art for this manga is good. I love how when they get serious, the art gets real nice. It shows lot of the emotions being carry out by the players. Also, especially to the chibi drawings. It really brings out the comedy effect when it needs to show that.
I love Sakuragi's character growth in here. From being a childish newbie player to a more refined player who appreciates and enjoy basketball. How his character is from scratch to someone important or find some kind of value in life. I just love this kind of growth in characters. But also, tensai sakuragi's funny comments and his personality. The characters in here really stand out and has realistic feeling to them.
As much as I like this manga, some parts were quite long. But then each time something amazing happens, it never fails to. It really keeps you going and next thing, you're done with the manga. XD
Overall, 9/10. No need to say more, what's been said above told it all.
I'm so happy to see so many reviews with such good vibes regard to this manga, it really makes me happy cus i just finished this like a week ago and i felt like crying when i got to the end, it was just too good, man. I initially started watching the anime, but i wanted more so here i am.
Basketball itself is such a beautiful sport, i mean, my dad used to play it and he told me all the rules about this, do's & dont's, but i didn't pay attention that much and i regret so bad i didn't play it too.
The fact that i found this manga it made me love basketball even more.
The characters are so well constructed, each one with a different personality, especially the main ones, though my fav is mitsui; i just liked his character development, from good to bad to good again and being so strong mentally and physically. With his perfect 3points shooting, miyagi's agillity, the "ace" rukawa, akagi's desperate wish of winning, and our sakuragi who makes the most unexpected moves, manteining the team all together. Sakuragi evolved also as a character so much, he focused on basketball more and more and, i don't know if you guys noticed, but his appearance resembles michael jordan so much, even more after he shaved his hair. And not to forget his best friends who stayed with him when he was letdown and supported him. Best gang ever. Also all those chibi moments in anime and manga were damn funny, haha.
I must say that the art in this manga is just incredible, with a fine lineart, well contured and those shadowy parts just took my attention, made me see all these details every chapter offered me. Bless the artist. Inoue Takehiko's art it's just perfect.
After i finished SD, i started reading Vagabond, and everytime the main character is shown (Musashi), all i see is Sakuragi with long dark hair and his sword in his hand. Both of them have aprox. like, the same face's features and resemble each other so well. The artist leaves easily his signature in all his main characters. Takehiko work's in general just catches your attention instantly.
Overall, if you're into this sport, i say go ahead and give this a chance, cus it really deserves. I reccomend this to all basketball lovers and those who will probably be.