It all comes down to the final two minutes between Shohoku High School vs. Ryonan High School. Winner of this match gets an entry in the National tournament. And what a nail-biter this volume turned out to be in vol. 21 of Takehiko Inoue’s “Slam Dunk”!
If you love basketball, you will love “Slam Dunk”!
Volume 21 similar to the last eight volumes captures the thrill of competitive high school basketball through its pages with an attention of detail by Takehiko Inoue on basketball from player fatigue, foul’s, strategy, you name it… you will find it in this latest volume.
The last volume showed how a team can mount a comeback and the strategy that was needed to make that comeback. Volume 21 shows us how the unknown players from the bench can easily disrupt the game by surprising players not familiar of them. In this case, first-year student and Shohoku hothead (prone to making many mistakes) Hanamichi Sakuragi and the usually on the bench, Kiminobu Kogure.
This volume also shows us the agony of defeat as some of the players are seniors and what happens when it all comes to an end. This final volume also begins to prep the readers to some of the other teams and their team members who advanced to the finals.
With that being said, reading this volume will go quickly because the illustration do take up a big part of the pages versus dialogue but if you appreciate basketball and Takehiko Inoue’s work, you know that this style works and the efficacy of competition of competitive high school basketball is captured amazingly well.
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, the offensive and defensive stances to how the players penetrate the perimeter and score. He also doesn’t step back when it comes to capturing the players during competition. He fully includes detail of profuse sweating and the fatigue a player goes through from start to finish.
Overall, “Slam Dunk” is an enjoyable manga series and if you are a basketball fan, “Slam Dunk” is definitely recommended!