Hanamichi Sakuragi's no punk. Really. He's just a bit...misunderstood. In reality, he's a romantic who joins Shohoku High's basketball team to get closer to Haruko Akagi, a basketball-crazed fan whose big brother just so happens to be the team's captain. Despite his dubious reasons for starting basketball, Sakuragi finds out that he actually likes playing and wants to improve.
Although Sakuragi has no idea how to play basketball, his amazing physical skills, namely his insane jumping ability and height, means he has loads of potential, but there's one thing he lacks that might just hold him back—discipline.
Despite being a beginner, Sakuragi surprisingly picks up the game quickly through hard work and determination. His emergence, as well as that of superstar rookie Kaede Rukuwa, has put Shohoku High in the position to finally reach the National Tournament! Problem is, the one team standing in their way just so happens to be one of the strongest teams in Kanagawa—Ryonan. During their elimination match, Shohoku High builds a large lead heading into the final minutes of the match. However, they have two things working against them: foul trouble and lack of depth.
Shohoku can finally help their captain Takenori Akagi realize his dream of playing in the National Tournament, however, a rejuvenated Ryonan swings the momentum of the game and are making a furious last-minute charge. Shohoku High's lead is hanging by a thread, and their lack of big-game experience is starting to show. Can Sakuragi, Rukawa, Akagi, and company weather the storm? Or will it be another early exit for them?
This latest volume of Slam Dunk has some of the most emotionally touching scenes ever in manga. If you're not dabbing your eyes by the end of the do-or-die game between Shohoku and Ryonan, then you need to go see a heart doctor! There are touching moments, hilarious moments, and best of all, nail-biting moments that will have your fingers itching to turn the page as quickly as possible. Although Sakuragi's loud, brash, and a complete goof-ball, you can't help but cheer for him and his teammates. But whether or not your cheers turn into tears by the end of the match will have to wait until you read this incredible and legendary manga series by Takehiko Inoue!
by John Bae