Slam Dunk 2 by Takehiko Inoue: B+

Volume two of Slam Dunk sure has been a long time coming! When we left off in volume one, hot-headed Sakuragi had grown frustrated with fundamentals training and quit the team. We pick up the story with Sakuragi regretting his decision, and he soon returns to practice after quickly polishing off a thug who’d been spoiling for a fight.

Although Sakuragi is still as clueless and boastful as before, he’s slightly less annoying than he used to be because he is starting to become interested in the sport more for its own sake than as a way to secure Haruko’s affections. Like a good shonen hero, his rate of improvement exceeds everyone’s expectations and he manages to impress the coach during an intra-team practice match despite needing to learn a special lesson about the value of teamwork.

The supporting cast gets a little more attention in this volume, most notably Assistant Captain Kogure and the team manager, Ayako, though they’re mostly relegated to reacting to the actions of others’ and/or calling out the names of moves like “Fly swatter!” The intra-team match is the highlight of the volume, giving readers an idea of how cool an actual game will be once the story advances that far. I’m personally looking forward to it!

Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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