Yep, Slam Dunk Is Still Good

I recently reread Slam Dunk for the first time as an adult. For context, the last time I read Slam Dunk – I was in high school and I graduated in 2013. It’s been awhile since I’ve picked up the series that I have always considered in my personal top 5. Saying that Slam Dunk is good is not a hot take. If you ask most manga readers, Slam Dunk is probably in their top 10. To this day, I still believe that it is probably the best thing to come out of Weekly Shonen Jump that’s not named One Piece. Reading Slam Dunk for the first time when I was 11 years old left a huge imprint on me. Slam Dunk was the first series that I ever got into that gave me the thrill of what reading a good manga would be like. I chase that feeling of sitting there for hours at a time just grinding out a series. And by the way, reading Slam Dunk at such a young age, definitely spoiled other stories for me. But reading it as an adult, it definitely hit differently. I cried multiple times through this recent reread. I don’t think that I’ve every cried so much from reading manga before. I think that as an adult, Slam Dunk reminded me of something that I’ve missed since becoming an adult working a 9-5. Slam Dunk ultimately is a series about passion and improvement, things that I have been sorely missing.
I used to have a lot of passion. But as you get older and start working, sometimes that passion starts to fade. Instead of spending time doing things that you enjoy and are passionate about, you spend your time doing things that you have to do like your job, taking care of others, or running errands. Even after work, when you’re tired, you don’t want to do anything but rest. You end up giving up on hobbies that you might have had in the past. From personal experience I can say that when you’re passionate about something, when you’re excited about some part of your life – life in general gets to be a lot of fun. I don’t have that right now. Reading Slam Dunk overwhelmed me with emotion. Reading about the passion that the Shohoku team had for the game of basketball and each other, made me realize how devoid of passion I am. I want to rekindle that passion damnit!

I read that Takehiko Inoue loved basketball in high school and it translated to several of his manga being about basketball. The existence of this series on its own is a show of passion. Maybe this is like some quarter life crisis – maybe I need to figure out what it is in life that will truly make me feel passion again. Obviously you don’t have to love your job with a burning passion – most people don’t. However I think that I myself need to find a goal in my life outside of just saving money because right now I really can’t tell you what I’m living for. I’m kind of just doing my best to get by. Like Sakuragi, I want to have that feeling that I will spend all night doing something if it means that it will get me closer to my goal. Like Rukawa I want to rise to the occasion and be relied on from others that need me. And like Akagi, I want to be level headed throughout the entire process, let it sink in, and make sure to count my blessings on the way out. I want to be passionate like them. Before this recent reread, it had been 8 years since I last read Slam Dunk, and yep – it’s still good.

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