Can Rebound manga be the next Slam Dunk?

Nate scores his first Basket

The world of sports manga has been filled with a lot of big names, such as Slam Dunk, Haikyuu!!, Kuroko no Basket, Inazuma 11, etc. These series have set the standards for any other series to be considered good. The Rebound manga is a Shonen about Basketball, cropping up right next to one of the biggest names in the community. Does it have what it takes to become the next Slam Dunk?

Rebound Manga – What is it about?

Rebound Manga
Rebound Manga | Courtesy of Nishiyama Yuriko

Most athletes dream of fame and the money that comes with the sport, but a real athlete focuses on being the best at it. Nate Torres is his team’s benchwarmer, who always looks out for a chance to prove himself and hit it big. Unfortunately, he screws the only time he is ever given a chance and loses out on being a member of his High school Basketball Team. Down in the dumps, he takes his talent to the only place that would accept him now – the streets.

The manga was published in English by Tokyopop. It has finished publication and has 29 volumes in total. The first 9 volumes were published under the name of Harlem Beat, after which the series underwent rebranding, and volumes 12-29 were published under the name of Rebound. Volumes 10 and 11 were briefly summarized in the epilogues.

What makes it a candidate to be the next big name?

Being introduced to Street Basketball
Being introduced to Street Basketball | Courtesy of Nishiyama Yuriko

The series is a pure Shonen adventure of a boy following his passion for the first time in his life. The series holds the cake when it comes to a realistic portrayal of emotions. It is guilty of having a fantasy motivation that we wouldn’t really see in real life. However, there are countless other things that make up for it.

  • It is an old series and the art will reflect the time it was drawn in. Yet, the panels are one of the most well-drawn in the industry.
  • The story is engaging with well-paced challenges and interactions among its characters.
  • The story is not a mono-directional plot like Slam Dunk that focuses on youth basketball but also pays attention to the relationships an athlete has to foster.
  • The story perfectly portrays how it feels to always be sidelined. Losing all self-esteem the protagonist gave up the first time he really put an effort into the thing he liked, because he wasn’t good enough. If that doesn’t scream real, I don’t know what will.

The characters in this manga are visually pleasing as well as some of the most well-grounded characters in a sport series. Every one of them carries their weight, they fulfill the purpose they were introduced with. An idol stays an idol and acts out both how we perceive an idol to be like and how they really turn out to be.

The mentor acts as a mentor, without pushing into the life of his student, giving them their space and time to grow. This is the most realistic expression of a teacher ever in manga. Teachers understand the importance of letting their students find out the answer on their own. It adds to their growth and their understanding of self, allowing them to push their confidence to the skies.

Can it be the Next Big Thing?

The 3 Men's Hoop Basketball Court
The 3 Men’s Hoop Basketball Court | Courtesy of Nishiyama Yuriko

The manga is a very underrated series, with only 1,572 members in MyAnimeList. For it to really pop off, it needs to be acknowledged by a lot more people. It has the potential to crush its competition and rise to the skies, however, it really needs the limelight, or else, it will remain in the shadows as it has been so far.

A truly cruel fate that most potentially amazing series have to suffer through. However, with the recent trend of revisiting older works in the community, this series can make the comeback and should be able to pull off its weight in the industry, once again.

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