This is one of the coolest and most frustrating things I've ever read. And this series loves to leave me hanging. This volume has one of the worst endings ever.
The entire volume was the practice game - well, that, and Sakuragi being a dummy, as usual. I swear, every time I read another volume of this series it's like rediscovering stupidity in a whole new form. I'm just not capable of remembering that he's this dumb.
Am I cheering for him and his team? Absolutely. But still.
Oh, and I've decided that I love Rukawa. I've been indifferent to him so far because he was nasty to Haruko at the beginning, and because he always has the same expression on his face...but now I love him. People hit Sakuragi over the head and yank on his ears all the time, (and wow, does he deserve it), but Rukawa is the first person who actually gave Sakuragi a good kick. And when he told him to stop playing around...yeah, Rukawa is awesome. And I love that he's not perfect, he actually is good at what he does, but he makes mistakes, too. I wish he hadn't been rude to Haruko, though.
And I just love Sendoh. He's adorable. I was expecting a big, evil brute or something, but he's sweet. I want to cheer for the Ryonan team just because he's on it, even though everyone else I love is with Shohoku.
I'd probably keep ranting about this stuff for a long time, so it's lucky I need to leave now. And before I leave I'm going to say a quick little (hopeless) prayer that Sakuragi doesn't mess up in the next volume.