Anyone who knows me really well will be surprised/disbelieving when I say this, but....
These first two volumes of this series are some of my favorite things ever. Seriously. I know it's sports. I knoooooow. But I haven't laughed this much in a long time. Every single page is just hilarious - the kind of hilarious where your ribs start cracking and you start crying and you can't even breathe because you're laughing so hard.
Sakuragi is maybe the biggest idiot ever. I mean, I've read books where some characters had no brains, but Sakuragi does have one. It just....goes in circles. And walks on walls. And stands on its head.....a lot. His brain doesn't work right, okay? And he's the exact kind of moron I should hate, because he's childish and selfish and violent and he never, ever thinks a thing through before he does it. Also, he totally fell for insta-love. But for some bizarre reason, I love him. I actually care whether or not he does well on the basketball team, and even when he's being really stupid (even for him) and I'm cheering for the other guys, I still care whether or not he succeeds.
And I love Haruko. She's got to be my favorite, she's just so perfect. And yes, she can be stupid too, but come on, what person is never stupid? She makes up for that in a million different ways, and like Sakuragi, even when she's being stupid she's awesome. She makes me laugh. (Also, the top of her head barely reaches her brother's elbow-height when they stand next to each other. Good grief, poor girl. Growing up with a behemoth can't be easy.)
Oh, and I'm convinced that her brother actually does like Sakuragi. He wouldn't fly into so many rages when Sakuragi messes up, if he didn't care. It's a friendship/hatred/rivalry/haha-I'm-better-than-you thing that I don't think I, as a female, will ever understand. But it's so funny and adorable to watch it from a safe distance.
I love them all, though. Even Rukawa, as rude and cold as he is, he's cool. And he's the one I thought I would dislike.
Here's a tip: if you ever need to smile or you just feel like snapping a few ribs laughing, read this. It'll make your day. Trust me.