They were known as the 'Generation of Miracles' – five basketball prodigies who helped lead Teiko Middle School's basketball team to glory, defeating anyone who got in their way. But a mysterious rumor tells of a sixth, a phantom player who the five prodigies respected greatly. That boy is Tetsuya Kuroko, a freshman at Seirin High and the newest member of the basketball club. Alongside strong teammates such as Taiga Kagami, Kuroko will use his unique skills on the court to help the team defeat old rivals and make their way to the championships.
Both involve basketball and a main character who is constantly being underestimated. While Akatsuki goes through the trials of acceptance, Kuroko must face his friends-turned-opponents from the past. Both are a fantastic read. Akatsuki is more 'cute' while Kuroko is more 'cool'.
Twelve-year-old tennis prodigy Echizen Ryoma returns to Japan after winning back-to-back junior tennis championships in America. He enters the Seishun "Seigaku" Gakuen, one of the seeded schools in the tennis nationals. Despite still being a freshman, Ryoma manages to become a regular due the skills he acquired from constantly battling his father, Echizen Nanjirou, a professional tennis player. With the goal of winning the National Championship, the Seigaku team learns about friendship and teamwork and develops new and complex techniques. Along the way, Ryoma finds his own playing style and discovers the true meaning of tennis.
While one is about basketball and one is (obviously) about tennis, both involve a main character who is constantly being underestimated. Both are geniuses at their respective sports. PoT is quite a bit longer than Akatsuki but both offer a fantastic read for sports fans.
Sakuragi Hanamichi is a delinquent who's so unpopular with girls that he's been rejected fifty times. Haruko Akagi is the only girl who isn't scared of him; instead she's impressed with Sakuragi's athleticism and, convinced that he would do well, introduces him to the Shohoko basketball team. Desperate to impress Haruko and believing that she is the girl of his dreams, Sakuragi joins the team in spite of his initial reluctance. Surprisingly, Sakuragi is a natural at the sport regardless of his reputation for being hot-tempered and immature. From now on Sakuragi must work together with his teammates, including his rival Rukawa, to fulfill their captain's dream of winning the national championship. That is, if they have what it takes!
For fans of basketball mangas, these two are a must read. Slam Dunk is more of a classic treasure while Akatsuki is somewhat new. Both offer amazing effort put in by the characters in their quest to be recognized by their surroundings. Excellent reads and not to be missed for a basketball fan.