Slam Dunk Vol. #11 (Mania.com)

By:Ben Leary
Review Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Release Date: Tuesday, August 03, 2010

A new player on the court turns the game around.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Takehiko Inoue
Translation: Joe Yamazaki
Adaptation: Kelly Sue DeConnick

What They Say
Shoyo's ace, Fujima, drops himself into the lineup and quickly helps his team retake the lead from Shohoku, and despite struggling with fatigue, Mitsui stays on the floor as well. Realizing that they are the keys to winning the game, coach Anzai focuses on both Mitsui's scoring finesse and Hanamichi's monstrous rebounding, but with only five minutes left on the game clock, Shohoku will need to deliver, and fast.

Which player will ignite the spark that will carry Shohoku on to victory? And does Mitsui have enough stamina left to hit some crucial three-pointers? 

The Review
Beginning as it does in the second half of the Shoyo game, this volume of Slam Dunk wasted no time getting me back into the frame of mind for some great sports action. From the very first page the book roars to life and never lets up. We get the thundering rebounds, the big threes from outside, the steals, the height vs. quickness matchups, the terrible, stupid fouls (courtesy of Hanamichi), and the rim-racking dunks. It's pure basketball this time, and I couldn't be happier.
 
One of the things I just love about Slam Dunk is that Inoue knows the game so well. He has a great feel for the kind of things that can unexpectedly change the course of a big game. It's done without stunts or any kind of headwear-based rabbit extraction, if you see what I mean. Inoue is too good a writer, and knows the game too well, to need any of those. One of the things that's always a turning point is when you force your opponent to alter his game to keep up with you. The rest of the game usually comes down to whether or not he can find a way to hold you down and get back in his groove. Here the X factor is the opposing team's player-coach. The big lead that Shohoku earned with its first half play has pulled him off the bench, which means Hanamichi and co. have a very different style of game ahead of them. The other team's height will wear them down more and more as the game goes on - and if one of their big guys fouls out, it means losing their inside presence. Couple that with the fact that their best man on the outside is out of shape from being absent from basketball for so long, and you've got an increasingly dire situation. We've seen Shohoku come back from deficits before;this time they have to hold back a rising tide.
 
In Summary:
You can't ask for much more excitement than this volume of Slam Dunk gives you. I can't help but think of all those big end-of-the-world stories where the planet is in danger and humanity's existence is on the line, and then wonder why those seem so much less important to me than a group of high-schoolers trying to advance to the next round of their prefectural tournament. It all comes down to the way it's done, I guess. And Slam Dunk is done about as well as it could be. If you haven't tried this yet, you're really missing out.
 
This volume's overtime segment features Dwight Howard and the various skills involved in playing center.


Mania Grade: A+
Art Rating: A+
Packaging Rating: A-
Text/Translation Rating: A+
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781421528663
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Slam Dunk