Slam Dunk Vol. #06 -

Manga Review

Mania Grade: A

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  • Art Rating: A+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translation Rating: A+
  • Age Rating: 13 and Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 196
  • ISBN: 978-1421519883
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Slam Dunk

Slam Dunk Vol. #06

Slam Dunk Vol. #06 Manga Review

By Ben Leary     April 05, 2010
Release Date: October 07, 2009

Slam Dunk Vol. #06
© Viz Media

The thrill of victory, or the agony of defeat?

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

What They Say
He tried to slam her with love, but she dunked his heart. R to L (Japanese Style). With just a minute remaining on the game clock, Shohoku still trails Ryonan by four points. Hoping to put this match away for good, Ryonan hands the ball to their ace Sendoh, but they make the fatal error of overlooking the incredibly erratic (and at times phenomenally talented) Hanamichi. With a shot block that sets up a clinching basket for superstar Kaede Rukawa, Shohoku still has a chance for the win, but have they already chewed up too much time in the process? Winning isn't everything in the game of basketball, but who wants to come in second? It takes dedication and discipline to be the best, and the Shohoku High hoops team wants to be just that. They have one last year to make their captain's dream of reaching the finals come true--will they do it? Takehiko Inoue's legendary beloved basketball manga is finally here and the tale of a lifetime is in your hands.

The Review!

Every now and then you run into a series that you can have absolute confidence in. The artist is so enamored with his subject, and so utterly in control of his material, that you get to a point where you simply know every volume will be a winner. Slam Dunk is the best current example of such a series that I can think of. Volume Six is here; and it is another volume of relentless excellence.
What is good about the first half of this volume is that same thing that's been good about the last two. Considering that they all cover the same basketball game, that's as expected. I don't have much to add. The man just knows how to draw a game of baskeball, that's all there is to it; I've already touched on why, and there's no use in repeating myself. The only new thing I can bring up is Inoue's expert tightening of the screws during the final minutes of the game. He does it with the usual technique of suspense: by slowing everything down and making you wait to find out what happens. At the same time, this is another manifestation of his gift of making the simple mechanics of the sport enhance his story. Inoue has, of course, good dramatic reasons for drawing out the suspense at the end of the game. But that's how a close game plays out at the end. There always comes a time in the last couple of minutes when the game becomes a matter of critical blow and counter-blow, where the clock is your friend on one possession, and your enemy on the next. Inoue has a sure hand in this aspect of basketball as in every other. He milks it for all it's worth - and that turns out to be quite a lot.
Inoue is even good with the post-game emotions and sizing up of the experience, but I'd rather let you find out how that goes for yourself. The second half of the book feels like a return, and that's how it should be. It doesn't matter how much you're into a sport: once the game's over, you've got to go back to your day to day life. In the context of Slam Dunk, this means going back to the bruising brawls and sitcomish (but far from routine) school comedy that made up most of the first three volumes. Nothing's been lost in the meantime. Sakuragi buys some new basketball shoes, finds himself in the middle of a fight, gets back into the swing of practice, and meets a new team member that's coming off the DL - and who may be even more of a problem child than Sakuragi is. It's all a blast, and the promise of great things to come.
In Summary:
If there's a current series more fun than Slam Dunk, I haven't found it yet. This is a brilliant mix of comedy, sports action, drama, and even a little light romance, with all the personality you could want, and a lot more than you would expect - all brought together in the same package and drawn the way only a superstar talent could do it. I just can't get enough. If you haven't given this fantastic manga a try yet, get with the program.
This volume's overtime segment features a rundown on Miami shooting guard Dwane Wade, and an overview of the fast break.


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