Slam Dunk Vol. #12 -

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: 192
  • ISBN: 9781421528670
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Slam Dunk

Slam Dunk Vol. #12

Slam Dunk Vol. #12 Manga Review

By Ben Leary     April 21, 2011
Release Date: October 05, 2010

Slam Dunk Vol. #12
© Viz Media

Shohoku's opponent puts Sakuragi where he can do the least amount of harm: the foul line.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Takehiko Inoue

What They Say
The final four teams that will play in the round-robin tournament have been decided, and Shohoku's one of them. However, Shohoku's next opponent is Kainan, and they're known as the "Kings" for good reason - they've made it to Nationals sixteen years in a row. Ever since he joined Shohoku, Akagi has dreamed of playing Kainan. His wish is about to come true, but is it one he'll soon be regretting?

The Review</B>

Another volume, another game in Shohoku's race to the prefectural championships. I can't tell you what a pleasure it's become to see each new installment of Slam Dunk arrive in the mail. I've been having a streak of bad luck with a lot of the books I choose; even books I was sure I'd like have been disappointing me recently. I'm experienced enough a reader to know that this is natural ebb and flow--it's all part of the game. Still, it's hard not to get down about it sometimes. The best fallback in periods like this is a surefire source of rousing entertainment. That's what Slam Dunk has become for me. No matter how disappointed I get with my reading choices, no matter what kind of weird mood I get into, an hour or two with Slam Dunk will always snap me right back to where I need to be.
I never get tired of saying (though you may be tired of hearing) how good Slam Dunk is at everthing it does. But what it does best is basketball, and that's as it should be. This volume has home court advantage. It's ALL basketball. And it's all good basketball. The fun of Slam Dunk, after the initial and quite obvious fun of reading it through for the first time and letting it dazzle you, is to go back and try to figure out just what makes it work so well. I went back and started comparing it with the games in earlier volumes. The more I thought about it, the more amazed I was by how different each game felt. Every game has a different dynamic. Every one of Shohoku's opponents plays differently. Even better, Shohoku plays a different game each time, having to counter the other team's strategy and exploit its weaknesses. The wrinkle this time is that the other team gets to exploit Shohoku's biggest weakness: our hero.
Sakuragi is right about calling himself a genius when it comes to rebounding, and maybe hustle too. Definitely in acting out. But there are plenty of other areas where he's, to use the currently polite word, "challenged". Well, Shohoku's finally come up against a coach with enough insight to see that the giant redhead with the big jump (and even bigger mouth) can't measure up in a lot of the game's most basic skills. The game threatens to turn into a rout. We've seen Shohoku hold off a rally--can they come up with one of their own? It's pure sports excitement, folks. It may get better than this, but if it does I haven't seen it.
And you know the best part? The game doesn't even get to halftime.
In Summary:
Slam Dunk started strong and has done nothing but impress me since. There may be smarter, or more artistic, or bigger-hyped series out there. I don't care. This is, simply put, the most downright invigorating series running. And that's worth a lot more in my book. Come to think of it, Slam Dunk even has real live basketball on its side. After the last two NCAA tournaments, nothing Inoue can come up with will look implausible. Whatever he does come up with, I can't wait to see. I know it's going to be fantastic. And you know the best part? We haven't even got to halftime.
This volume's overtime segment features ... no one! There are no extras included in this volume.


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