By Leroy Douresseaux
April 3, 2010 - 13:20
|Slam Dunk Volume 9 is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com|
Rated “T” for “Teen”
This is the last year that the Shohoku Prefecture High School men’s basketball team can make captain and center, Takenori Akagi’s dream of reaching the finals come true. The team has the talent, but do they have the dedication and discipline to be the best? In fact, big redhead Hanamichi Sakuragi only joined the team to impress Akagi’s sister, Haruko.
As Slam Dunk, Vol. 9 (entitled A Team of Troubled Teens) opens, the big high school basketball tournament looms, but the aftermath of the brawl between Shohoku High players and the crew of Hisashi Mitsui threatens the team’s chances. Although Mitsui’s friends took the blame for the fight and Mitsui returned to the team, there still must be punishment. Mitsui, along with Hanamichi, Ryota Miyagi, and freshman phenom Kaede Rukawa are removed from the starting lineup. Can the rest of the team hold their own until the problem children serve their suspension?
[This volume’s “Slam Dunk Overtime” NBA player profile features Boston Celtics big man, Kevin Garnett.]
THE LOWDOWN: As a basketball fan, I can attest to the triple truth that reading Slam Dunk is like watching a riveting basketball. Manga-ka Takehiko Inoue also created the wheelchair basketball drama, Real. As good as Real is, it is the high school sports comedy, Slam Dunk, that really captures the speed, precision, fluid movement, and the sudden fury of a drive to the basket that are basketball. The fact that Inoue tells this story through the sequential visuals of graphic storytelling also attests to his power as a cartoonist. Slam Dunk is one of the world’s great comic books.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: There aren’t many better ways to top off March Madness than with a volume of Slam Dunk.