By Leroy Douresseaux
March 12, 2012 - 17:40
|Slam Dunk Volume 20 cover image is courtesy of Anime Castle Books.|
Rated “T” for “Teen”
Do the players on the Shohoku Prefecture High School basketball team have the dedication and discipline it takes to be the best? Takenori Akagi, captain and starting center, dreams of making it to the finals of Nationals, but, as a senior, this is his last shot at a championship. Shohoku has hotshot freshmen, like superstar Kaede Rukawa and basketball novice, Hanamichi Sakuragi, but each, in his own way, is a problem child.
This is it – the Prefectural Tournament – the next step to Nationals. As Slam Dunk, Vol. 20 (entitled Shohoku’s Collapse) opens, it is the last quarter of the Prefectural Tournament game between Shohoku and Ryonan High School. The winner moves on to Nationals. Even with their Coach Anzai in the hospital after collapsing and with Akagi suffering from an ankle injury, Shohoku has built a formidable lead in the fourth quarter. With the return of their two kings, however, Ryonan starts working on a comeback.
THE LOWDOWN: I read this 20th volume of the Slam Dunk manga while watching an NBA game, Lakers over Celtics (Go Lakers!) and, later, the wall to wall to wall to wall coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Sunday. No, I don’t do brackets.
As I’ve written so many times, reading Slam Dunk is similar to watching an NCAA or NBA basketball game. I feel the excitement of an impending big game. I swear that this comic book seems to move – at least when I read it. Even the character moments have an energy to them, as if they’re about to jump off the page and start living. I give my copies of Slam Dunk to my nephew, who loves to play organized sports, and he loves to read Slam Dunk. As a good read, it is indeed a slam dunk.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers looking for a great sports manga or comic book will find that in Slam Dunk, which will also entertain teens and older readers.