Kicking it Old School: Slam Dunk

Today on Kicking it Old School, I'm covering a legendary sports manga/anime that changed a generation. That title is Takehiko Inoue's Slam Dunk.

Slam Dunk is about a young delinquent that goes by the name of Hanamichi Sakuragi. In his middle school days, he was consider to be one of most dangerous around. Now that he's in high school, he is know for his troubled past and two physical features, he is very tall and he's a natural redhead. One day, he falls in love with a beautiful girl, her name is Haruko Akagi. Upon their first meeting, Haruko sees Hanamichi and thinks he's a basketball player. Since Hanamichi wants to impress Haruko, he goes along with it and tries and horribly fail at making a slam dunk. Even after he embarrassed himself, Haruko is mesmerized due to how high he can jump and thinks he's the savior of the school's basketball team. Hanamichi ends up joining Shohoku basketball team.

This is a well paced series with amazing character development. Every character is written as an actual individual and not some stereotype. Hanamichi is naturally talented at basketball but he's not some genius who knows every move possible. He slowly learns the game and improves his skills. Each basketball game is unpredictable on the first watch, you will be on the edge of your seat wondering if Shohoku will pull it off.

Slam Dunk's legacy pretty big. When the manga was being released in Weekly Shonen Jump, it was extremely popular. This series made basketball popular with the youth of Japan in the 90's. This series was also pretty popular with the ladies and many yaoi ero doujin were based on it. With such success, controversy is expected. Inoue was accused of plagiarism because some of the action scene in the manga were exactly the same as the photography in some American basketball cards. Inoue said it was a tribute to the sport he loves and it shows. If you noticed, Shokoku's home and away basketball uniforms are the same design as his favorite American basketball team, the Chicago Bulls.

If you want to watch it, the anime series is 101 episodes long and it follows the story until the high school district tournament arch. You can watch it for free on Hulu. As the manga, Viz Media is releasing it and as of right now, 17 out of the 31 volumes are currently out. I highly recommend this because it has a great human story. Hell, I hate sports and I find sports anime to be boring but I enjoyed every minute this anime. So, what are your opinions on Slam Dunk?

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blogger by Daniel Mercedes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


Danny Choo

Sankaku Complex

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