The sheer amount of excitement and anticipation I had while watching and reading this series is more than I’ve had for any since I can remember. Slam Dunk was released in 1990 and ran to 1996 in Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump and later was released as a animated series by Toei Animation. As of 2012, Slam Dunk had sold over 120 million copies in Japan alone, becoming one of the highest selling manga’s of all time. That is especially impressive given the fact that it is a sports anime, but during the time it was released, basketball had been flourishing in Japan.
Slam Dunk is about a high school freshman named Hanamichi Sakuragi. He always had a hard time with girls, however he meets Haruko Akagi that shows him interest and she convinces him to join the basketball team due to his height being around 6’2, and he profound athleticism. He later meets Takenori Akagi, the basketball teams captain, and beats him in a challenge even though Sakuragi has absolutely no previous basketball experience. He then joins the basketball team and meets Kaede Rukawa, who is the teams star and ends up becoming Sakuragi’s rival. Later through several unfortunate events he meets Ryota Miyagi, the teams phenomenal point guard, and Hisashi Mitsui, a former high school MVP, and renown 3 point shooter. Together this group of characters become a formidable force in high school basketball in the country of Japan and surprise the whole nation.
This series is amazingly exciting. Every game shown seems to be an exhilarating nail biter and has you itching to keep reading or watching, whatever your preferred choice. Another great thing is that every character has a great amount of individual time on screen so you aren’t left wondering anything about each characters background, even to some extent the opposing teams players. There are a few problems with this series however. It seems like the author Takehiko Inoue didn’t know much about the rules about basketball. During the anime, there are several scenes where the referees will call a blocking or charging fouls when its a reach in foul, or the the refs will call charging against a player, and if you know anything about basketball you know its the wrong call. However this was on the anime, not the manga so with the manga you may not have this issue. Another thing is the anime doesn’t cover the whole series leaving out the national tournament, however this is easily fixed by just picking up the manga. Lastly, and most importantly, the black character in the series name Akagi, is called Gorilla. A bit racist, however for now I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt since I don’t know if the Japanese know this is a racist term in the United States. However it would have been nice if the US section of Shonen Jump and Toei Animation changed this to something else to prevent little kids from being exposed to this.
Overall, if you can ignore those little things, which is feasible, this is a very enjoyable series and a breath of fresh air that I feel any fan of anime and manga can get into.
Slam Dunk: 9.25/10
Read Slam Dunk HERE
Watch Slam Dunk HERE
-Ashtin D’Motta | @rebelDMotta
Find us here: