Slam Dunk (manga)
First volume of the Jump Comics edition
|Genre||Sports, Comedy, Drama|
|Written by||Takehiko Inoue|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Jump|
|Original run||1990 – 1996|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Nobutaka Nishizawa|
|Network||TV Asahi, Animax Japan|
|Original run||October 16, 1993 – March 23, 1996|
|Directed by||Nobutaka Nishizawa|
|Released||March 12, 1994|
|Conquer the Nation, Hanamichi Sakuragi!|
|Directed by||Toshihiko Arisako|
|Released||July 20, 1994|
|Shohoku's Greatest Challenge!|
|Directed by||Hiroyuki Kakudō|
|Released||March 12, 1995|
|Howling Basketman Spirit!!|
|Directed by||Masayuki Akihi|
|Released||July 15, 1995|
Slam Dunk (Japanese: スラムダンク Hepburn: Suramu Danku?) is a sports-themed manga series written and illustrated by Takehiko Inoue about a basketball team from Shōhoku High School. It was serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump in Japan from 1990 to 1996 and was also been adapted into an anime series by Toei Animation which had been broadcast worldwide, enjoying much popularity particularly in Japan, several other Asian countries and Europe. As of 2012, Slam Dunk had sold 120 million copies in Japan alone, making it one of the best-selling manga series in history. Inoue later used basketball as a central theme in two subsequent manga titles: Buzzer Beater and Real. In 2010, Inoue received special commendations from the Japan Basketball Association for helping popularize basketball in Japan.
Hanamichi Sakuragi is a delinquent outcast and leader of a gang. Sakuragi, being very unpopular with girls, has been rejected by them 50 times. In his first year at Shohoku High School, he finds out that Haruko Akagi is the girl of his dreams, and is happy when she is not scared of him like all the other girls he has asked out.
Haruko Akagi, who recognizes Sakuragi's athleticism, introduces him to the Shohoku basketball team. Sakuragi was reluctant to join the team at first because he had no previous background in any sports and thought that basketball was a game for losers (also because the 50th girl rejected him for a basketball player). Sakuragi, despite his immaturity and hot temper, proves to be a natural athlete with potential and joins the team in order to impress Haruko and prove that he is worthy of her. Later on, Sakuragi realizes that his love for the sport equals that of his crush on Haruko. Kaede Rukawa — Sakuragi's bitter rival (both on the basketball court and love, even when Rukawa doesn't acknowledge Haruko's crush on him), the star rookie and a "girl magnet" — joins the team at the same time. Hisashi Mitsui, an ex-junior high school MVP, and Ryota Miyagi, a short but fast player, both also rejoin the team and together these four struggle to complete team captain Takenori Akagi's dream of making Shohoku the national champion. Together, these misfits gain publicity and the once little known Shohoku basketball team becomes an all-star contender in Japan.
Inoue became inspired to make Slam Dunk as he liked basketball since his high school years. After Inoue started Slam Dunk, he became surprised while receiving letters from readers that they started playing the sport due to the manga. His editor even told him "basketball was a taboo in this world." Due to these letters, Inoue decided he wanted to draw better basketball games in the series. With the series, Inoue wanted to demonstrate the feelings from an athlete such as their thoughts when they win, lose or improve at their sport. When he started making Vagabond, he noted that when he was doing Slam Dunk he had a simpler perspective on life as he focused more in victories and success.
With the series, Inoue wants the readers to feel achievements as well as love for the sport. Thinking that his success as a manga artist being largely due to basketball, Inoue organized a Slam Dunk Scholarship for Japanese students as he wanted to give back to the sport by increasing its popularity in Japan. However, when asked about the response from readers to basketball, Inoue commented that although Slam Dunk is technically a basketball manga, its story could have been done with other sports such as soccer. He also added that the artwork for the manga was very typical and mangalike in comparison to his newer works such as Real. His experiences with basketball also influenced the story from Slam Dunk: as a youth Inoue started playing basketball to be popular with the girls, but later became interested with the sport in and of itself. This was mirrored in the character of Hanamichi Sakuragi, who starts playing basketball to be popular with the girl he likes, to later become truly fond of the game.
The series was originally published in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump since the issue 40 from 1990 until the issue 27 from 1996. The 276 individual chapters were originally collected in 31 tankōbon editions under Shueisha's Jump Comics imprint, with the first volume being published on February 8, 1991 and volume 31 on October 3, 1996. It was later reassembled in 24 kanzenban volumes under Shueisha's JUMP Comics Deluxe imprint from March 19, 2001 to February 2, 2002.
In North America, an English version of Slam Dunk was published by the now-defunct Gutsoon! Entertainment, which serialized the title in their manga anthology Raijin Comics from 2002 to 2004. Five collected volumes were published under Gutsoon's Raijin Graphic Novels imprint. They were released from July 2, 2003 until May 5, 2004. After Gutsoon! went out of business, the license for the Slam Dunk was purchased by Viz Media, which published a preview of the series in the December 2007 issue of the North American edition of Shonen Jump. Slam Dunk began serialization in the magazine, starting with the May 2008 issue, as well as in tankōbon format with the first being published on September 2, 2008. As of June 8, 2013, Viz has published 29 volumes of their translated edition.
In 2004, Inoue produced an epilogue titled Slam Dunk: 10 Days After, which was drawn on 23 chalkboards in the former campus of the now-defunct Misaki High School located in the Kanagawa Prefecture, which was held for public exhibition from December 3 to December 5. The epilogue, along with coverage of the event, was reprinted in the February 2005 issue of Switch magazine.
The anime series, consisting of 101 episodes, was produced by the TV Asahi terrestrial television network and Toei Animation and directed by Nobutaka Nishizawa. It was first aired on TV Asahi from October 16, 1993 to March 23, 1996. It was later aired on the anime satellite television network, Animax, in addition to four animated movies produced. The anime series follows the manga storyline, but leaves out the National Tournament games. Toei compiled the episodes into a series of seventeen DVDs which were released in Japan from December 10, 2004 to May 21, 2005. Toei once again collected the series in three DVD boxes during 2008. All the three boxes have a total of seventeen discs.
Toei and Geneon briefly chose to release the anime on DVD after the manga was discontinued, though the anime was also discontinued after only a few volumes. The first DVD was released on March 15, 2005 and the volume 4 was the last one released on June 14, 2005 before they were cancelled. Various episodes from the series were also downloadable in IGN's Direct2Drive service. Toei is currently streaming episodes of the series on-line for a fee and for free through Crunchyroll. Joost also started airing all the 101 as of May 2009 on their website. Each episode is in Japanese, with English subtitles.
The music was composed by Takanobu Masuda (from episode 1 to episode 69) and BMF (from episode 70 to episode 101). Three CD soundtracks were published during the airing of the series in Japan. The openings, ending and other two themes were collected into the CD soundtrack The Best of TV Animation Slam Dunk, released on July 21, 2003.
Four films were produced by Toei Animation from 1994 to 1995 while the manga and TV series were still running. They contain largely new material that is either only hinted at or is not presented in the manga. From August 1 to 4, 2006, NHK broadcast all four movies as part of its satellite networks NHK BS-2's Summer Anime Choice line-up, and TV Osaka aired the last three movies from January 3 to 8, 2007. All the films were collected into a DVD box named Slam Dunk The Movie which was released on December 10, 2004.
The first film, simply titled Slam Dunk, premiered on March 12, 1994. Set after Shohoku's practice game against Ryonan, the film focuses on a practice game against Takezono High. Before the game, Sakuragi runs into Yoko Shimura, the girl who rejects him in the very first scene of the series, and Oda, the basketball player she rejected him for. Zenkoku Seiha da! Sakuragi Hanamichi,[a] released on July 9, 1994, is the second film from the series. It happens during Shohoku's 4th Round Qualifying game against Tsukubu High. The film features original characters including Godai, an old friend of Akagi and Kogure's, Rango, a wild show-off who is in love with Haruko and quarrels with Sakuragi, and Coach Kawasaki, a former pupil of Anzai-sensei. Shohoku Saidai no Kiki! Moero Sakuragi Hanamichi[b] was released on March 4, 1995. Set after Shohoku's loss to Kainan, and during a practice match against Ryokufu High. Hoero Basukettoman Tamashii!! Hanamichi to Rukawa no Atsuki Natsu,[c] which was released one June 15, 1995, tells that Rukawa's middle school kouhai Ichiro Mizusawa will be paralyzed soon and wishes to have one last game against Rukawa.
Numerous video games based on the series, mostly developed by Banpresto and produced by Bandai, have been published for the Japanese market. Two basketball sims titled Slam Dunk Gakeppuchi no Kesshō League[d] and Slam Dunk 2 were released for the Game Boy. The Super Famicom had three games, Slam Dunk: Shi Tsuyo Gekitotsu,[e] Slam Dunk 2: IH Yosen Kanzenban!!,[f] and SD Heat Up!!. Slam Dunk games have also been released for the Game Gear, Mega Drive, and Sega Saturn. A Slam Dunk coin-operated arcade game by Banpresto was released in 1995. Characters of the series also appear in the Nintendo DS games Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars.
Slam Dunk has more than 120 million copies in Japan as of 2013, making it Weekly Shōnen Jump's fifth best-selling manga series. In 1995, it received the 40th Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen. The success of Slam Dunk is cited as an influence in the increased popularity of basketball among the Japanese youth during the 1990s. In a poll of over 79,000 Japanese fans for the 10th Japan Media Arts Festival, Slam Dunk was voted the #1 manga of all time. The English translation of Slam Dunk was listed one of the best comics of 2008 by Publishers Weekly. In a survey from Oricon in 2009, Slam Dunk ranked first as the manga that fans wanted to be turned into a live-action film. In the Japanese government's Media Arts 100 Poll of the public's favorite works of art of all time, Slam Dunk took first place in the manga division. The imprint version of Slam Dunk: 10 Days After has been highly popular in Japan, having initially ranked 6th and then 15th in a ranking of Japanese comics.
The anime adaptation has also been very popular in Japan. In TV Asahi's Top 100 Anime show, Slam Dunk ranked as the 10th most popular anime. In another poll from TV Asashi but developed by a website, the series ranked 8th. The DVD boxes from the anime also had a good sale in Japan, having appeared in rankings from Japanese Animation DVD Ranking.
- J. R. Sakuragi — Japanese-American basketball player who coincidentally shares Sakuragi's name
- Marc Pingris — Filipino basketball player known as the Pinoy "Sakuragi"
- Kung Fu Dunk
- 全国制覇だ! 桜木花道, lit. "Conquer the Nation, Hanamichi Sakuragi!"
- 湘北最大の危機! 燃えろ桜木花道, lit. "Shohoku's Greatest Challenge! Burning Hanamichi Sakuragi"
- 吠えろバスケットマン魂!! 花道と流川の熱き夏, lit. "Howling Basketman Spirit!! Hanamichi and Rukawa's Hot Summer"
- スラムダンクがけっぷちの決勝リーグ Gakeppuchi no Kesshō Rīgu
- スラムダンク 四強激突!! Suramu Danku
- スラムダンク2 IH予選完全版!! Suramu Danku: : IH Yosen Kanzenban!! Shi Tsuyo Gekitotsu
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- "映画 アニメ SLAM DUNK 吠えろバスケットマン魂！！花道と流川の熱き夏" [Theatrical Anime: Slam Dunk Howling Basketman Spirit!! Hanamichi and Rukawa's Hot Summer] (in Japanese). AllCinema Movie & DVD Database. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
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- Slam Dunk at Shueisha (Japanese)
- Slam Dunk at Toei Animation
- Slam Dunk (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Slam Dunk (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia