The Legendary Sports Anime Makes A Sudden Return

On January 7th, an anime movie adaptation of Takehiko Inoue’s basketball manga, Slam Dunk, was announced from his personal Twitter account. The sudden announcement from the author came as a shock to many fans.

The official Twitter account of the new movie links to the teaser website as one fan replies, “I have waited 25 years. I’m looking forward to it!!”

The original anime was started back in 1993 and finished in 1996 with 101 episodes. Upon the announcement, both a movie teaser website as well as an official Twitter account under the name @moive_slamdunk were created.

Slam Dunk’s Influence and Legacy

Slam Dunk
An official artwork poster by Takehiko Inoue.

After 25 years since the last adaptation, long-time fans of the series cannot contain their excitement. Author Takehiko Inoue’s manga was so popular during its run in the 90s, and he even received special commendations from the Japan Basketball Association in 2010 for helping to popularize basketball in Japan. Inoue has stated that during the production of the original manga, he was surprised to receive letters from fans telling him that they have been inspired to play basketball thanks to Slam Dunk. As of 2017, over 157 million copies have been sold worldwide, and it is considered one of the greatest sports manga of all time. During the 10th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2006, Slam Dunk was even voted the #1 manga of all time by around 80,000 voters.

While fan reactions to the new anime remain overwhelmingly positive, it seems that many are also loyal to their memories of the original adaptation. Many comments wish to keep the same voice actors from the previous adaptations. The original plot begins with high school thug and delinquent Hanamichi Sakuragi joining the Shohoku basketball team to impress a girl he is interested in. However, upon joining, he realizes that he has an innate talent for the sport and loves playing it. Along with the Shohoku team, Sakuragi slowly rises to fame as they aim for the national championship. The current plot of the new movie is not yet known.

One fan expresses their joy in the series receiving another anime adaptation and also hopes that long-time fans can be rewarded by not changing the voice actors.