Hi everyone! As you know, I’m not covering any currently airing anime this season, so I wanted to take this time to watch a series that I’ve always been interested in: Slam Dunk. Since I’ve heard so many positive things about this anime, I am a sports anime enjoyer, and the fact that the movie is coming to my country later in July this seems like a perfect place to start! One thing to note is that this manga started back in 1990 and the anime came shortly after in 1993 so I’m interested to see if there’s anything that might seem super dated or if it really holds up today! For full transparency, I am currently only planning to cover through season 1 as defined by Crunchyroll (through ep 39) – that being said, if I’m really enjoying it I’ll probably continue it in the future. And with that – let’s dive into the episode!

Right off the bat, I just want to say that I love how simple this first episode was – we’re introduced to the main character and how he cares a lot about a sport he doesn’t actually play. Hanamichi Sakuragi is introduced to us as a delinquent who has an incredible streak for being turned down by every girl that he attempted to ask out in middle school. The most recent wound turned him down because she prefers someone on the basketball team, which in turn basically turns that word into a trigger for Hanamichi. Right off the bat we see that he’s a kid that’s full of emotion, arguably leaning more on the violent side, and someone with a one track mind. He’s quick to smash his head into anyone who dares mention the word “basketball” or even people who just barely mentioned a word that starts with a B. Honestly, with the amount of times his forehead collided with someone or something in this episode, perhaps he should go into American football or soccer. 

But like I mentioned before, things are really simple for Hanamichi. Early on he meets Haruko Akagi, a kind girl with a pretty face who happens to be obsessed with basketball! She’s quick to approach him and just by the nature of a pretty girl speaking to him, he’s broken out of his slump and has immediately turned himself into “Hanamichi, the athlete”, running up and down the halls and encroaching on the third year hallway. But I think hands down, one of the funniest parts of the episode is when the two of them went to the gymnasium together. Haruko talks about how she used to be on the basketball team when she was in middle school, but it’s pretty clear that she was not a star player. But! At least she knows what a dunk is and how to dribble. Hanamichi’s lie is so quick to see through the moment she asks him if he knows what a dunk is and he pretty much pulls out every answer that is not a dunk. But it’s especially funny that she just doesn’t acknowledge that he doesn’t know a thing about the sport even though he claimed to be a fan earlier in the episode. In fact, when he then attempts the dunk, he continues to hold the ball in his hand without actually dribbling – something that she does actually recognize – she still doesn’t say anything. Personally, it’s funnier that way. And hey! At least we know he has the capacity to do a really good dunk, even if he missed and slammed into the backboard. 

Haruko seems to think that Hanamichi will become the savior of her brother’s basketball team. Since he’s the main character, I can believe that to be true. But that’s only if he can get over his first rejection of high school. After all, she keeps talking about someone named Rukawa, a star player that she’s been infatuated with for quite some time. So, she never outright rejected Hanamichi, but at least she told us right off the bat that she has one-sided feelings for the guy. I absolutely cannot wait for the two of them to meet on the rooftop. Are they gonna fight the third years together? Are they gonna fight each other? Are they just gonna stare at each other? Who knows. All I know is that we have Hanamichi who seems to have a whole lot of emotions and Rukawa, who, for the most part, seems pretty laid back about everything. 

Overall, this was a fun first episode! So far it seems like things are developing quickly, arguably to get through the set up before we get into the actual basketball, but I still feel like a lot happened nonetheless! I also really like the humor. Again, it’s simple and quick moments, but hey! sometimes that’s just the way to go.  I’m already committed to covering more of this series, so I’m truly not sure about what to say right now haha! See you all next episode!


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