The match between Hanamichi and the Basketball Captain is underway! It’s an interesting match. Can the captain get 10 baskets before Hanamichi can steal it away and score a point of his own? And of course, how does Hanako manage to come in and completely turn the tides of a rather hopeless game? Simple! She just needs to shout our main character’s name. 

Main characters needing to prove themselves isn’t something that’s new in sports anime, but I find it really interesting to see in a series that’s been around as long as this – especially with the outcome! Granted, I don’t think Hanamichi needs to prove anything. This whole one on one match started because he got in a fight with the captain. I don’t think either of them were thinking about the benefits of the basketball club. Hanamichi just wanted to let off some steam because he hates basketball, and Akagi just heard this punk talk badly about this sport he’s been dedicating his whole life to. If anything, he’s just here to put the freshman in his place. So what if he’s the same person Haruko was talking to him about? At the moment, Hanamichi is just a kid that needs to be taken down a peg. 

If anything, I’m more surprised that Hanamichi was able to successfully win. 

For a majority of the episode Akagi is close to his ten baskets with the only successful thing Hanamichi having done is kicking the ball out of his hands. Things aren’t looking great for our protagonists, but everyone in the gym is having a blast watching him get absolutely destroyed. However, while his friends find out that the gorilla he’s going up against is actually Haruko’s brother, the match seems to turn in Hanamichi’s favor after 1) he pulls down the pants of the captain and 2) hears Haruko’s voice. I cannot tell you how long it’s been since I’ve seen a pantsing joke in the media. Especially one that just exposes a whole butt. I’m just surprised the whole match didn’t end right then and there. If that were me, I would have simply left the building. But shortly after Hanamichi shows the basketball captain’s butt to the whole school, Haruko comes in and calls out to him, giving him the strength to carry on. And quite frankly? I like his tactic: Don’t think too hard about it. 

And it works! He’s no longer trying to be strategic or brute force his way through to get the ball. He’s just doing whatever he can to stop Akagi from getting another shot. His speed, athleticism, and height are all assets to him. So, rather than trying to take the ball in the most basketball way, he’s just going to flail around until he can get his hands on it. And he’s lucky enough to turn around the match as he steals the ball. Even the student body is rooting for him at this point (which is honestly kind of funny considering they were all making fun of him less than an episode ago??? but I digress). He quickly reminds them all that he, in fact, does not know a single thing about the sport except for a Slam Dunk, as he runs against his opponent as if he were playing rugby or American Football. Akagi, still having pride, allows him to do it. After all, he is the captain for a reason. Not only is he good at offense, but his defense is incredibly strong. It’s going to take a lot more than fast movements to get past him. Which is why Hanamichi’s “Slam Dunk” is so intense! If this were a real game of basketball, Akagi likely would have been able to hit the ball out of Hanamichi’s hand, but Hanamichi’s tenacity allows him to keep hold and dunk the ball giving him victory. 

At the end of the day, they both proved themselves to each other and Hanamichi has caught the attention of Rukawa once again. But I think the biggest thing Hanamichi needed to learn from this episode is to be careful about what he says. You never know that the villain gorilla man who broke into a zoo to build a team is actually your crush’s big brother. Oh well, he’s gotta make a fool of himself some more and that’s okay. 

But! After all of this, I’m looking forward to the next episode where he actually attempts to join the basketball team. Good luck !! I think you are already in a losing position. 


And before I end this entry, I just want to say that The First Slam Dunk is airing in the States right now! I’m a big fan of going to see anime movies on the big screen so if you’re also a fan of the series, I strongly recommend you check it out! I’ve heard great things about the movie and plan to go see it at my local cinema tomorrow~~


I live up to my username, but I hope we can be friends!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. BluBlu

    Hello. Long time no see! I remember that you evoked your wish to take a look at Slam Dunk in the comment of the “Ahiru no Sora” episode in which the manga is depicted. And so, I am happy for you that you decided to take a look at the best (or tied with “Ahiru no Sora”) sport-themed manga of the history.

    I had been seeing the “The First Slam Dunk” last week and yeah I can guarantee that it was a blast. That movie is the perfect definition of : “do not judge a movie by its trailer”. I am even planning to maybe go watch it again. But I warn you (especially considering that you are watching the old anime): the movie took a very very very “realistic” approach. Also, I hope that you won’t feel too spoiled/lost considering that you just started the series.

    But anyway, as you would have understood, I am a huge “Salm Dunk” fan. I remember how much reading the manga made me one day say: “I should have played Basket-ball”. Like what many Japanese said at that time as you are probably aware of how that series was (and still is) a massive blast for Japan and Basket-ball and manga.

    I am honestly not that a big fan of the anime and actually even the author (who is of the of the greatest manga artist ever) was not. This is what motivated him to be one of the first manga artist to buy his own manga rights in order to handle the IP himself. And also, one of the reason why he directed the movie that you will see as he was impossible for him to not be involved into it and also the reason for that realistic approach.

    Anyway, you will see (or will have seen before reading my comments). I will have more to say about the series. But maybe in later writings. Enjoy Sakuragi, the (self-proclaimed) basket-ball genius!

    1. Quietcupcake

      BluBlu! It’s nice to see you again! I’m super excited to finally be getting into after wanting to for so long. Since the movie was premiering in my country I figured this would be a good time since there would be a lot of hype.
      I saw the movie last Friday and really enjoyed it! Since I’m only in the early episodes, I haven’t met most of the characters, but I think it did a really good job introducing everyone and getting me invested. If anything, it made me really excited to see how the anime handles them and to ultimately see their growth throughout the series.

      Oh? That’s super interesting about the manga artist! But I absolutely love how involved he was with it. You could really see how much care he put into the characters and the overall screenplay & story for the film.

      I’m excited to go on this journey! I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me !

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