NEETaku’s Sports Anime Spectacular: Slam Dunk


The last few months just haven’t been fair, man. Seems like every time I get back on the road to being as consistent with typing/reading posts, things just go awry. Not only did my Internet go out for a while, but I also suffered a bout of extreme physical exhaustion that left me feeling light-headed for like 3 days. Things have calmed….for the time being…so hopefully I can get back to the way things were. Hopefully. So…Let the sports spectacular continue!!!

Honestly speaking, this was annoying post to type up. Not because I’m not enthusiastic about the subject matter I just had a really hard time picking between Slam Dunk and Kuroko no Basuke!! Like a REALLY hard time. I mulled it over day in and day out whilst recovering from being ill and finally decided on Slam Dunk. Why you ask? Because it kept things simple. I love a majority of modern sports anime/manga, but I have to admit it’s slowly shifted a bit too much into the realm of shonen battle manga. I’m all for special moves/techniques, but sometimes I just want to watch a good ol’ simple game.

Seriously?! How did this guy get away with this shot?!

Now that I’ve explained my choice, let’s talk about Slam Dunk. Gonna treat this like my 3 Up, 3 Down reviews and focus on the Good, Bad & Ugly aspects of the show. No need for a recommendation section as it’d be redundant. I wouldn’t be yammering about this show if I didn’t recommend it.


The Good


First off, I love Sakuragi as a main character, and not just because he looks almost identical to Kuwabara from Yu Yu Hakusho. xD What I enjoy most about the guy is the fact he’s NOT some sports jock stud. He’s not some super rookie that comes in to breath new life into a once dominant sports club. He’s a total novice in basketball and his only redeeming qualities are that he’s tall & can jump high. So, naturally, he has to star from the beginning and be carefully molded into the all-star he eventually becomes. He’s a hard-working character whose shoes anyone can step into. It’s a total breath of fresh air in a genre overflowing with main chars who are just naturally gifted with being good at things. Trust me, that gets boring real fast.

Another great aspect of Slam Dunk is the action on the court. Again, nothing against the flashiness of modern sports anime, but there’s just something about seeing old school basketball played out before your eyes. There aren’t 3-4 players camping out around the 3-point line waiting to get the ball. Most of the games either center around a big man in the middle dominating everybody with his height, or a bunch of mid-range jump shots hit at the perfect time. If you’ve grown up during this current age of the NBA where everybody shoots 500 3’s a game, you would be SHOCKED to see how much of a big deal that shot is in Slam Dunk. This is about as old school as it gets, and I loved every moment that I read.

Yes, there’s a reason why I put that word “read” in bold. Because as much as I enjoyed the Slam Dunk manga.


The Bad


I did not care for the Slam Dunk anime. Could not get into it…at all. And there’s only one reason for it: The animation. I don’t know why, but the art style of the manga just did not translate well to being animated. The characters looked sort of stiff when they moved, their faces looked weird and there was an overall cheap feeling to every bit of the show. And this struck me as extremely odd as other shows from the 80s/90s, regardless of genre, did look as cheaply made as this show. Maybe the budget wasn’t that big, or they couldn’t hire the best teams to animate the show. Regardless, I stuck to the manga when it came to Slam Dunk. Everything in it was much more pleasing to the eye.


The Ugly


Going into spoiler territory here, folks. The ending to Slam Dunk left a lot to be desired for me. Sakuragi and the crew are going up against one of the best teams in Japan and are fighting tooth & nail with them. At one point Sakuragi gets hurt and his team has to go on without him for a bit. Then, miraculously, the big guy returns and spurs on a huge come back. And right before the deal can be sealed…..things go white.


There’s like a panel pure white, then we get a flash forward to Sakuragi finishing up physical therapy for his injury. We NEVER see the finish to the game. We’rd just told that Sakuragi and the crew lost. And as if that wasn’t enough of a cop-out, the game the lost wasn’t even the championship!! It was like the 2nd or 3rd round of the tournament!!


Despite those shortcomings, Slam Dunk has definitely earned its place in the Anime Hall of Fame for the mark it made. It’s one of the pillars of Shonen Jump, and the majority of modern sports anime owe a lot to it. I’m NEETaku and that was Just….My 2 Cents!!


2 thoughts on “NEETaku’s Sports Anime Spectacular: Slam Dunk

  1. hey now, that was the best kind of animation at the time. I as this growing up, and I was always in awe with the anime. The physique, the gorgeous hand drawn movements and the story itself, it was awesome. I do understand though, looking back, compared to more recent shows, the anime has a “uncanny valley” feel to it, but that’s just your brainwashed moe realizing cuteness was a bit GAR back in the 80s. hahaha
    and stay safe dude, physical exhaustion is your body telling you to take care of itself.

    Liked by 2 people

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