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Jun 22, 2018 - 01:26 AM

Slam Dunk Memorable Moments #20-11

This is a selection of 20 moments in Slam Dunk that AnimeAnalyze finds most memorable. It was not easy, but here it is. We hope you will enjoy it.

# 20 ~ Rookies on the roof top

This first meeting of the shohoku rookies probably decided their relationship in the rest of the story line. Sakuragi and his friends got into a disagreement with some seniors and they would meet at the roof top after school, to solve the problem with some fist to fist fight. When the seniors arrived they bumped into Rukawa who was taking a nap. They (unwisely) woke him and by the time Sakuragi and his friends got to the roof top the seniors were already taken down by Rukawa.

When Haruko saw from a distance Rukawa was bleeding from a head wound, she misunderstood the situation and thought that Sakuragi was responsible. The Super Rookie reacted very cold to her care which pissed the red-head off. He started beating Rukawa and the two got into a fight.

After this incident Sakuragi and Rukawa were never friendly to each other again. Although, Rukawa was not really looking for trouble with the other rookie, Sakuragi considered the cold rookie as his rival: on the bball court and in love life.

Youhei Mito: "This is the first time that someone is able to remain on his feet after being punched by Sakuragi at full strength."
# 19 ~ Ace Killer's Birth

In last year's IH championship Minami injured Shoyo's ace player Fujima, although not entirely on purpose. He just didn't expect Fujima to be brave enough to not dodge his elbow like others would do. Fujima's absence allowed Toyotama to draw level again and even win the game. Minami kind of justified his behavior thinking the team's victory was the most important thing. His respected coach Kitano was fired because the lack of victories, which made Minami put the team's victory before everything. Even basketball itself.

Minami is a skilled player but lost sight of his true feelings for the game. After hearing the words of Kitano-sensei who bandaged him during the Shohoku - Toyotama game, he finally remembered what the most important thing in the game was: enjoying basketball. Although Toyotama lost the game to Shohoku, Minami found the purpose of playing again.

Minami: "I eliminated the ace player of the other team. Our team won because of his abscence and I slowly justified my actions... Victory was more important than anything. From that day on I got a strange nickname. Perhaps Kitano-sensei has heard of it too: Minami, the ace killer."
# 18 ~ The free throw line

In the warming up of Shohoku and Sannoh during half time of Kainan's match the crowd went totally wild when the Sannoh players walked up the court. Sakuragi wanted to show off a bit and he ran to the basket for a marvelous dunk. He jumped up from the free throw line and soared towards the basket. Unfortunately he hit the rim and fell on his back. Despite the embarassing appearance, Sakuragi left an impression on Fukatsu, Kawata, Sawakita and Rukawa. (And it reminds us so much of Michael Jordan's soaring dunk in the slam dunk competition...)

Kawata: "Sawakita, are you able to reach the rim jumping from the free throw line?"
Sawakita: "No, that would be too hard."
# 17 ~ I do. I do like...

Sakuragi injured his back in the game vs Sannoh. When his injury was being treated he recalled all the moments of his yet short basketball career. All the scenes flashed in front of his eyes until he reminded Haruko's first words to him: "Do you like basketball?" At that time, months ago, Sakuragi answered 'yes' because of his affection for her. He started playing basketball to win her heart and not because of the game itself. However as time passed, Sakuragi fell in love with the game and became a true basketball player.

When recalling that question, he stood up from his treatment and put his hands on Haruko's shoulders answering: "I do. I do like it. And this time I'm honest."

Sakuragi Gundan member Ookuzu: "For a moment I thought he was confessing his love to her."

# 16 ~ Akagi's determination

Akagi injured his ankle during the game versus Kainan, the no.1 team of Kanagawa. Although Ayako tried to convince him that it would be irresponsible and dangerous to play with such an injury, Akagi insisted to play in the second half.

He showed his determination as a player and as a challenger who wanted to defeat the champion so badly. I think it's understandable, because to Akagi basketball is his everything. Playing Kainan has always been his dream; being a senior this would likely have been his last chance that he just had to grab.

Akagi: "I've been dreaming of this day, playing Kainan, for all my life. Finally I get the chance now, I won't let go. Even if I won't be able to walk anymore I have to play!"

# 15 ~ Rukawa's pass

Rukawa is often considered as a selfish player who will never pass the ball to others when going for the basket. It is true that Rukawa loves to play one-on-one, but I've never considered him as self centered, because his strategy has been one that worked. In the Sannoh game he experienced the superior power of Sawakita in their one-on-ones. To beat Sawakita he learned to pass the ball to his teammates.

I think his passes showed that Rukawa can be a good team player, who will always find a way to win the game. He grew stronger in this game by creating chances for the others and he also followed Sendoh's advise to expand his ways of playing offense. As Anzai-sensei says, a player who's also able to pass the ball will be harder to defend, because the defender will have to consider more than offensive option and will also easier be fooled by fakes.

This pass created more room for Rukawa to win his one-on-ones. Rukawa delivered some great assists and also scored with a finger-roll and a three-pointer. His actions showed he's able to grow stronger every single game he plays.

Kiyoto: "Rukawa, the guy who thinks he is the ruler of Heaven and Earth, is willing to pass the ball?!"

# 14 ~ Kogure's 3-pointer

Shohoku was struggling against Ryonan in the final minutes, as Sendoh scored like a machine bringing the score to only one point difference. Kogure replaced the exhausted and fainted Mitsui. Ryonan coach Taoka chose to double team the great scorers Akagi and Rukawa leaving Kogure unguarded. Sakuragi (who would not pass to Rukawa anyway) passed the ball to Kogure.

Kogure's three years of highschool basketball must have crossed his mind when firing the 3-pointer. He's just an average player like most people, but his love for the game never faded. Struggling with his team for three years of hopeless losses he finally got teammates he could rely on. He didn't get to play much anymore after the reinforcements, but Kogure is not someone who would mind. His shot went in and these three points were not only valuable to Shohoku's win over Ryonan, but it also symbolized his determination and love for the game of basketball.

Akagi: "Shoot now, Kogure! You're unguarded!"
# 13 ~ Anzai's retirement from college basketball

Ten years ago Anzai was coach of a college basketball team. He saw in a young man called Yazawa a talented and very potential player and was determined to train him to become the best player of Japan. However, he thought Yazawa was only relying on his highschool talents and should train his basic techniques for a good foundation. Yazawa did not understand this and decided to go to America where he believed he would be able to freely develop himself. Anzai was very concerned but wasn't able to contact him, despite several attempts. Unfortunately, Yazawa had no success on the American basketball court and five years after his leave he died in a car accident.

At the funeral Yazawa's mother handed Anzai an unsent letter from Yazawa who wrote: "Anzai-sensei, the words you used to say to me often appear in my mind lately. 'The team doesn't exist for you, it's you who exists for the team.' Nobody here is willing to pass me the ball. I'm sorry for all the trouble that I caused you and the team, so I can't return to the team right now. I'll pracitise really hard to improve my skills, until the day that my skills are good enough to pay you back what I owe you. The Basketball Kingdom America... I feel that I can jump higher breathing its air..." In that same year Anzai resigned from his position as coach of the college team. It's a very sad page in Anzai's book of life.

Voice over: "That year Anzai retired from college basketball. His hopes and expectations on Yazawa were not fulfilled, which is also the reason that he cannot end his basketball life yet."

# 12 ~ Super Match: Sendoh vs Maki

Maki is the no.1 player of Kanagawa for his tremendous power, speed, dribble and scoring abilities. In my opinion, he also has the aura of a true champion. Fujima has always been considered his biggest rival, but I think he finally met his match in his game vs Ryonan. While other teams (like Shohoku) defended Maki with three or even four players, Ryonan appointed the task to Sendoh, the Genius. Sendoh showed his unbelievable quality and did a great job. At some point of this game, it was not Ryonan vs Kainan anymore, it was all Sendoh vs Maki.

When the game was over, Maki walked up to Sendoh and shook hands in deep respect, knowing this player has reached the same level as he was on. After Ryonan lost to Shohoku and failed to qualify for the IH tournament, Maki could not suppress the disappointment he felt for Sendoh's absence on the national stage.

Uozumi: "Not by my powers. But by the hands of our Sendoh."

# 11 ~ No.1 Guard

It was love at first sight when Miyagi first met Ayako at the gym of Shohoku. He'd played basketball since elimentary school, but his decision to play for Shohoku and keep playing for Shohoku had a lot to do with his affection for Ayako. We're sure Ayako knows, but she never showed. It's not clear whether she feels the same for him, but we like to believe they share the love.

Miyagi is quite short (1.68m) and can't stand it when people make fun of it. But his short gesture is probably also the reason for his dazzling speed. When it comes down to speed, there's no player who can beat him. In their game against the mighty Sannoh, Shohoku was trapped in Sannoh's full court press. Anzai said the solution would be in the hands of Miyagi, their General of Cut & Break. Miyagi must have felt doubtful about it and Ayako took his hand and scribbled the words in his palm that would give him the power and confidence to win: "No.1 Guard".

Ayako: "It's time to show them your arrogant and respectless attitude. That's the only way to show your true powers, Ryota!"

Memorable Moments # 10 - 1