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Mar 22, 2018 - 12:32 PM

Slam Dunk Memorable Moments #10-1

his 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.

# 10 ~ Akagi's tears

Akagi is not a talented player but with his potential and his hard work, he became a respected center and also leader of the team. In his highschool years he didn't have capable players in his team, except for Miyagi. Shohoku suffered great losses and had never reached the district finals, but Akagi never gave up and kept struggling and holding on to his beliefs.

Finally, when the rookies Rukawa and Sakuragi joined the team and Miyagi and Mitsui returned, Shohoku consisted of great players. During a time out in the game vs Sannoh he recalled the moments of years of struggling and suddenly felt grateful for having these teammates. The normally so severe captain could not hold back his tears and cried a silent 'thank you' to his teammates.

Akagi: "It's just sweat!"

# 9 ~ Three on one

Sawakita is without a doubt the no.1 highschool player of Japan. As a true ace player he showed his marvelous scoring abilities when Mitsui fought back with his 3-pointers decreasing the gap between the two teams.

One of his amazing scores was the 'three on one' play, as he jumped up and soared from right to left under the board passing Rukawa, Sakuragi and Akagi's defense for a lay up. Unbelievable. It was an unbelievable score.

Audience: "What in the world just happened?!"

# 8 ~ Sakuragi's dunk

Sakuragi is always determined to beat Rukawa. Before the game against Shoyo, he promised himself to score more points than Rukawa and not getting fouled out. As the game progressed, he realized he would not be able to beat Rukawa on scoring, so he decided to score such a fantastic dunk that it would shut everyone up.

He succeeded marvelously dunking over Hanagata, but the referee called for an offensive foul: Sakuragi's 5th foul. In the anime (and also a bit in the manga) it seems that Hanagata jumped up trying to block the dunk, it's still not clear, but let's accept the ref's decision.

Rukawa: "That dunk. It's a pity. For your abilities."

# 7 ~ Rivals: Rukawa vs Sendoh

Rukawa experienced exhaustion in his game vs Kainan after his explosive(!) scoring in the first half. He knew that he would not be able to play in that way for an entire game, so against Ryonan he saved his energy for the second half in which the game would be decided, in order to beat Sendoh.

Rukawa challenged his biggest rival yet and showed some great play. Sendoh who would never walk away from a good challenge showed his quality in return; he even used the same moves as Rukawa showing he was capable of the same. It was a great, great one-on-one play in Slam Dunk that fans will not easily forget.

Akagi: "Sakuragi and Mitsui might not like it, but Rukawa has truly become this team's ace player."

# 6 ~ I want to play basketball

Mitsui left the game in his rookie year after he got seriously injured and not being able to recover in time for the district games. His anger and disappointment drove him to the other far edge, he did not return to basketball and became a delinquent.

In his senior year he got into a fight with Miyagi and wanted to involve the entire team so that (according to Shohoku rules) the team would be dismissed. The fighting ended when Anzai-sensei finally entered the gym and Mitsui recalled all the great moments in his life and his love for basketball. He broke down in tears and said the memorable words "I want to play basketball".

Mitsui will never be able to get back the time he wasted, but he stood up and faced his shortcomings. In return he got the feeling back that he had missed for a long time: fighting for victory and experiencing the emotions of his sports. (Read more about this moment on our blog.)

Kogure: "I have never thought that the marvelous basketball player Mitsui would become like this..."

# 5 ~ Sendoh on fire

In the second half of Ryonan vs Shohoku, Shohoku took the lead forcing a gap of 13 points (61-48). Rukawa and Sendoh played many one-on-ones and proved their ace player status. At some point Sendoh told his teammates if they made a score every minute they would be taking the lead in the last minute. Rukawa hearing this told him that basketball is not mathematics and increased the score again.

Sendoh felt the flame burning inside and accepted this challenge. He scored 18 points in a row including a great fade away jumpshot. From Ryonan's 48th point on, no other Ryonan player scored. The great thing about Sendoh is that he doesn't lose his cool, even when he is on fire. Although Ryonan lost in the end, Sendoh's performance was one that left a great impression on everyone.

Ikegami: "But as a rookie he was a motivated scorer. Do you remember that, Akagi? That guy got 47 points by himself---!!"

# 4 ~ Mid-air fake dunk

Akagi got injured in the first half of Kainan vs Shohoku, while the team was 15 points behind. Just as everyone thought that Kainan would be crushing Shohoku in the absence of the decisive center player, Rukawa stood up and showed some high quality offense scoring 25 points in 6 minutes, equalizing the score just before half time. The absolute climax of his offensive rush was the mid-air fake against Maki which he finished with a marvelous dunk. He jumped up nearly one metre for this incredible move and the audience was left jaws dropped not being able to believe he was just a rookie.

That his explosive scoring rush would take its toll on his stamina, Rukawa would experience in the second half.

Yayoi Aida: "I take back what I've said about him... About Rukawa... This kind of performance can't be delivered by a person that's just self centered... He's already ruling the game!!"
# 3 ~ Resurrection

Shoyo took a big lead of 12 points on Shohoku, as Mitsui experienced the effects of his 2-year absence from basketball, he got so exhausted he could barely stand. Shoyo used the box-one strategy to minimize Shohoku's scoring abilities. Mitsui got fouled and while on his knees he suddenly remembered how he had turned the table in the final of the inter junior high championship bringing his team victory. The flame inside burned again and set him on fire as he hit 12 points in a row playing a major role in the victory over Shoyo.

In the IH game vs Sannoh he had to feel the consequences of his poor stamina again. Shohoku was 24 points behind and the shaking Mitsui resurrected again and hit 3-pointers to the surprise of his opponent Matsumoto. Although his physical powers are limited, we believe Mitsui's determination is his greatest weapon. His mental strength allow him to hit 3-pointers while barely having strength in his arms. He just won't give up until the last second of the game.

Mitsui is full of regrets and probably blames himself every day for the decisions he made in the past. However, it's that same guilt that makes him stronger than before. He has not lost the touch of the game and he still possesses one of the greatest weapons making him an unmissable part of the chain.

Voice over: "Mitsui probably won't remember what is going to happen in the next 10 minutes... but his every shot will be clearly noted on the scoring form. And the thrill he causes will be marked in everyone's memory..."

# 2 ~ High Five

From the first meeting on (see memorable moment #20) Sakuragi and Rukawa were decided not to become friends. Their rivalry and Sakuragi's envy caused much trouble in the team. In the games played Rukawa and Sakuragi had never (voluntarily) passed the ball to one another until the final minute of their game against Sannoh. At the score of 75-76 Sakuragi did pass the ball to Rukawa letting him hit the basket for a lead the first time since half time. Rukawa in his turn passed the ball to Sakuragi at the score of 77-78 so that the red-head could hit the buzzer beater establishing Shohoku's victory.

For the first time they felt truly thankful and also respect for each other's play. They walked up to each other and gave a high five. I'm sure this team play will be a milestone and turning point in their highschool basketball life. They probably still won't pass to each other easily but the ice had been broken and I'm sure they will choose wisely when the team needs them.

Rukawa and Sakuragi: "..."

# 1 ~ Defeating the champion

Sannoh vs Shohoku was the best game played (and showed) in Slam Dunk. Shohoku was of course the underdog in this game against the superior Sannoh. In the first half Rukawa and Sawakita spent most of the time on the bench and Sakuragi was the main scorer of the team. In the second half Sannoh established a 24-point lead with their overwhelming full court press. Miyagi broke this strategy with his fast dribble and incredible speed, but it was Mitsui who stood up and hit some 3-pointers (see memorable moment #3) with support of the screening Akagi and rebounding Sakuragi.

Sawakita responded with his unbelievable abilities increasing the gap again and defeating Rukawa on the one-on-ones. Rukawa started realizing passing the ball would improve his offensive play and allowed Shohoku to decrease the difference to just a few points. At a 5-point difference Mitsui made a 4-point play hitting a 3-pointer and the free throw. The rookies showed great team play and finally celebrated Shohoku's finest victory.

This game was so special because each player showed their qualities to the team. Shohoku would not have won this game without any of the main players. Their emotions (Akagi, Sakuragi), determination (Mitsui, Miyagi), victorious spirit (Rukawa) and great strategy (Anzai) were all shown in this unforgettable game against the team without any weaknesses.

Reporter: "At this point, I do want to see the course of history being changed."

Memorable Moments # 20 - 11