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Jun 22, 2018 - 01:27 AM

FAQ about Slam Dunk

Q: Who is the creator of Slam Dunk?

A: Slam Dunk is created by Mr. Inoue Takehiko in 1990. The original story was published as manga, which is also translated in other languages, later it was also to be seen as anime, which turned out to be a successful anime show.

Q: How many books of manga are out?

A: The first version of the Slam Dunk consits of 31 books published in 1990 by I.T. Planning, Inc. A newer version with some colored pages and new posters consists of 24 books. And I recently saw a website that said that the books are also out in English, I guess in the States ($6.50 each).

Q: How many episodes of anime are out?

A: There are 101 episodes of anime.

Q: Are there differences between the anime show and the manga?

A: Yes, the anime show ended when team Shohoku was ready to leave for the IH games, while the manga continued and showed how Shohoku played the first two games of the IH tournament. So if you haven't read the manga, you probably don't know how the story ended.

Just like every other anime show, it has some differences. The main differences are: in the anime Mitsui had to face his former gangster fellows again in the streets. He swore not to fight anymore and although those guys beat him up he kept that promise; at last Sakuragi and his friends arrived to help. After the district finals there was a female reporter Kawai Mari from the news group of Shohoku who wanted to interview Akagi and especially Rukawa, who of course turned her down. After she saw Rukawa playing, she fell in love with him. *sigh* And right before Shohoku left for the IH games, they had a friendly match vs a pretty good team of Ryonan & Shoyo players.

Q: Why didn't the anime show anything of the IH tournament?

A: Like many many other Slam Dunk fans, we are wondering why... A visitor of our site said it was because the director died. But it's also rumoured that the financial issues between the publisher and sponsors could not be resolved. Anyway, we're not sure.

Q: How did the story end?

A: In the first IH game, Shohoku had to play A-ranked team Toyotama from Osaka. A team that basically plays Run & Gun with the idea of "80% offense and 20% defense". Their ace player Minami aka the Ace Killer injured Rukawa, and the match turned out to be a violent match up. Rukawa insisted to play in the second half although he lost vision in his left eye... At last Shohoku won the match 91-87.

The next day Shohoku plays the strongest team and defending champion Sannoh High, which is the only team ranked AA. In the second half of this marvelous(!) game Shohoku got 24 points behind very quickly, but amazingly fought back. However, Sannoh's ace player and also no.1 highschool player of Japan showed his true powers and beat Rukawa on the one-on-ones. Just when everyone thought it would be over now, Shohoku fought back again! Rukawa was willing to change his way of playing offense: he passed the ball to his teammates! A lot of stunning things happened in this memorable game and every player showed his value to the team. Sakuragi injured his back when he tried to keep the ball in. Despite his injury he kept playing and stunned everyone. At last Rukawa passed the ball to Sakuragi who hit a buzzer beater with a winning jump shoot: 79-78.

But due to the injuries and exhaustion of the players Shohoku lost their next game vs Aiwa with star player Moroboshi Dai. Akagi and Kogure resigned their positions to get ready for college. Miyagi became the new captain, Haruko became assistant-manager, Mitsui stayed to play the winterseason IH games, Rukawa was selected for the young Japan team and Sakuragi was recovering from his back injury.

Q: Is Sakuragi really a genius?

A: We think he is. I mean the guy learned how to play the game quite well in 4 months. He has the skills and the athleticism, and moreover he has a perfect feeling for the game. He is able to analyze his opponents and the game as well. However, the difference between a genius and a lunatic is very little, and sometimes Sakuragi is really just a dumb ass, but at some important moments he has done great things for his team.

Q: How strong is Shohoku?

A: This is a tricky question. Shohoku wasn't strong until Rukawa, Sakuragi and Mitsui (re)joined the team. Shohoku already became a lot stronger when Rukawa joined the team. After freshman Sakuragi understood the game better and learned his basic techniques the team became stronger and stronger. And Mitsui is of course a very valuable player to the team. Shohoku may have lost to Kainan, but there were a few reasons for that loss: Akagi got injured and Rukawa had to burn himself out to keep the team in the game. Besides, Sakuragi had become much stronger by the end of the story. If we look at the result of the team in the IH games: they beat A-ranked Toyotama (they would have done it with much more ease if Minami didn't injure Rukawa) and Shohoku beat Sannoh, the best team of Japan! So they rock like hell!! But seriously, the team is very strong.

Q: Do you prefer the manga or the anime?

A: The anime was pretty good, but the manga is also one of the best we've ever read. And the manga went much further than the anime of course. It's nice to see the games animated, but the manga is so well done that it's pretty exciting already on paper! I can recommend the manga to everyone, the artwork is great, often better than the anime. But on the other hand, the soundtrack used in the anime is very good. So it's really hard to say... Perhaps a slight preference for the manga.

Q: How about the yaoi couples?

A: The yaoi topic is probably in every anime. Some people manage to see yaoi couples in every anime... So also in Slam Dunk. The most popular yaoi couples are: Rukawa x Sakuragi, Rukawa x Sendoh, Fujima x Hanagata, Mitsui x Kogure. However, there are absolutely no reasons to believe that these couples are likely. The author has never meant to include any yaoi. And we don't believe the guys would actually fall in love with each other. The funny thing is that Rukawa is nominated twice, although he is seen as a cold person with no emotions and nothing but basketball in mind.

Q: Do you have any favorite characters?

A: Definitely! Rukie's favorite is Rukawa Kaede. And Vince's is Sendoh Akira.

Q: Who's stronger: Rukawa or Sendoh?

A: Man, I hate this question... I think Sendoh is in some way a better player than Rukawa, because of his playing style, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Sendoh is stronger. Sendoh is more all round while Rukawa is a hell of a player playing one-on-one. I also think Sendoh has more experience which makes him strong. Rukawa on the other hand has the ability to grow stronger every single match. They are both talented and they both have great skills; I think Sendoh's abiltiy is higher at the moment, but Rukawa is one year younger, so he has to catch up with a few things and I believe he has a lot of room to grow stronger yet. (this question was answered by Rukie, so Vince probably won't agree with this answer. We're kinda biased.)

Q: Who's stronger: Sendoh or Sawakita?

A: I think we don't have to argue much about this one. Sawakita is the best player of Japan, he simply outclasses every player. His level is already much higher than the highschool level, perhaps even higher than the college level. That's why he goes to the States to find new challenges. Sendoh and Sawakita are both 2nd-year students, so I think we can say that Sawakita is stronger than Sendoh. (We like Sendoh much more though.)

Q: How is Mitsui able to hit 3-pointers while he's totally exhausted?

A: Good question, but I'm afraid we'll never find out. Partly I think it's the talent the guy has, but most importantly I think it's his mental strength. He just doesn't know when to stop. His body is already screaming for rest, but the mind just keeps going.

Q: How gifted is Mitsui?

A: Very very gifted. He not only has the skills to play, but also the abiltiy to analyze the game and his opponents. He has a terrific sight on the game of basketball, which we could see when he easily showed what Sakuragi's weak points were. He would make a wonderful coach we think.

Q: What has Rukawa to do with Michael Jordan?

A: I think most of us will agree that Rukawa is a sort of copy of MJ in his early years. Jordan changed his playing style during his carreer, but he started as a scoring machine that wasn't willing to pass the ball. Other than the playing style, we can also see some similarities in the features: the black sweat band around left the arm (just below the elbow) is one, wearing jersey no.23 in practice games is two, wearing Air Jordans is three. I think it's obvious that Mr. Inoue got a lot of inspirations from a lot of (former) NBA players. I mean Sakuragi has some similarities with Dennis Rodman and Akagi looks pretty much like Patrick Ewing. Other possible inspirations: Shaquille O'Neal (Morishige of Meihou Koguyo), Magic Johnson (Sendoh of Ryonan), Afernee Hardaway (Sawakita of Sannoh), Hakeem Olajuwon (Hanagata of Shoyo), Reggie Miller (Jin of Kainan).

Q: How does your Kanagawa All Star team look like?

A: I can show you this picture, it's from the Slam Dunk artbook:

The team on the left (white jerseys) is definitely the strongest team of Kanagawa. The other team isn't bad at all, but having Maki, Sendoh AND Rukawa in one team is just too much. There are simply no players in Kanagawa who can guard them, because they are the only ones who can guard each other. So here is the answer: Akagi (C), Maki (PG), Jin (SG), Sendoh (SF) and Rukawa (SF). Fujima (PG) is of course a nice bench player or coach of this team...! The team on the right would form a very nice bench of course. Especially Sakuragi and Mitsui, one for the rebounding power and the other one for both his offensive and defensive abilities.

Q: How does your All Star team of Japan look like?

A: Hmm this is much harder, because we haven't seen a lot of players from outside Kanagawa. For example, Moroboshi from Aiwa High is said to be a star player, but we haven't seen a lot of his play. So our choice would probably be: Kawata (C) and Sawakita (SF) both Sannoh players, Fukatsu of Sannoh or Maki of Kainan (PG), Jin of Kainan or Mitsui of Shohoku (SG) and Rukawa of Shohoku or Sendoh of Ryonan (SF). Nice players for the bench: Akagi of Shohoku, Fujima of Shoyo, Sakuragi of Shohoku. You know what would be fun?? Instead of Jin both Rukawa and Sendoh to form a team with three spectacular forwards!!

Q: Does Sakuragi really hate Rukawa?

A: In the first place we think he only envies him. Rukawa is actually the person who he wants to become: great ace player, adored by loads of females and the person Haruko is in love with. Rukawa has done nothing that offended Sakuragi that much. And since they are both freshmen and because Mr. Tensai doesn't want to lose to anyone, he sees Rukawa as his biggest rival. I think Sakuragi knows that Rukawa is a good guy, just very cool, a bit arrogant, careless and totally popular with the girls. He also knows that Rukawa is a very good player, whom he can learn a lot from, but he just won't ever admit that...

Q: Does Rukawa know that Haruko likes him a lot?

A: Well, I think Rukawa knows that a lot of girls are in love with him, but he doesn't care. So he probably knows she is in love with him, but he doesn't even think whether he knows or not... And I seriously think that it would even be likelier that Rukawa would fall in love with a basketball than a girl... *sigh*

Q: How about rumours about Slam Dunk 2?

A: Yeah, we're aware of those. I know that Mr. Inoue is currently working on a manga about a rurouni and another manga on basketball called REAL, I heard/read that he'll start writing and drawing for a sequel on Slam Dunk when he's finished with REAL That might take very long time. I hope that he'll leave the characters like they were in SD, that is: don't let Rukawa fall in love; that'd be so not-Rukawa. And don't let Sakuragi become stronger than Rukawa, since the chemistry between them majorly lies in the level difference between them. And remember what Anzai-sensei said to Sakuragi: "Observe Rukawa's movements very well and try to learn from them as much as you can. Then you have to train at least 3 times harder than him. Otherwise you won't be able to keep up with him in your highschool years." It wouldn't make much sense too, Rukawa has played bball for all his life and Sakuragi just months. And Rukawa isn't just an ordinary player, he's a basketball genius as well...