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During the 90s, a basketball manga/anime took the world by storm. ‘Slam Dunk’, the timeless classic, has made many of us into instant fans. When the anime ended just before the start of the National High School Basketball Tournament, the fandom was crying out for a new season. It has been 25 years since then. After a long wait of two and a half decades, the dedicated fanbase is now shedding tears of utmost joy as a Slam Dunk movie has been announced by Toei Animation to be released in 2022.

Following an initial announcement, Toei Animation delivered a new teaser for the upcoming Slam Dunk anime movie. Set to be written and directed by original creator Takehiko Inoue, the teaser for the animated film also reveals that the film will be released in 2022.

Origin of Slam Dunk

Slam Dunk originally debuted in Shueisha‘s Weekly Shonen Jump back in 1990 with a six-year serialization run. The manga series sold over 120 million volumes in Japan and had a much-beloved anime series from 1993 to 1996, leading to four animated feature films as well. Inoue’s Slam Dunk is credited with helping popularize basketball in Japan and progressing the sports manga/anime genre.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xETjtPe53ko

Speculations are rife as not much is known about the plot. Just a 30-second teaser that was released has fans even more in confusion.

What will it be?

Will it be about the National Tournament?

Will we see Shohoku facing Ace Killer Minami’s Toyotama?

Or will we witness the epic match of Shohoku and King Sannoh?

All these questions need answering, and the short teaser is not helping much. One thing can be made sure of, though; this upcoming movie will be a pleasant surprise for the fans of Slam Dunk. News has it, Inoue Takehiko sensei is writing the script for the animated title. It will help the story not deviate from the original plot. Let’s wait and see what sensei has in store for us.

The original anime plot is intriguing. Hanamichi Sakuragi is a delinquent and the leader of a gang. Sakuragi is very unpopular with girls, having been rejected an astonishing fifty times. In his first year at Shohoku High School, he meets Haruko Akagi, the girl of his dreams, and is overjoyed when she is not repulsed or scared of him like all the other girls he has asked out. Recognizing Sakuragi’s athleticism, Haruko introduces him to the Shohoku basketball team.

Sakuragi is reluctant to join the team at first. He has no prior experience in sports and thinks that basketball is a game for losers because his fiftieth rejection was in favour of a basketball player. Despite his extreme immaturity and fiery temper, Sakuragi proves to be a natural athlete and joins the team, mainly to impress and get closer to Haruko. Later on, Sakuragi realizes that he has come to actually love the sport, despite having previously played primarily because of his crush on Haruko.

Kaede Rukawa, Sakuragi’s bitter rival (both in basketball and love, because Haruko has a massive crush, albeit one-sided, on Rukawa), the star rookie and a “girl magnet” — joins the team at the same time. Not long after, Hisashi Mitsui, a skilled three-point shooter and ex-junior high school MVP, and Ryota Miyagi, a short but fast point guard, rejoined the team. Together, these four struggle to fulfil team captain Takenori Akagi‘s dream of winning the national championship. Together, these misfits gain publicity, and the once little-known Shohoku Basketball Team becomes an all-star contender in Japan.

As a die-hard fan of Slam Dunk, I have always been unsatisfied by the abrupt ending of the anime. Now that a movie is coming, hopes are beginning to take form. After waiting for so long, I will get to see Akagi’s power play, Miyagi’s fast-breaks, Mitsui’s elegant three-pointers, Rukawa’s amazingly perfect displays, and of course, Sakuragi Hanamichi’s unrivalled rebounding along with jaw-dropping dunks once more.

Slam dunk fans, let’s wait with excitement for the upcoming film!

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