Slam Dunk Movie: New Key Visual Revealed, Release Date & More


There is absolutely no shonen fan in the world who doesn’t know about “Slam Dunk,” also known as the Bible of the sports anime. The series is celebrated among fans every year, and they do it with either the reprint of the manga or the repeat broadcast of the show.

The series’ impact on the fans was far greater than any series has made, unbelievably leading to a rise of a sports fever in Japan and the world. The art of the story, action & characters are unforgettable, and the fans also kept the series close to their hearts for many happy and sad reasons.

Now, fans have gone insane for the movie and are digging up every corner of the internet for any update. So, if you’re also the one looking for updates, keep on reading this article to know everything about the upcoming movie of the fan’s favorite sports series. 

Slam Dunk Movie Announcement

There is a saying that no genuine wishes are left unfulfilled. It seems like this phrase is absolutely true as the makers confirmed the arrival of a new movie of this sports franchise. On January 7, 2021, Inoue Takahito announced through Twitter that Toei animation is working with Inoue and producing an upcoming Slam Dunk Movie. Then, on August 13th, 2021, the Studio released a PV that announced the film and its staff, which already has more than 2.7 million views as of December 2021.

Staff Of Upcoming Slam Dunk Movie

The forthcoming film is written byTakehiko Inoue, and he will direct the movie himself as well. Toei studio will be producing the anime while the other staff of the movie can be checked out below

  • Unit Director: Toshio Oohashi, Katsuhiko Kitada, Naoki Miyahara, Fumihiko Suganuma, Yuuki Kamatani, Yasuhiro Motoda
  • Character Design & Animation Director: Yasuyuki Ebara
  • Sub-character Design: Yukiko Ban
  • Art Director: Kazuo Ogura
  • Art Setting: Nobuhito Sue, Eiko Tsunadou
  • Color Design: Shiori Furushou
  • Color Specification: Yuu Kadomatsu
  • Director of Photography: Shunsuke Nakamura
  • Editing: Ryuuichi Takita, Jun Watanabe 
  • CG Director: Daiki Nakazawa
  • Key Animation: Naoya Wada, Hideki Takahashi, Kiyotaka Oshiyama, Yurie Ootou, Shousuke Ishibashi, Shuuta Osabe, Kouhei Ashiya, Haruka Yamagata, Souichirou Sako, Tomoshige Inayoshi
  • Sound Director: Kouji Kasamatsu
  • Sound Supervision: Youta Tsuruoka 
  • Animation Producer: Kazuhiro Nishikawa
  • 2D Producer: Kentarou Mouri
  • Producer: Toshiyuki Matsui

The studio is still recruiting the staff. Therefore, we need to wait a bit for the cast announcement.

Manga & Anime

The original Slam Dunk manga series was written & illustrated by Takehito Inoue himself. It was published by Shueisha in Weekly Shonen Jump from October 1, 1990, to June 17, 1996. The series ended with a total of 31 volumes & 276 chapters.

The series got an anime adaptation on October 16, 1993, which aired 101 episodes till March 23, 1996. The anime was directed by Nobutaka Nishizawa and was written by Nobuaki Kishima & Yoshiyuki Suga. It was produced by Toei Animation studio. But unfortunately, the anime was canceled after the 101st episode. At that time, it didn’t even reach its climax which left fans in sorrow.

The series has four anime movies, all produced by Toei animation that followed the peculiar release date pattern:-

  • Slam Dunk Movie: Directed by Nobutaka Nishizawa on March 12, 1994.
  • Conquer the Nation, Hanamichi Sakuragi:  Directed by Toshihiko Arisako on July 9th, 1994.
  • Shohoku’s Greatest Challenge!: Directed by Hiroyuki Kakudo on March 12th, 1995.
  • Howling Basketman Spirit: Directed by Masayuki Akihi on  July 15th, 1995.

Though the movies were not more than fillers, they didn’t adopt the National Tournament arc, which the fans were desperately waiting for. The manga was also discontinued after the anime, but Inoe released an epilog chapter for the fans in 2004, which had an extra story of the characters after the end of the manga. The series also has several video game adaptations. Not only this, the series is called to be one of the jewels of anime.

Why Was the Series Canceled?

Slam-Dunk poster 2

The reasons for any anime to get axed could be the lack of manga sources or either not getting enough profit for the studios. There wasn’t any lack of source for the anime, so does the show or manga lose its popularity?

No! The series is the 5th most grossing and popular series of Shueisha, which had sold over 125 million copies till 2021 and grabbed many awards. Slam Dunk was reprinted and circulated many times in Japan over the decades and set a new record every time. This manga series is considered one of the most famous manga of all time. Slam Dunk has always made its way to the top in every shonen and sports poll through the time.

The main reason for the cancellation of Slam Dunk was said to be the profit generation of the anime over that period of time. There were also many rumors that Inoue was upset with the creators regarding the pacing and production of the anime. However, these reasons were never able to convince the fans as valid arguments for the cancellation of the series.

Even after more than 25 years of the discontinuation of anime, the series has held a score of 8.53 scored by 103k members in the MAL group is ranked at #98 & #766 on the popularity poll, which is enough to prove how legendary the series is.

Slam Dunk is considered one of the biggest reasons for the rise of interest in sports in youth in Japan in the 90s. Therefore, taking all this in the record, the cancellation of the series was really absurd, and there wasn’t any solid reason. 

The series even won the 40th Shogakukan Manga Award for best Shounen manga in 1994 and was voted the greatest manga of all time at the 10th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2006.

Slam Dunk Movie: Plot Details

Slam Dunk follows the story of Hanamichi Sakuragi, who is known for his fiery temper, dominating & huge physique, and vibrant red hair. He enrolls at Shohoku High in the hope of finally finding love and breaking his record of being rejected 50 times in middle school. On the other hand, his fame came before him, and most students started avoiding him. Hanamichi is soon left with two unshakeable thoughts, this “I hate basketball” and “I really need a girlfriend.”

Haruko Akagi, a girl who has no clue of his trouble, approaches him one day and asks if he enjoys basketball. Hanamichi falls head over heels in love with her right away, and without a second thought, he agrees. She then takes him to the gym and asks him whether he can dunk a basketball. He attempts the leap in an attempt to impress Haruko, but he overshoots and slams his head into the blackboard. When Haruko notifies the captain of the basketball squad, he immediately recognizes his talent for the sport and ultimately convinces him to join the club.

There is a rumor that the upcoming Slam Dunk Movie might cover the most anticipated and final arc of the manga series, “The National Tournament” arc. It will feature Shohoku High facing the defending three-time champion Sannoh High, Japan’s strongest high school team. This arc has a span of 6 volumes and 60 chapters. These chapters have more than enough content to animate a movie. The end of the arc was very touching and satisfying and left fans in tears.

Who knows, fans might even get to see the confession of Sakuragi & the conclusion of his relationship crisis with Akagi. Whatever the movie has for the viewers, it is bound to be absolutely stunning.

Slam Dunk Movie: Release Date

The fans have raised an uproar from all over the world. They are waiting desperately for updates on the movie. The makers haven’t released its exact release date yet, but they did reveal its release window. According to them, the upcoming Slam Dunk Movie is scheduled to release in Fall 2022. However, going by the pattern of the previous movie releases, the series might end up releasing in March or April .2022.

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