My New Take on Slam Dunk

Over the weekend I watched a number of Takehiko Inoue’s Slam Dunk episodes. They were chosen in random -not exactly since I focused on episodes where Sendoh appeared. Anyway, it’s not a secret anymore that I simply adore him.

Certain realizations arise when you watch a series or even a movie for several times and the following were mine:

Sakuragi’s tenacity

All 101 episodes of the anime documented Sakuragi’s improvement in basketball but the jump shot training parts taught me that I probably shouldn’t skip going to the gym. Nor should I do that with practicing Kanji.

Kogure’s stagnation

My father pointed this out: Kogure Kiminobu, a senior and Shohoku’s vice captain had to sit out and watch most of the games as bench warmer. Even when he’s in the game, there wasn’t much of a difference- fine, his miracle three-point shot was a thing. Then, when they won against Ryonan in Interhigh, Sakuragi said this:
“Your retirement has been postponed because of this genius.”
Granted that Sakuragi’s amazing potential has contributed to many of Shohoku’s wins and that basketball is after all a team sport, Kogure’s lack of improvement says a lot about how his character lacked depth. It’s almost hypocritical that he had the biggest dream of going to the nationals with Gori–at least Gori had the determination, even with his injuries.

Rukawa’s loss

Greed is one key characteristic shared by a number of famous basketball players who could score 50 points a game. That’s totally okay, they are all that great and a good amount of greed is also needed for a team to win so I don’t hold it against Rukawa. However, I still think it takes more than the ability to score that makes a good basketball player. I’m pretty sure that Rukawa has the same amount if not even more determination Sakuragi possesses. However, that Rukawa had to save his energy for the second half in their inter-high match doesn’t add up to his ability to defeat Sendoh. The latter could save his energy for the entire duration of the game but could still score and make amazing passes. Their respective positions, Rukawa a small forward and Sendoh a point forward, heavily influence their playing styles as presented in the anime and therefore comparing them for the sake of rivalry, though acceptable, is pointless.

Sendoh’s slyness

I used to think this part was cute –he looked so innocent. He wasn’t. He was one hell of an actor. What’s this?

Slam Dunk, Volume 19 Chapter 63

In the anime version, he really appeared surprised about the foul call. The manga has made me confused though– was he surprised about the foul call or the nature of the foul? Nonetheless, the audience and the reader – ME- know that he’s perfectly aware of the foul.

If anything, this adds character to this seemingly good-natured genius. That he is sly is another reason for me to like him.

What now?

I’ll probably continue watching episodes of Slam Dunk, examining them from a different perspective. Anyway, who’s going to stop me?

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