Anime Review - The First Slam Dunk | Blushing Geek

Anime Review – The First Slam Dunk

The First Slam Dunk | Blushing Geek

Aired: Dec 3, 2022 (Japan)
Studio: Toei Animation, DandeLion Animation Studio
Genre: Shounen, Sports
Duration: 2hr 4mins
Rating: PG-13 – Teens 13 or older
Add to list on MAL
MY RATING: 8 out of 10

Haunted by the tragic loss of his elder brother, Miyagi Ryota, a teenager from Okinawa, Japan, struggles to grapple with questions about self-worth and life’s purpose while immersing himself in basketball, the sport he and his brother shared a passion for. Widely viewed as underdogs, Ryota and his Shohoku High School teammates bravely take on a much more talented squad in their quest for recognition and glory. What lies ahead after their first slam dunk in the up-hill fight?

via IMDB

The moment I found out that there’s a new Slam Dunk movie coming, I was really excited. Everytime I think about my childhood, talking about Slam Dunk is usually what comes next. Since it’s been a long time that a new movie or series is coming from this franchise, I would be lying if I say that I don’t have any expectations at all. Besides, The First Slam Dunk movie is about Shohoku’s match against Sannoh. I always regard it as one of Shohoku’s epic matches when I read the manga so I was extra excited. So did this movie reach my expectations? Read below, *wink.

The first thing I noticed with the movie was the animation. I know there were a lot of comments about it when the trailer first came out because this was not the Slam Dunk animation that we grew up with, loved and knew. I was also kind of surprised, but that didn’t stop my excitement for this movie. I want to see how this new Slam Dunk movie will recapture its long-time fans with their new animation. It took a few minutes for me when I watched this movie, and at times, I even found it weird. But once the excitement with the match started and I saw the Shohoku teamwork that I loved, I learned to finally love and appreciate the animation. After that, everything just feels nostalgic and enjoyable for me. And I love it!

When this movie finally started, it showed us the young Ryota (Shohoku’s point guard) playing basketball with his older brother. Then continued on until he became older and reconnected with basketball. It was actually unexpected. Although Slam Dunk doesn’t give us a one man team but gives each player their own exposure, for me, this show is somewhat synonymous with Sakuragi. So I was really expecting to see Sakuragi being his usual airhead self and the main focus of this movie. So imagine my surprise that this movie’s main focus is Ryota! Although I already read the manga, I don’t think we’ve got to really get that much acquainted with his character, so even if I was surprised, I still think it was really great knowing more about him. Who would have imagined he has such a sad past.

And when finally the match between Shohoku and Sannoh started, it was straightforward and showed us the game we all anticipated. The match between the two has always been intense, but I guess when you have already read the manga, you will think that it wasn’t intense enough. I think it wasn’t highlighted enough? I still enjoyed the overall play, but I just think that there’s something missing? I guess this only applied to me because I already read the manga and expected too much. But for regular viewers or first time viewers, I guarantee that you will enjoy this movie. Also, look forward to seeing funny Sakuragi’s antics, *wink.

Sannoh has been the most favored team to win this year’s interhigh tournament so imagine the surprise of the audience when the inter high newbie Shohoku’s first match is with the “unbeatable” Sannoh. Sounds exciting, right?

I don’t think the background of Ryota and Mitsui that was shown in this movie was in the manga though. It has been so long, but the only thing I remember when I read the manga was the intense and thrill I felt when I read the Shohoku and Sannoh match, that’s why I always regard that match as the most epic. I was really so proud of the Shohoku team and especially for Sakuragi. He really grew a lot in that part. For the movie, it focuses more on Ryota and the parts I’ve seen with Sakuragi and even Rukawa are quite short. I’m not disappointed, I just wish they would have highlighted the two more during the last few seconds before their match ended. It was definitely a very good and rewarding scene in the manga.

After the intense match between the two teams, we also got to see a glimpse of the losing team, giving me another reason why I love this series. I love how this show highlights teamwork and what it takes to be a true sportsman. Celebrating victory and also accepting defeat.

After that, we also got to see a glimpse of Ryota and Sannoh’s point guard future match in a different team and court. That part really makes me hopeful. I hope we get to see more from the Slam Dunk franchise, especially on Sakuragi. I always think he’s a very interesting character, and I love seeing his growth. That’s why I think it’s going to be great seeing more of him in the next movie perhaps, hehehe. Will he still continue playing basketball and become a pro? Well, that’s definitely a good story to watch, don’t you think?

Lastly, I’m not sure if this is 100% worth it to watch for those who haven’t watched the series yet or are not familiar with the anime, but there were some few flashbacks throughout the movie. That said, I think it’s still going to be an enjoyable watch for first timers. I hope you give it a try, *wink.

Official Trailer

Subscribe To Blushing Geek

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sophia Rose
1 year ago

I’ve really enjoy a few sports stories with underdog characters so this sounds like one I’d love, too. Glad the movie was good even if they changed some stuff and focused on a different character at times.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x