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Slam Dunk TV Pt 1 (1 - 24)
(Item No Longer Available


Intro:
        “Basketball”. The one forbidden word that should never be mentioned around freshman Sakuragi Hanamichi. Why? Well let’s just say that the 50th girl to dump him in junior high left him for a basketball player. So it is no surprise that when Hanamichi walked through the doors to Shohoku High, Basketball was not one activity he would be joining. However, when the beautiful Akagi Haruko asked our tall friend if he played the taboo game, the basketball team was in for a real surprise.
       Now, claming to be a genius when he doesn’t know the difference between a “dunk” and a “tank”, Hanamichi is out to win Haruko’s heart through the one sport she loves. But first he has to prove to the captain, and Haruko’s brother, that he is determined and not just some punk. It also would have been nice to know that Haruko already has her eye on another superstar, Kaeda Rukawa. A.K.A. Hanamichi’s rival! This is going to be one long season…

Packaging:
       The artwork used on the box set is captivating and really draws your attention in. Read more below:

Front: On the front we have Hanamichi Sakuragi dribbling the ball, with Kaede Rukawa and Takenori Akagi (Gorilla) in the background. The title of the series (in English) as well as the box number are located at the top right.

Outer Spine: Again we have the title of the series (English) towards the upper half of the spine, with the same shot of Sakuragi (that was on the front) below it. At the very top and bottom of the spine are white silhouettes of Hanamichi. The box number is also located here.

Back: The majority of the left hand side shows the same shot of the three main players that were on the front. Above them are four screenshots from episode one and to the right is the title again. The right hand side of the back case has an episode list for the episodes in this set (1-24). The sad news is that the titles are written in Japanese. At the very bottom are the DVD specs.

Inner Flaps and Discs: As you open the set, the outer left and right flap form one picture: that of Hanamichi and Rukawa hovering around the basket as the ball rebounds off of the hoop. There is a little blurb written at the bottom of the left flap and it reads:

        “Hanamichi Sakuragi is a well known character who has been continuously rejected by no less than 50 girl students for the three years of his junior high school days. He entered Shohoku Senior High School, and when he heard the 50th girl say “I like Oda-kun in the Basketball Club”, he was shocked.”

       When you open up the left flap, the inner side (which just has the show’s title) and disc one appear. Disc one shows Hanamichi (in his manga form) taking off his jacket. The picture behind it is the same as the label.
       Discs 2 and 3 are behind the right flap and they show Rukawa and Takenori, respectively. Again, the pictures behind the disc are the same as the label. I also want to point out that the discs are securely fastened with a “V” shaped tab that you have to push in to loosen the disc.

       The character designs for the show are incredible and the manga artwork looks even better! When you see the labels on the disc, or if you read the manga itself, you’ll know what I’m talking about!

Video:
       For a show that debuted almost 16 years ago, the video looks amazing! I watched all 24 episodes on my TV and the only thing I noticed was some dust particles that popped up on the screen (but this is due to the age of the show). The source used for these DVDs had to be from the official Japanese DVDs, because I can’t imagine this show looking any nicer than when it first appeared on TV. The episodes are presented in 4:3 fullscreen. Unfortunately there are no episode previews, but the episode recaps, intros, and endings are left intact. Honestly, for a show this old, the video couldn’t get any better.

Audio:
       Much like the video, the audio for a show from the 90s sounded great. I had no complaints or problems when listening to the audio, so there is not much more to be said here.

Subtitles:
       Let’s keep the good times rolling! Can you imagine that Manga could produce near like fansub subtitles?! Aside from the misspellings of words (mainly missing letters), the subs were near perfect. The names were correct, sentences were complete, and punctuation was there. There were some timing issues with the subs, but they are easily overlooked when you see how good the subtitles are. They are a white font and a little on the small side, but I’ve seen this font size used on R1 releases. My TV is about 10 feet from my bed and I didn’t have any problems reading the text.
       At episode 14, the subtitles did decline a little bit, but this only lasted for 2 episodes. Aside from that, just know that the opening and closing credits are subtitled and that it will feel like watching an official release. Can I get a “woohoo”?!

Chapter Breaks:
       All three discs had the same setup, with only the characters on the main menu screen varying.        The discs load up with a 0:07s Manga logo screen, then proceeding to the main menu. This menu takes approximately 0:05s for the options to appear, but has the 1st ending theme song and a clip from the first episode playing in the background for 0:19s before starting over again. There is also a shot of Hanamichi in the bottom left corner of the screen. The options on the disc include:

Play All
English Subtitle: On or Off (this is selectable right on the main menu)
Chapter

       The chapter menu has a list of the episodes on that disc and a picture to accompany the page (this is different depending on what disc you are viewing).
       The only real difference between the three discs is the picture in the chapter menu and the episodes.

Content:
       Each disc contained 8 episodes and each episode had 3 chapter breaks to it. This is how they are broken up:

       1) Opening Credits
       2) Episode Recap
       3) Ending Credits

Having a break halfway through the episode couldn’t hurt, but it’s no reason to take points off a great box set. For those wondering:

Disc 1 = Episodes 1-8
Disc 2 = Episodes 9-16
Disc 3 = Episodes 17-24

Conclusion:
       If this isn’t on your top list of animes to watch, you better make some room for Slam Dunk! This show is jam packed with humor, heartwarming moments, and so much action that it had to be split into four box sets. If you think this show is just about basketball, then you’re just as bright as Hanamichi.
       These first twenty-four episodes show Hanamichi’s debut to the team, their training and practice game with Ryonan High, and concludes with a new story arc involving a returning player. Oh and if you’re not a fan of blood, then you better take a seat on the bench. From girls to gangs, Slam Dunk has a little bit of everything. And if that wasn’t enough, then watch it for Dr. T. He’s so informative!!!


Email me at jpolan@drew.edu if you have any questions, concerns, or comments.


Publisher: MI
Discs: 3
Episodes: 24
Price: $15.00

Reviewer: Polanator
Reviewed On: 06/04/2006
Click on Image for Full Size


This is how the main menu looked for all three discs.


Sakuragi Hanamichi showing his respects to Coach Anzai.


Takenori Akagi (captain of Shohoku Basketball Team) and his infamous "Gorilla Dunk".


Haruko Akagi: sister of Takenori and the love of Hanamichi's life.


Ayako: manager of Shohoku Basketball Team and the love of Miyagi's life.


Hanamichi and Ryota Miyagi. Aren't they just the best of buds?!


Hanamichi and Kaede Rukawa working together? And is that Sendo of Ryounan High?! AHHHHH!!!!!!


Does this look like a novice to Basketball?


Well how about this?


Are you a little rusty on Basketball rules and regulations? Then Dr. T will happily fill you in every now and then. He makes learning fun.


What's Hisashi Mitsui's (long hair kid) problem with the Basketball Team? You're gonna have to wait to part 2 to learn his story. Nyah!

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