Slam Dunk Episodes 1 24 Streaming

Slam Dunk Episodes 1-24 Streaming

The simplest way to tell if this anime is right for you is to answer one simple question: do you enjoy cheese? No, truly, because this may be the cheesiest anime I’ve ever seen. This is not a condemnation in any way, shape, or form. You have to tell it like it is sometimes, and if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and has feathers like a duck, it’s definitely a duck. Fortunately for you, I enjoy ducks, and I believe the first 24 episodes of Slam Dunk are really good as well. The first batch of episodes does a good job of establishing exactly what kind of show you’re in for. The trouble is that I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started, but there’s still hope for you folks reading this review.

Slam Dunk is a classic that many older anime fans grew up with, and its influence can still be felt today. In an era where we get insane and inventive sports series every other anime season, Slam Dunk was once considered the pinnacle of the genre, alongside other classics like Hajime no Ippo. Because of how exaggerated and heightened the games can be, I prefer watching sports anime to watching actual sports. I’d like to argue that modern-day sports anime spoilt me, but they colored my expectations of what to anticipate from them. When I first started watching Slam Dunk and discovered we weren’t really talking about basketball until episode five or six, my first impression wasn’t great.

I’m not joking when I say it takes the show an eternity to get to its first official basketball game between the main protagonists and another school. The game accounts for around one-third of the first twenty-four episodes.

Slam Dunk devotes as much attention to amusing side storylines about rival clubs and delinquent gangs as it does to teaching the fundamentals of basketball. This paradox extends to our main character, Hanamichi, which is initially off-putting and nearly unsatisfactory.

Slam Dunk is a ridiculous high school comedy that also happens to be a basketball anime, with some cliché love triangle shenanigans tossed in for good measure. The fundamental motivation that drives our protagonist Hanamichi to the court in the first place isn’t a desire to be the best, but rather a desire to impress a girl who happens to be a huge basketball enthusiast. I’m not kidding when I say that the show focuses on Hanamichi’s bad luck and misunderstandings with ladies as much as it does on his actual ability on the court. In some respects, this makes him amusing and even endearing, but it also makes his purpose appear superficial. Why should I care if you’re following a character that isn’t as invested in what’s going on as he should be? At the very least, I’ll question why we’re following him rather than people around him who have a higher passion for the sport.

But then, slowly (and I mean SLOWLY) but steadily, we see what Slam Dunk is trying to do. Slam Dunk was created at a time when high schoolers with chiseled jawline and pompadours were considered hip and unconventional. Basketball is the emphasis of the show, yet it is not the driving force. Hanamichi, as a character, is the catalyst since he is the one who everyone wants or dislikes. The show revolves around his effect on others and their affect on him. Hanamichi’s improving basketball abilities begin to fill out his persona, and if you’re new to basketball, learning the fundamentals with him may be a lot of fun. It’s nothing profound, but Hanamichi is sincere and a hard worker when he sets his mind to anything, and you look forward to when he does. The problem is that he doesn’t always do this and allows his temper get the best of him, but basketball could be the catalyst for him to get his act together.

I say “might” because there are over a hundred episodes in this show and we’re only covering the first twenty-four. This is supposed to be the start of a much longer voyage, and while what’s here is adequate, it’s far too long. When you have a show literally called Slam Dunk and the majority of the show takes place off the basketball court, it’s borderline false advertising, and I believe that many other sports anime that have followed in Slam Dunk’s footsteps have done a better job in the decades since. Even when we get to the real basketball games, the result falls short of the execution due to the show’s relatively archaic animation.

It doesn’t seem bad, and there isn’t quite as much repeated animation as I expected. However, instead of just animating it, the show follows the typical pattern of repeating still frames and using flat-panning shots to produce movement. With motion tweening and dramatic stills, some moves, such as the eponymous “slam dunk,” can appear cheap. Then, when the show tries to get fancy with its animation framing, it can verge on perplexing. When a character attempts to dribble around someone, we may see quick, dramatic cuts of where the ball is heading and what individuals are focusing on. It’s certainly ambitious, and once the sequence is finished, I can connect the dots, but it’s far from a straight line. Overall, the show appears to be OK at best and cluttered or dull at worst.

Slam Dunk falls short as a solely sports anime, but as I previously stated, it isn’t just a sports anime. When you understand that, it is much easier to accept the show for what it is and even enjoy it. This show combines the funny timing of a high school sitcom with slapstick aspects and is dripping with ’90s cheese. Each episode even concludes with a dramatic still photo or a scenario depicting a sunset. I watched the episodes on YouTube because Toei decided to post them all there (albeit they could’ve done a much better job with the subtitling), but it felt like I was watching something retro on a CRT TV. There’s a fun commercial break in the middle that’s told in English, the characters are tremendously loud yet enthusiastic about what they believe in, and while I didn’t burst out laughing at every joke, I did finish most episodes smiling.

Everything is fantastic. Slam Dunk isn’t attempting to be serious, and just when you think it is during some of the more stressful moments involving two gangsters or two basketball players, or both, it will do something slapsticky to lighten the mood. One of Slam Dunk’s best features is its soundtrack, which elevates the show’s cheesiness to pure delight levels. Have you ever listened to one of those classic fitness videos with the incredibly catchy and repeated electric piano melodies? That was the thesis for the pieces that comprised this show. It’s really funny yet uplifting, and it creates an easy to sink into environment, like a warm snuggie while you bob your head to the beat.

There’s much to be said about how well a show has aged and whether it has something to say in the present era. I’m not sure whether I’m grasping the same appeal that so many other people did in the past, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t grasp anything at all. While Slam Dunk may not be as energetic as I would like it to be, and some components, like as the animation, show their age, I can’t deny that Slam Dunk has a lot of heart. It may be difficult at first, but subsequent episodes will show a better balance of high school shenanigans and more involved sports activity. Only time will tell, but if you’ve ever considered seeing this classic, do so, but be aware of what you’re getting yourself into first.

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