Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
Recommend this product?
Fans of sports anime are nothing if not vocal about their favorite series. Originally airing back in the early 90s, most anime fans had actually given up hope on this series ever being licensened but then Toei came along.
This is a sports anime that is obviously about Basketball. The story revolves around Hanamichi who holds the record for getting dumped the most times throughout jr. high. When he enters high school though he meets a girl who approaches him because she thinks that because of his incredible height and build that he is a basketball player and since hes on the rebound (get it? Basketball? Rebound? Oh Im good!) he falls instantly in love with her and claims to be a basketball player even though it becomes very obvious very quickly that hes never even touched a basketball in his life. Determined though he quickly decides to try to win this girls heart by joining the basketball team and becoming its new star player.
The first five episodes of this series are shown on this series and takes us through his trials including a showdown with the new freshmen star player for the team that Haruko (the girl in question) has a secret crush on and a one on one match with the captain of the team which turns out to be Harukos older brother. Eventually though Hanamichis determination wins out and he joins the team only to find out that before one can slam dunk, he must first learn the basics which can be a very frustrating process.
The Good And The Bad
Originally airing back in the early 90s, no one can walk into this anime and expect wonderful animation but the quality of the animation isnt terrible and really doesnt show its age that badly at all. While there are a couple of character designs and frames that show very obviously that the animation was done in a very traditional style, for the most part its still well done.
Of course a big part of this is that the story and writing in this anime really isnt that bad. Im not saying that its great and its going to suddenly rank on my top 10 list but it is a decent sports anime that is grabbing my attention thus far despite its really stupid repeated chant of the slam dunk being the ultimate move in Basketball (for my money Ill take an above average 3 pointer over a great slam dunk but then again, Im not a huge basketball fan).
The biggest complaints about this anime isnt with the anime at all, rather its with the terrible way that Toei has handled the programming once again. Once again Toei has brilliantly decided to program each episode separately so that you cant go from one episode to the next without having to go back to the main menu screen. Then theres also the lack of separating chapters so that you cant skip over the theme songs without hitting fast forward and timing it right when you hit play again. Then theres the lack of translated credits so that you dont know who is playing what character.
The biggest headache of this anime though is easily the Engrish eye catches where an Asian woman speaks in terrible English over the beginning and ending eye catches. Being that this wasnt in Japanese during the sub track Im guessing that this was intentional but something about that seems terribly, terribly wrong.
The music in this series isnt bad so far. The background music is comical when it needs to be which adds a big degree of levity to a series that could easily take itself too seriously. The opening theme isnt great but the closing theme is something that I really enjoy.
Dub vs. Sub
The dub track wasnt really badly performed on this volume which I really appreciated but it was badly programmed which I didnt appreciate. There were more than a few occasions when I could see how badly timed the English track was on this DVD which led to the mouth moving when no one was talking or even talking when the mouth wasnt moving and Im a firm believer in the idea that if youre going to release anime, do the job right and do the job well. Toei drops the ball (oh, there I go again!) here badly.
This isnt a terrible anime and I really found myself entertained by it and even laughing at its sometimes over the top jokes. Even if youre not a fan of basketball you shouldnt stop yourself from checking this one out. Its a decent volume and has some pretty good entertaining bits. Even it Toei handled it badly, its still at least worth renting if youre looking for an anime to watch.
Final Grade: 80% - B
©L.B. Bryant 2005
Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Fit for Friday Evening
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older