Popular anime series ‘Slam Dunk’ to return as a film in 2022

One of the biggest sports anime to ever be introduced to the medium, Slam Dunk, is looking to release a brand new movie that will revisit the franchise for the first time in decades, aiming to hit theaters in Japan in fall 2022 and bring together the worlds of anime and basketball one more time.

Slam Dunk first debuted as a manga series in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1990 and ended its run six years later. It follows the journey of Shohoku High School’s basketball team. It was not the first basketball manga, but was a massive hit, selling over 120 million copies in Japan, and spawned a hugely successful anime that aired between 1993 and 1996, as well as four animated feature films. The manga was written and illustrated by Takehiko Inoue and released a total of 31 volumes.

Inoue himself will be writing and directing the upcoming feature-length film, with the manga-maker also being responsible for some classic series including the likes of Vagabond and Real, which are both far different from the story of Slam Dunk

For anime fans of a certain generation, the upcoming Slam Dunk feature film is an exciting project. The sports manga has an immediacy to it, with cool characters that continue to interest even non-basketball fans. The characters are great to watch, and the anime series has helped popularize basketball in Japan even more, much like the manga Captain Tsubasa did for soccer.

Kids in Japan who never followed basketball became fans, and the manga had huge crossover appeal to young women too. The universal appeal wasn’t because of the sport that interested them, but the stories and the characters involved. 

The details about the story of Slam Dunk 2022 has not been revealed yet. Fans are debating whether it will be a reboot of the franchise or if it will act as a sequel of sorts to the original adventures of Inoue’s beloved sports’ franchise. Irrespective, there are tons of anime fans who are eagerly waiting to watch this major return of one of the biggest sports-related anime series of all time.

The first teaser doesn’t reveal any characters from the movie. It features incredible music and lists all the staff members working on the project. Toei Animation, the studio that worked on the original Slam Dunk anime series, is producing the upcoming anime movie. You can read the manga’s English version on Viz. Also, all episodes of the Slam Dunk anime are available to watch on Crunchyroll.