Anime Synopses


  Episodes 1-12
I watched these so long ago I really really can't remember too much about them...

Episode 13

The Shohoku team are on the train to Ryonan. After impressing just about everybody with their height, they got off at Ryonan High School. Sakuragi is amazed that their "old man" could command such respect from the Ryonan coach, Taoka. Meanwhile, the Sakuragi gang are (trying) to get to Ryonan on Youhei's moped, but even a little girl on a bicycle is faster than them. Sakuragi, after much drama and excitement, gets to be #10, one number higher than Rukawa. Sakuragi goes up to Uozumi and gives his "I will defeat Sendoh" speech but Sendoh isn't here yet. When he finally arrives, the Shohoku members are awed at his charismatic presence (except Akagi and Rukawa, of course :)) and the game begins. Coach Taoka thinks to himself that a win is assured as Shohoku only depends on Akagi alone. Uozumi manages to block all three attempts at goal by Kogure, Rukawa and Akagi.

My 2 cents
Sendoh and the rest of Ryonan make their first appearance in this episode (except for Aida). Btw, I really like Sendoh's voice. It suits him. Rukawa starts talking a bit more. Kogure is so adorably cute and yet irritating at the same time. You know those little Japanese words that appear out of nowhere to denote sound effects? Well, the sound effect itself for these are sooooo cute! It sounds like a baby squeaking or something. Uozumi's Chinese name sounds so nice (and very unlike him) and Koshino's name seems very similar to Sailormoon's. I don't read the manga in Chinese so I only notice these things in the anime.

Episode 14

Shohoku is losing badly and Sakuragi "urges" Anzai sensei to take out their "secret weapon", meaning himself. Sendoh intercepts a pass meant for Rukawa and runs to attack. His speed is incredible and only Rukawa can keep up with him. At the goal, Rukawa jumps to block but Sendoh passes the ball instead to Koshino who scores. Coach Taoka announces that they will win by 30 points. Sakuragi appears behind him and jabs his butt with his fingers. Ryonan gets a free throw because of that. Sendoh manages to fool Rukawa again by passing instead of going for the goal himself. The third time, Rukawa goes between him and #5, thinking he will pass, but this time Sendoh slam dunks instead. Morale for Shohoku is very low with the score at 19-0. Uekusa passes to Sendoh who looks set to slam dunk in mid air and people on the Shohoku side are praying that he won't. Rukawa suddenly appears and intercepts the ball. He goes on the offence, passing Ryonan's defence easily. He jumps to score but Sendoh appears to block him. Imitating Sendoh's earlier trick, Rukawa passes to Akagi instead who performs his two-handed slam dunk. Confidence is returned to the Shohoku side with Akagi's impressive goal. Coach Taoka thinks that Akagi's goal gave the necessary moral boost to Shohoku, but it was Rukawa who first broke the deadlock. He realizes that it would be a mistake to think of Shohoku as a one-man army still. Meanwhile, Sakuragi finds out that Haruko is there and he gets madder than ever because he wants to impress her with his ability. At half time the score is 50-42, Ryonan leading.

My 2 cents
A lot of scenes here are reused and repeated, something I did not notice in the earlier episodes.
I used to didn't like Rukawa's voice actor, but I changed my mind after watching this episode.
Aida is drawn really horribly here.

Episode 15

At the start of the second half, Ryonan's lead is shortened to 5 points by a three-pointer from Rukawa. Ryonan coach calls for a timeout. Taoka starts giving his pep talk to his players and almost blows a fuse when Sendoh seems more interested in sucking a lemon than paying attention to him. Then they discover Sakuragi spying on them and fireworks erupt. The drama is ended when Sakuragi is knocked over by Akagi and manhandled by his teammates back to the Shohoku bench. The game resumes and Sendoh challenges Sakuragi who is tied to the chair. Sakuragi bursts his bonds (very strong, isn't he?) and starts shooting off his mouth again, but subsides when Akagi yells at him. Yasuda wants to pass to Rukawa, but Rukawa is heavily guarded by Sendoh. Anzai sensei sees this and tells Sakuragi to warm up. Akagi is injured by Uozumi and has to go off for treatment. He tells Sakuragi to replace him on the court. Sakuragi is ecstatic that he finally has the chance to make an appearance, but then he is seized with fright. His heart begins to pound madly and he imagines all the things that could go wrong. When he goes on the court, he starts violating the rules - including leaping on top of Uozumi and sending them both crashing to the floor. Sakuragi's attack of nerves gets worse, until a haze starts to obscure his entire vision and he goes into a zombie-like state. All attempts by his teammates to calm him down come to no avail until Rukawa appears and boots him in the ass and insults him left and right. Sakuragi snaps out of it in an instant and gets into a fight with Rukawa.

My 2 cents
Sendoh is cuter in the anime than in the manga - his expressions in this episode and the next are priceless!
I didn't really notice it in the manga, but Aida can be really, really noisy at times.
Minor detail: Some of the characters are drawn really thin at times, which can be pretty jarring. They look like they belong in a shoujo manga or something.
Favorite scenes:
1) Sakuragi: Anzai sensei, am I really the secret weapon?
   Anzai sensei: Ho ho ho...
   Sakuragi: You're not lying to me, are you?
   Anzai sensei: Ho ho ho...
   Sakuragi asks some more, can't remember the question.
   Anzai Sensei: Ho ho ho...
   (After a few moments of silence)
   Sakuragi: (mimicking Anzai sensei) Ho ho ho... WILL YOU STOP

2)  When Sakuragi is busy fighting with Rukawa and Taoka tells Kogure to just give up on the game and Sakuragi suddenly appears behind him and whacks him on the head. Sakuragi, with his usual bravado, says, "The real game has just begun!" and Rukawa says, "You're full of hot air." Sakuragi's expression changes and he mutters out of the corner of his mouth, "Rukawa, don't side with the enemy!"

A funnier episode than usual, IMO.

Episode 16

Taoka tells his players to take advantage of Akagi's absence and seize control of the game. Uozumi tells his teammates to pass to him since he's marked by Sakuragi. Sakuragi gets mad and insults him. Uozumi gets the ball and attempts to shoot, but then Sakuragi uses the same defensive technique he did against Akagi and manages to snatch the ball out of Uozumi's hands. Everyone's shocked and Sakuragi goes on the offence. Uozumi thinks that his defence just now was like an impenetrable wall (complete with picture of a gray wall with Sakuragi's features on it). Kogure shouts at Sakuragi to pass, but he ignores him and tries to shoot, but the ball is knocked away by Uozumi. Sakuragi regains the ball and Kogure again tells him to pass. Coach Taoka thinks that with Akagi gone, Shohoku will surely depend on Rukawa to score, and that Sakuragi will pass to Rukawa. The Ryonan players also think this and everybody rushes to guard Rukawa. To their surprise (but not to ours) Sakuragi passes to Kogure instead who scores. A second time Sakuragi has the ball and again Taoka thinks he will pass to Rukawa and again Sakuragi passes to Kogure. Taoka gets majorly mad (is that a tortoise??) and though he doesn't want to concede that Sakuragi is Shohoku's "secret weapon", he is puzzled how Sakuragi could figure out their plan to guard Rukawa and not pass to him. Taoka has to admit that the kid's intelligence must be above average.

Meanwhile, Ayako (manager of Shohoku) is surprised that Sendoh has been restricted to scoring only 18 points so far in the game. The Shohoku bench members say that last year, Sendoh alone managed to score 47 points and they cannot believe that Rukawa who is just a first-year like themselves has managed to guard him so well. On the court, Rukawa is breathing heavily and Sendoh passes him. Rukawa half-turns and falls. Sendoh manages to score. Rukawa has sprained his foot and the Ryonan side is ecstatic because they think they will surely win now. Sakuragi hears this, gets mad, and kicks at Rukawa. He yells at Anzai sensei to subtitute Rukawa who is being a burden to them. Rukawa kicks him in the ass and says, "Who is being a burden?" and they get into their usual verbal match. The game resumes, the ball lands in Sakuragi's hands and Taoka jumps up and yells THIS time he will pass to Rukawa. Sakuragi passes to Yasuda whose shot does not go in. Rukawa jumps up, gets the rebound, and shoots. It goes in, and Sakuragi stands speechless and thinks, "Rebound..."

Episode 17

Shohoku is frustrated because they keep losing out on the rebounds. Ayako thinks that Ryonan has the advantage because of their height - even though Sakuragi is almost as tall as Sendoh and his strength is comparable to Sendoh's, but Sakuragi has only just learned basketball, and on the other hand, Rukawa is too exhausted to contribute significantly. But Sakuragi surprises everyone by getting the rebound. Even so, that appears to be only a fluke as he is denied again and again by Uozumi. Akagi re-enters the game in place of Rukawa who is substituted. Sakuragi remembers Akagi's lessons the night before, and does as he is taught. Sendoh attempts a shot, but it does not go in. Sakuragi gets the rebound.

My 2 cents
In the scene where Akagi is teaching Sakuragi, Akagi is drawing on the blackboard, and I just love the way the chalk line actually thickens when Akagi draws the chalk over it several times. Such detail! Yes, I actually do notice things like that in a cartoon.

Episode 18

Kogure gets in a three-pointer and for the first time in the game, Shohoku is leading. This fires up Sendoh's fighting spirit. Akagi sees this and thinks that Sakuragi being a newcomer is no match for Sendoh. But if Akagi himself guards Sendoh, then who would guard Uozumi? Sendoh has the ball, and he bypasses Sakuragi really easily. Akagi goes to block, but not only does Sendoh slam dunk, he also earns a free throw for Ryonan. Akagi tells Sakuragi that he will guard Sendoh, but Sakuragi refuses. Sendoh goes on the offence, but Sakuragi runs and catches up with him, much to Sendoh's surprise. However, Sakuragi cannot brake in time and Sendoh scores again. Two minutes left of the game and Rukawa is substituted back in. Sendoh goes on the attack again, and both Sakuragi and Rukawa move in to guard him. Coach Taoka is amazed at Anzai sensei's strategy and remarks that he has never seen Sendoh play so "happily" (it's a direct translation).

Episodes 19-25

I forgot about these eps. Anyhoo, things happen pretty much as they did in the manga, since the anime followed the comics very closely. Ryonan wins the match by one point. IMHO, the scene in ep 19 where Sakuragi scores after getting the ball from Rukawa was kind of over-melodramatic. And, strangely enough, there was the sound of an airplane thru out the entire scene. OK, back to the story.  Miyagi makes his debut somewhere around here, being dumped by a girl and congratulated by the Sakuragi gundan. Nothing very violent happens due to Yohei's quick thinking. But then Miyagi meets up with Mitsui's gang - oh ya, 'nother first appearance, completing the main characters list - and they prepare to duke it out. However, Miyagi sees Ayako walking by with Sakuragi and gets into a jealous rage and attacks Sakuragi. In the ensuing chaos, Mitsui gets his mouth smashed again (he's already lost his front teeth in a previous fight with Miyagi) and vows revenge on the basketball team (Miyagi turns out to be a member). Somewhere 'round here there's a beach scene that's not in the manga. Miyagi and Sakuragi become great friends, united in their inability to score with girls. Mitsui and his gang crashes one of their training practices and proceed to trash  the place. What follows are fights, blood flying everywhere and lots of violence for a couple of eps. But not, IMO, as violent as Yu Yu Hakusho, another shonen anime. At least here nobody loses any body parts.

Episodes 26 & 27

The tide turns to Shohoku's favor as Sakuragi soundly trashes Tetsuo and Yohei beats up Mitsui. Akagi comes in and sees the mess. He goes straight to Mitsui and backhands him a bit. Then Kogure reveals that Mitsui was a member of the basketball club and everyone's surprised. Flashback time.  Mitsui scored the winning point for his school and was named MVP in junior high. In spite of getting offers from other schools like Ryonan, he joins  little-known Shohoku because of Anzai-sensei. In a flashback within the flashback, it is revealed how, during the crucial match, Anzai-sensei had spoken to Mitsui, telling him that the moment he gave up was the moment the game was over. Back to the original flashback. Akagi showed up (they were both first-year's then) and there was this competition thing between them. In a practice match going up against Akagi, Mitsui (sprained? broke? OK, hurt) his - erm - knee* and was hospitalized.

*In the anime, the shot was of his foot though...

Episode 28

The flashback continues. Mitsui leaves the hospital to practice basketball even though the doctor advises him not to. As he is sneaking back into his ward in the middle of the night, the doc appears and tells him that if he strains his knee, the results may be very severe and that all Mitsui has to do is just wait a month for it to heal. As Mitsui lies on his bed, he decides that he is not going to wait a month, as that means he will have to miss the competition. The next morning sees him on the court practising his three-pointers. They do not go in. He tells himself that his knee does not hurt. Later, he goes up against Akagi again in a practice match, and collapses as his knee gives out. During the long-awaited official match, Akagi shines. Mitsui, on crutches, watches from the sidelines and walks away. End flashback. Kogure goes up to Mitsui and asks him to rejoin the basketball team, but Mitsui refuses, saying that basketball is to him something amusing and not worth his time. Mitsui's friend, Hotsuta, recalls an incident at the beach (another beach scene not in the manga... what's with all these beaches anyway?) where Mitsui was looking at some kids playing basketball. The ball rolls up to them, and a kid asked them to give it back and Hotsuta was about to do just that when Mitsui stomped on the ball and said, "If you want it, come and get it." He ended up kicking the ball right into the kid's stomach. Hotsuta says that he knew it wasn't b'cuz Mitsui had anything personal against the kids, it was just that he didn't want to look at them play basketball so happily. Mitsui turns around and socks him in the jaw. ^_^ Kogure grabs him by the front of his shirt and gives a passionate speech about hope and broken dreams, but Mitsui shoves him away. A knock sounds on the door and Anzai-sensei comes in. Mitsui gazes at him, and remembers. His eyes fill with tears and he falls to his knees and sobs, "Anzai-sensei... I want to play basketball..."

My 2 cents
Favorite scene:
This has got to be the one where Mitsui looks at Anzai-sensei and images of the past flash thru his mind. The music is so cool! This is the first time I've heard vocals being used on the series, and it's my fav song, "Sekai ga owaru made wa" by WANDS. In my opinion, the music makes the animated series worth it. The various BGM's (background music) were pretty cool too.
This is quite a good episode. There's more characterization than in the comics.

Episode 29

The episode opens with Haruko walking along the street on a lovely morning. She remembers what has happened the day before, and how they had covered up the incident in the gym. Yohei and the others had taken the fall for them, and everything had ended up pretty well. Haruko thinks about the district championships, which is drawing near. Back in the gym, Mitsui (who has cut his hair) is practicing with the others. He goes up against Kogure and gets in a three-pointer, much to Kogure's embarrassment. The Shohoku team members look at the roster for the coming competition, and realize that they are in the same group as Shoyo, who was in second place last year behind Kainan.

My 2 cents
This is a really funny episode, probably to make up for the seriousness of the last ep. ^_^

Episode 30

First match in the championships, Shohoku against Miuradai. Ryonan has come to watch the game so we have the exciting narration of Aida Hikoichi to look forward to. ^_^; Aida is surprised to see both Sakuragi and Rukawa on the bench, and also puzzled as to the identity of Miyagi and Mitsui whom he has never seen before (he labels them Mystery Man A & B). Turns out Anzai-sensei wants to punish them for fighting so he keeps them on the bench. It is right about here that the four of them get into a really, really hilarious argument. Sakuragi, Mitsui and Miyagi are arguing among themselves, and of course Rukawa has to insult all three of them at once, resulting in the three of them turning on him. Meanwhile, Shohoku is having some trouble on the court. Their morale is very low, but Akagi manages to rallies them together. Finally Anzai-sensei allows Sakuragi & Co to play.

My 2 cents
I can't believe they waited one whole episode before letting Sakuragi and the others on the court! ^_^;; Anyway. In this ep Maki Shinichi of Kainan makes his first appearance in conversation with Sendoh out in the hallways while the game is going on.
Favorite scene:
Sakuragi, Mitsui and Miyagi surround Rukawa in super-deformed mode.
Mitsui: You're the one who hit me first! You short-tempered jerk!
Sakuragi butts in and says something, I can't remember what, you know how he is, blah blah blah.
Miyagi: Rukawa, how dare you insult your sempai!
There's a long silence as Rukawa stares at them. Then,
Rukawa: You're blocking my view.
Mitsui, Miyagi and Sakuragi look like they're going to explode. ^_^

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