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While most popular sports anime are about baseball or soccer, creator Takehiko Inoue’s basketball story Slam Dunk is one of the most popular series of all time. Beginning as a manga in 1990 before making the leap to animation in 1993, Slam Dunk played a huge role in boosting basketball’s popularity in Japan.

Slam Dunk’s print and TV run also coincided with four of NBA legend Michael Jordan’s professional championships. Now, the two icons are teaming up with Nike to bring sneaker fans Slam Dunk Air Jordans.

Based on the Jordan VI Retro model, the anime-inspired kicks come in red and white, the same colors of the uniforms for both Jordan’s Chicago Bulls and Sakuragi’s Shohoku High School. The back of the shoes are festooned with the Slam Dunk protagonist’s number 10, though, instead of the real-world basketballer’s signature 23.

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Also, instead of the Nike swoosh taking up the majority of the surface space, there’s a scene from the manga. Thanks to the shoes’ special coating, shining a bright light on the heel area will even make Sakuragi appear.

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We’re sure Slam Dunk fans are psyched, but the happiest person of all may be Inoue himself, who tweeted a snapshot of the kicks his story led to.

“If you’d told me 30 years ago that someday they’d make these shoes, I wouldn’t have believed you, but here they are,” the artist gushed. “I’m so grateful that basketball is a part of my life.”

Combining anime merchandise and Air Jordans, two things that aren’t cheap by themselves, doesn’t exactly result in low-priced footwear, though, and the Slam Dunk shoes go on sale October 18 for 30,240 yen (US $277). That’s not such a steep price if you’ve got a half-dozen NBA championships and the sweet endorsement deals that come with that sort of on-the-court success, but if you’re just an ordinary anime fan wanting to balance your budget, you might consider picking up some instant ramen along with these new Nikes.

Sources: Curazy, Sneaker Wars
Top image: Doorblog/Sneaker Wars (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert images: Curazy, Sneaker Wars