First-ever theatrical release for one of the most popular and influential sports anime of all time.

It takes somewhere between 20 and 30 years for pop culture nostalgia to gestate. By that math, we were just about due for some new Slam Dunk content, and sure enough we’re getting it.

A little after lunchtime on Thursday, series creator Takehiko Inoue casually and cryptically tweeted “Slam Dunk will become a movie,” along with a pencil sketch GIF delivering the same message.

You might think this would be a cause for instantaneous cheering from Slam Dunk fans, but a question remained. With live-action adaptations of anime and manga becoming more and more common, is the movie going to be live-action or animated? With a story as down-to-earth as “high school boys play basketball in Kanagawa Prefecture,” there’s no reason it couldn’t be done with human actors, but live-action versions of anime have a spotty record, and Slam Dunk is a series that fans have been especially skeptical of making the transition well.

Anime loyalists can breathe easy, though. Following Inoue’s tweet, a teaser site for the new Slam Dunk movie was set up and a press release issued, both proudly bearing the name of Toei Animation, the same studio that produced the 101-episode Slam Dunk TV series, which aired between 1993 and 1996, as well as four short TV movie specials.

Slam Dunk’s first episode is free to watch on Toei Animation’s Japanese YouTube channel.

The upcoming film, however, will be the first time for Slam Dunk to get the feature-length theatrical anime treatment. Currently, it doesn’t even have an official title, and there’s no indication as to whether it’ll be a sequel or reboot. But with the franchise’s status as one of the most popular anime/manga of all time, and the crowd-pleasing 2019 City Hunter anime movie showing this sort of revival can be pulled off, convincing fans to watch the Inoue’s characters take the court again should be, well, a slam dunk.

Source: PR Times, Slam Dunk movie teaser site
Top image: YouTube/東映アニメーションミュージアム公式YouTubeチャンネル

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