Sunday, July 20, 2008

Slam Dunk

Hanamich Sakuragi

Japanese singer

about Nagano Jpan


Aiwa High School

Aiwa is ranked 4th in Japan and was favored to win the Aichi Interhigh Tournament, but was upset by Meihou. Shohoku faces them in the third round of the National Championship and loses to them because they were exhausted from the Sannoh match. The team's captain, shooting guard Dai Moroboshi, is known as the "Star of Aichi". He was injured by Meihou's Hiroshi Morishige during the Aichi Interhigh finals, and despite returning to the game later, could not push Aiwa over the top because of Meihou's insurmountable lead. Some consider Moroboshi as the only one who can beat Sannoh's Eiji Sawakita in a one-on-one, though Moroboshi himself does not think so.

Daiei High School
Daiei (Daiei Gakuen) is the lead representative for Osaka in the National Championship, having beaten Toyotama. Their captain, power forward Atsushi Tsuchiya, is also the top player for the team, and proved key in their victory.

Jousei High School
Jousei is ranked 8th in Japan, and the main representative for the Shizuoka Prefecture. Their coach is a former pupil of Coach Anzai's, and prior to the start of the National Championship, Shohoku (minus Sakuragi, who undergoes a weeklong training on how to shoot from Coach Anzai) visits them for a weeklong training camp that includes three matches, resulting in a win, loss, and tie for Shohoku. They are knocked out of the National Championship in the second round by Meihou, in a match where Morishige alone eclipses the whole opposite team, leaving the team captain, Mikoshiba, greatly depressed.

Kainan University Affiliated High School
Main article: Kainan University Affiliated High School basketball team

Meihou High School
Meihou is a surprise newcomer to the National Championship, knocking off the favorite Aiwa to qualify as the lead representative for Aichi. They are spearheaded by a massive first year student, Hiroshi Morishige (so massive, he can take Sakuragi down with a mere nudge - given by Sakuragi himself). Meihou beat Jousei in the second round of the National Championship.

Miuradai High School
Miuradai faces Shohoku in the first round of the Interhigh Tournament. They do well at first, because Takenori Akagi is the only one of the five starters to actually start the game, the other four being temporarily benched by Coach Anzai for fighting. The tide turns against Miuradai once the other four starters enter the court and Shohoku is restored to full strength. Miuradai is quite a self-confident team, whose members - particularly their captain, Kengo Murasame - only respect Kainan as an opponent.

One character who only appears in the anime, Tetsuya Naito, is enrolled in the ranks of Miuradai as a substitute Power forward and a brute physical force - he used to play for the Miuradai rugby team, but he was dissatisfied with the lack of challenge and dropped out after Murasame approached him. Naito's inexperience as a basketball player is quickly exposed by Rukawa though, and Shohoku go on to win decisively. In the end, Naito ends up knocked out after Sakuragi (who was pissed off after Naito blocked him several times successfully) tries to use a slam dunk, yet ends up bashing him on the head by mistake.

Ryonan High School
Main article: Ryonan High School basketball team

Ryokofu High School
Ryokofu appears in the third OVA, inviting Shohoku for a friendly match right after their defeat from Kainan. They are a relatively new team, but were a force to be feared as their ranks included star players from junior high, including their half-American ace, Michael Okita.

Sannoh Industry Affiliated High School
Main article: Sannoh Industry Affiliated High School basketball team

Shohoku High School
Main article: Shohoku High School basketball team

Shoyo High School
Main article: Shoyo High School basketball team

Takezato High School
Takezato was seeded first in its respective bracket in the Kanagawa Interhigh Tournament and makes the final four. However, they prove to be the weakest team present, losing to Shohoku, Ryonan, and Kainan and finishing fourth.

Takezono High School
Takezono is the team for which Tatsumasa Oda, the boy for whom Sakuragi suffered his 50th rejection, plays. Unluckily, their last match in the Kanagawa Tournament is against the reigning champion Kainan, who beats them handily with a reserve team, the only starters to play being Jin and Muto.

Sakuragi, who at first mistakenly thought that Oda was mistreating his girlfriend Yoko Shimamura, wanted Takezono to win so he could face Oda again (Shohoku and Takezono face each other in the first Slam Dunk OVA, in a friendly match). Oda was injured, but played all the same. However, none of these events are mentioned in the manga. That Oda is playing in Takezono or that Shohoku played them are also not mentioned.

Toyotama High School
Toyotama is the runner-up team from Osaka in the National Championship, having lost to Daiei. They are an A ranked team and almost all of their starters are third years.

Shohoku faces them in the first round of the National Championship, where Toyotama show a talent for getting away with violent, flagrant fouls, not to mention the constant teasing from the crowd, that constantly yells, swears and threatens the opposite team. They have mastered the run and gun style of play and divide their effort between 80% offense and 20% defense. Their main weakness was the replacement of their coach, Jiei, who nurtured the team's offensive philosophy and is widely respected by the players. His replacement, on the other hand, Kitano, emphasizes defensive basketball, which the players have difficulty adjusting to. Because of this, they prefer to play their own way than listening to their new coach.

The Toyotama match only appears in the manga. One of the reserve players, Teruo Okawa, is a friend of Hikoichi Aida's from junior high. Toyotama has an ace in the form of Minori Kishimoto, who earns not only Hikoichi's enmity for Toyotama after he dismisses Sendoh's abilities as a player (Hikoichi in retribution gives Shohoku information on Toyotama), but also from Sakuragi, who spent the first half under intense pressure and could not perform well enough, being substituted for by Yasuda early in the match. Their other ace and captain is Tsuyoshi Minami (who Sakuragi calls "chick-face" after the bird), who is the most aggressive of the players. He is known as the "Ace Killer", and lives up to this nickname by hitting Rukawa in the face with his elbow as he once did to Kenji Fujima from Shoyo, leaving him with a black eye for the whole second half of the game. Minami however makes up for it later, as the night before the match against Sannoh, he gives Rukawa an ointment to help his eye heal and warns him about Sawakita. The other players include Mitsuaki Iwata (center), Kyohei Yajima (shooting guard) and Daijiro Itakura (point guard).

Tsukubu High School
Tsukubu used to be a high-leaguer team before the rise of Shohoku. They were the fourth team Shohoku faced in the Prefectural Tournament and, after a good start, they let their defense be breached by Miyagi's fast play and lost concentration, leading to a rather shameful loss.

Tsukubu is featured prominently in the second OVA (which portrays the tournament match), where their star rookie, Koichiro Nango, falls in love with Haruko and becomes a bitter rival to Sakuragi, to the point of betting with Sakuragi: whoever wins the game will have the right to ask Haruko out. Their coach, Kazuma Kawasaki, was a former pupil of Anzai, while their captain, Tomokazu Godai, attended Kogure and Akagi's former junior high and is on friendly terms with them, but is kicked out of the game after losing his temper.

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