I saw the animated film “THE FIRST SLAMU DUNK” which has been in theaters since last December. SLAM DUNK is a basketball manga by Takehiko Inoue that ran in magazines from 1990 to 1996. The total number of comics sold in Japan exceeds 120 million. The film depicts a game in which boys on a high school basketball team take on a strong team in a national tournament.
Notably, the original author Takehiko Inoue was in charge of the original story of this film, the screenplay and the director. He gave detailed instructions for everything from the bulges in the character’s calves to facial expressions and sound effects. Inoue’s drawings are so realistic that it was feared that it would be impossible to animate them, but there was no problem at all. Characters I know from the manga were brought to life on the screen as if they were actually alive. This was probably the result of the direct and enthusiastic efforts of the originator.
And, the film features the use of motion capture for the basketball game scenes. The characters looked exactly as they do in the manga and moved on the screen with the speed and reality of a real basketball game. Sound effects were also recorded during the filming of the motion actors, and the sounds of the basketball bouncing around the gymnasium and the basketball shoes scraping against the ground are all real sounds. It was like watching a basketball game in a gymnasium for VR. I could understand the size of the basketball court and the trajectory of the players’ movements on the court which I could not understand from the paper cartoons. The technique of frame-by-frame animation of a single picture is one of Japan’s specialties. But this work was a next-generation animation that made full use of the latest technology.
Inoue said that he had wanted to create something different and new, rather than just duplicate old works. Indeed, comparing the manga to this animated film, it was a completely different work that surpassed the original even though the content was the same. The background music was also excellent, blending perfectly with the speedy game development and rock music. That is one of the highlights.
The film was released in Korea on January 4. It will be released in Singapore soon. If you have a chance to see it, I urge you to see it in a theater. I want you to enjoy it in Dolby Surround 7.1, rather than on a video streaming service on your TV at home. From the first 10 minutes you are bound to be excited!!