[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SlamDunk.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: Team Shohoku; resemblance to the Chicago Bulls probably not accidental]]

->''"I want to play basketball..."''

->''"I'm a genius player!"''

->''"The left hand is for support only..."''

->''"[[CharacterDevelopment I love it. And this time, it's for real.]]"''

Hanamichi Sakuragi is a extremely tall [[RedHeadedHero red-haired]] JerkWithAHeartOfGold (the "gold heart" part often [[SlaveToPR hidden from the public]]) and a bit of a [[{{Delinquents}} delinquent]], who has been rejected by ''fifty'' girls while in Junior High School due to his fearsome fame. The last one, [[NiceGirl Yoko Shimamura]], confesses that she rejected him because she was in love with Oda, a player from the basketball team, so Hanamichi hated that sport with a big passion. Naturally, when in his very first day in High School someone asks him if he likes basketball, he would be very happy to turn to the idiot and give him [[UseYourHead a big headbutt]]...

Only to find, when he turns, that the one asking the question is a girl. A ''very'' pretty girl, in fact.

The pretty girl in question, [[{{Dojikko}} Haruko]] [[NaiveEverygirl Akagi]], is a basketball fan as well as a former player, and Hanamichi, who has instantly fallen in love with her, lies saying that he is an expert in the sport. Although she is not fooled, she finds that Hanamichi has a hidden natural talent (by seeing him try to dunk and ''slam his forehead against the backboard'' no less), and encourages him to apply into the school's basketball team. Unfortunately, she also lets slip that she is in love with one [[TheStoic Kaede Rukawa]], an uber-talented rookie. Hanamichi is so crushed that he commits the mistake of insulting the sport just when the team captain was near.

After "winning" with a very bizarre play against the captain of the basketball team (who also happens to be Haruko's older brother [[GeniusBruiser Takenori]] [[AloofBigBrother Akagi]]), Hanamichi is finally accepted into the team. However, he is relegated to [[YouGetMeCoffee learning the basics]], something that his bombastic personality and his "necessity" of impressing Haruko can't handle well. To make matters worse, his [[HotBlooded hot temper]] and his very open rivalry against Rukawa (who [[UnknownRival ignores him half of the time]], and fights back the other half) makes the training sessions a living hell for everyone involved. It doesn't help that Rukawa has a legion of noisy [[EstrogenBrigade fangirls]] who visit ''every'' training session and are very annoying to begin with.

However, between the addition of more players to the team (one of them after an especially gruesome fight involving gangs), the first games against other schools, and the obligatory regional and national championship, something weird begins to happen to Hanamichi. Although he is still a hot-tempered redhead and his hopeless onesided crush on Haruko doesn't diminish even a little, he soon finds that he actually ''does'' like basketball ''by himself'' and not as a way to impress someone else. More enough, he slowly begins to accept that he needs to practice more, and needs to play along with the team. Learning that is making him a better player. The basketball court is [[CharacterDevelopment making him more mature]]...

First published in 1990 in Shueisha's ShonenJump, ''SlamDunk'' became extremely popular and set many standards in sport manga, with a storyline that balanced comedy and drama. It subverted the then-usual trope of [[InstantExpert instant sport genius]] with a main character who, while having a lot of potential, is a real newbie and is treated as one even when he makes astounding progress. It was also written under the real supposition that very few people would know the sport, using the protagonist road to learn a new sport as a way to explain the rules and tactics, and even adding extra blurbs for bigger inside.

The anime series was broadacast in Latin America in late 1990s-early 2000s, where it earned great popularity and is still very well-loved (partially because of a ''[[SuperlativeDubbing fantastic]]'' [[SuperlativeDubbing dub made in Mexico]]). The manga is still very popular in South Korea, where it is said it has inspired a generation of players. Reruns of the series also occur every few years in the basketball-obsessed Philippines, where the series is a favorite even among usually non-anime-watching demographics.

An English version of the manga was initially published in the short-lived English manga anthology ''RaijinComics'' by Gutsoon! Entertainment from 2002 to 2004. Years Gutsoon went out of business, Creator/VizMedia picked up the rights for the manga and begun serializing the series in the American ''ShonenJump'' on September 2008. Additionally, Creator/{{Funimation}} is offering official subtitled episodes from Toei Animation [[http://www4.funimation.com/video/?page=show&b=272 on their video streaming site]].

----
!!Tropes:

* AccidentalMisnaming: Sakuragi refers to the Sannoh team as "Yamaoh" ([[AlternateCharacterReading since the kanji name is the same]]). For the same reason, at the hotel the Shohoku team stays for the Nationals, the staff calls him as "Nagarekawa" instead of Rukawa.
** Not that the referred ones care that much about it.
*** Also, when Rukawa recalls an one-on-one he had with Sendoh, the latter told him about a certain "Kitazawa" who Rukawa should be on the lookout for. Turns out that he was talking about Sawakita and could not remember his name properly.
* {{Adorkable}}: Hanamichi and Ryota have this in spades for their love interests.
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: It so is. Sakuragi for Haruko at first. Eventually Haruko herself recognizes this is where her feelings for Rukawa are going. Also, Ryota for Ayako, at least until the epilogue.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Either Rukawa, Sendoh, Maki or Fujima.
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Many characters, prominently Akagi (playing up on his resemblance to Patrick Ewing), Uozumi, Masashi, and Maki.
* AnimalMotifs: In Hanamichi's imagination, Akagi is a gorilla, Rukawa is a fox and Miyagi was at least once seen as a mouse. And pretty much every other guys are monkeys or apes of one species or another.
* AuthorAvatar: Dr. T, a character with appears in both anime and manga to explain the basic rules of basketball to the audience, is just a chibified version of the author, Takehiko Inoue.
* AndThisIsFor: Parodied with Sakuragi and a gangster (who belonged to Mitsui's gang before he returned to the team) who once hit Rukawa, whom he gives a mere slap on the wrist (anime) or a light tap on the face (manga), actually ''thanking him'' for beating up Rukawa.
** It's made ever funnier by the fact that it happens in the middle of a long list of "more serious" AndThisIsFor examples (like... putting a cigarette out on a basketball) that earned said gangster much heavier hits.
* AwesomeButImpractical: Sakuragi's 'Skull Dunk'. It's awesome, but won't get you anywhere in the middle of a basketball match. You'll get a foul and, depending on the case, you might even get the player on the receiving end unconscious.
* BathroomStallOfOverheardInsults: Mitsui overhears Hasegawa openly taking him for granted when he's taking a dump.
* BelligerentSexualTension: Miyagi and Ayako were this at age eleven (age was probably the key reason for this). Rather hilarious considering how much of a dogged nice guy Ryota becomes later on.
* BerserkButton: Do NOT wake up Rukawa from a nap. Do NOT say Rukawa is the best in front of either Sakuragi and/or Kiyota. Do NOT mention Sendoh's prowess in front of Rukawa and Sakuragi. Do NOT insult basketball in front of Akagi. Do NOT...
* BerserkerTears: Sakuragi cries them while trying to commit suicide in episode 2, after Haruko shouts at him. Also, Miyagi, after mistaken Sakuragi as going out with Ayako.
* BetaCouple: Ryota and Ayako are this to Hanamichi and Haruko to an extent. Ryota makes his affection for Ayako ''very'' clear and Ayako generally doesn't mind it (unless it interferes with basketball or gets him in trouble). Sakuragi even shows some distress when he notices Ryota's made more progress with Ayako then he has with Haruko.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Kogure; he's [[NiceGuy gentle and calm]], yet [[spoiler: doesn't even flinch when he's slapped by Mitsui, and later gets to yell at him when Mitsui hits him again]]. Haruko is also shown as a pacific and gentle NaiveEverygirl, but the second episode had her openly [[WhatTheHellHero yelling at Sakuragi]] when she mistakenly thinks he's back to his bad habits. Also, Coach Anzai; we are informed that years before he got his pacific, almost beatific appearance, he was a very aggressive trainer and manager who was downright ''feared'' by his peers and pupils. [[spoiler: He only became gentler after his star student's Yazawa's tragic death.]]
** We see a glimpse of his ''evil'' persona during the Sannoh game, when Sakuragi is being his usual self and Anzai ''really'' needs him to listen to his plan, before he returns into the court. However, the glimpse is so brief that Sakuragi and the other players on the bench look quite confused on what actually happened. Still, it's enough to get Sakuragi's attention, and thus start the MiracleRally.
* BigEater: Sakuragi, in the lunch breaks of his 20,000-shot training.
* BlandNameProduct: Oh, so many in the anime... Subverted with the sneakers, all of which are noted to be legitimate, professional basketball brands. The manga also subverts it by including many real sports brands in the basketballs and gear.
** The manga goes more on the aversion route, because real-life brands can be spotted rather frequently on and off courts (some characters are usually seen drinking Pocari Sweat, a Japanese soft drink).
* BlindIdiotTranslation: A punk saying "Hey, you with the beard" to Noma, who is completely clean shaven except for his prominent mustache; This is because there's only one word (''hige'') for any kind of facial hair in Japanese, but you'd think an editor would notice that the "bearded" guy has absolutely no beard.
* BlindWithoutEm: Subverted with Hanagata, who gets his glasses broken during the Shoyo match but can still play.
* BluntMetaphorsTrauma: When Sakuragi is told to [[UseYourHead use his head]], he does so, very VERY literally.
* BoisterousBruiser: Sakuragi is one of the rare ''protagonist'' examples.
* BookDumb: Almost everyone in the Shohoku team, except for GeniusBruiser Akagi and BadassBookworm Kogure.
* BrilliantButLazy
** Rukawa. Even though he's only 'brilliant' when it comes to basketball.
** Sendoh, even more so. He skips practices and regularly sleeps in late, but is still one of the best players in the series.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Sendoh is an excellent player and lead. He's also always late to any kind of meetings, loves eating lemon slices and always goes fishing.
* ButNotTooForeign: Michael Okita from the third OAV.
* CatchPhrase: Hikoichi's [[GratuitousEnglish "UNBELIEVABLE!!"]] ("must check that!" too) Sakuragi's "I'M A GENIUS" and "TEMEE KITSUNE!" (Why you fox!), which is always directed at Rukawa; Rukawa's "Dou Ahou" (lit. "dumbass"), usually directed towards Sakuragi.
* ChekhovsBoomerang: Early in the series, in the practice game with Ryonan Sakuragi learns the lesson that the game is still on until the time's up. [[spoiler:With a one point lead and only 20 seconds left, Shohoku has assumed that they have already won, but Sendoh doesn't waste a remaining second as he rushes the ball to the other end and scores, ending the game with Ryonan as the victor.]] Sakuragi takes this to heart as [[spoiler:much later in Shohoku and Ryonan's actual match, as the game is about to end with Shohoku leading, Sakuragi warns his teammates not to put their guard down toward Sendoh and they rush to make a defensive formation that keeps Sendoh from scoring up to the end.]] THEN, much more later, [[spoiler:at the end of the series Sannoh takes the one point lead with only eight seconds left. So [[MomentOfAwesome SAKURAGI HIMSELF DOES A SENDOH.]] As everyone is about to acknowledge Sannoh's victory, they then realize that Sakuragi is already running to the other end of the court to get a good shooting position. The rest of Shohoku quickly catches on and does a fast break; Sakuragi then gets the ball and does a buzzer beater, winning the game for Shohoku.]]
* ChickMagnet: Rukawa, Sendoh and Fujima
* CrazyJealousGuy: Ryouta Miyagi in regards to Ayako. One of his earliest appearances has him crying a river, screaming and punching Sakuragi ''because he mistook him for Ayako's boyfriend''. When they just happened to be ''walking together talking about basketball''.
* TheComicallySerious: Rukawa, Akagi, sometimes Uozumi and Maki.
* CuteSportsClubManager: Ayako. But she's of the {{Tomboy}} and assertive variety.
* DarkSkinnedBlond: Maki has lighter hair than the average and a much darker skin as well.
* DeadpanSnarker: Rukawa.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Ayako was this towards Ryota in the prequel. Hilariously, she's rather Tsundere for him in the main series.
* DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife: [[spoiler:Hisashi Mitsui]]
* {{Determinator}} : Lots of players are SO determined to win against all costs that they endure injuries, extreme fatigue and practically Every Single Crap thrown at them because of their sheer willpower. Special mention goes to Sakuragi in the manga, [[spoiler: playing whole-heartily in the semifinals despite having a ''crippling injury'']], Akagi [[spoiler: playing against Kainan with a ''seriously'' sprained ankle, this being his CrowningMomentOfAwesome]] and Rukawa [[spoiler: playing ''half blind'' against Toyotama (he still had one functioning eye, but still)]]
* DisappearedDad: [[spoiler: Sakuragi's beloved father died of a heart attack when his son was in junior high. Sakuragi [[FailureKnight could never]] [[MyGreatestFailure forgive himself]] for not being able to help him.]]
* DoggedNiceGuy: Hanamichi and ''especially'' Ryota.
* {{Dojikko}}: Haruko. Sakuragi himself, in the beginning.
* DrillSergeantNasty: Anzai, prior to the series beginning. He adopted his current zen-like persona after he realized that his methods were driving his players into physical harm.
** According to Haruko, Miyagi became one after becoming Captain.
* DrivenToSuicide: Parodied in episode two - After Haruko calls Sakuragi out, he attempts to jump off the ledge while crying BerserkerTears and his friends have to pull him away.
* {{Expy}}: A lot of the characters were based on real-life NBA superstars.
** Shohoku High lampshades these to high heaven: Although the team are only allowed numbers 4 - 15 in their jerseys (FIBA Rules), they wear the numbers of their respective real-life counterparts on their practice sessions. As such, Akagi (based on Patrick Ewing) wears 33 instead of his regular number 4, and Rukawa (Jordan) wears number 23 instead of 11. Sakuragi, who is based on Dennis Rodman, still wears the number 10 that Dennis wore while playing for the Detroit Pistons.
* MrFanservice: ''Every'' named male character except for Akagi or any of the old and ugly coaches.
** [[{{Bara}} Except for Akagi?]]
* FailureKnight: [[spoiler: Sakuragi]].
* FestivalEpisode: After a grueling 20,000 shot challenge by Coach Anzai, Sakuragi collapses when his friends suggest that it's time for basics, something Sakuragi HATES. Haruko, concerned, and as a reward, suggest they go to the festival. To which Sakuragi immediately perks up and thinks its a date. He then jumps up and enthusiastically does whatever basics is required.
* FiveManBand (It's basketball, what do you expect)
** Shohoku
*** TheHero: Sakuragi.
*** TheLancer: Rukawa.
*** TheSmartGuy: Miyagi (sometimes Ayako).
*** TheBigGuy: Akagi (GeniusBruiser type)
*** TheChick: Mitsui (very skilled but with low stamina) and Kogure (male TeamMom)
*** SixthRanger: Kogure (he's the actual team Sixth Man), sometimes Yasuda
** There's also Ryonan:
**** TheHero: Sendoh
**** TheLancer: Fukuda
**** TheSmartGuy: Koshino
**** TheBigGuy: Uozumi
**** TheChick: Uekasa or Ikegami
* FlatWhat: Rukawa always says 'What' very bluntly. Actually, [[DullSurprise he says everything very bluntly]].
* TheFool: Subverted: Sakuragi's got potential by the bushel, but still has to acquire basic skills.
* FragileSpeedster: Ryouta Miyagi, Kenji Fujima, Dai Moboroshi (from Aiwa High in Aichi, a OneSceneWonder in the manga).
* FriendshipMoment: Hilariously averted near the end of the Manga. Shohoku was within striking distance of beating Sannoh, and Akagi is overwhelmed with emotion.
--->'''Akagi''': Guys, thanks for being here.
--->'''Sakuragi''': WHAAAAAAAAT? [[NotInThisForYourRevolution I'm here for myself, not for you Gori!]]
* GameBreakingInjury: Sakuragi, in the match against Sannoh, leading to one of his greatest CrowningMomentOfAwesome in the series. Some may think of Akagi's sprained ankle against Kainan too, but Shohoku did not win that match.
* GeckoEnding: Though the manga had already ended at around the same time, the anime was finished before the nationals arc; [[spoiler:and as the anime's finale a practice game is made up where Shohoku goes against a team consisting of Shoyo and Ryonan's finest. Some elements in the nationals games are used in the practice game.]]
* GentleGiant: When in a good mood, Sakuragi can be a rather awkward but nice guy. Specially if you're a sweet-looking girl, like Haruko.
** He may be one of the hot-headed characters, but Uozumi also counts, especially considering his background story.
* GeniusBruiser: All the center players, especially Masashi Kawata and Akagi.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: In the first episode, judging by Sakuragi's LuminescentBlush and huge eyes as Haruko feels up his arms and then his legs to check on his muscles, it's very obvious that [[IDidntMeanToturnYouOn she accidentally]] [[ObliviousToLove and obliviously]] caused him [[RagingStiffie to... rise]]. Also, [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything she got on her knees to touch the muscles on his legs...]]
* GlassCannon: Mitsui is Shohoku's second best scorer and one of the best in Kanagawa, but his stamina is very poor. There's also Team Toyotama, who greatly emphasize offense and have rather lacking defensive play as a result.
* {{Gonk}} (Takamiya, Kawata - both brothers - , some other players)
* GoldfishGrabbingGame: During the festival episode. Trying to find Haruko, who disappeared with her two friends, he finds her at the fish grabbing game. She wanted to help a little boy and girl get one but admits she's clumsy. Sakuragi of course boasts his genius and tries unsuccessfully several times, soon running out of money. He didn't give up and insists the guy "put it on his tab" and furiously swishes around to get the fish. The owner of course is not pleased and gives him whatever fish he wants.
* GroupieBrigade (Rukawa's fangirls)
* HandsomeLech (Okita, slightly)
* HeavySleeper: Rukawa is actually ''infamous'' for this.
* HeroAntagonist: Worth noting since unlike some other sports-themed stories the opponents are not the least bit {{Jerkass}}es. And some of them are better sports than the hotheaded delinquents that consist most of the main cast. (And yet you can't help but love and root for Sakuragi and the rest for it.) Of particular note is Sendoh, with his easygoing and inspiring attitude; who may be the closest thing to the ideal sportsman in the series, and who ALSO brings up the biggest OhCrap moments every time he gets to hold the ball!
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Miyagi and Sakuragi, Kogure and Akagi
* HotBlooded: Sakuragi is the definition of this trope.
* HowWeGotHere: The first episode shows the Shohoku team in a match before the opening. Probably the Nationals. After the opening, they show us how they got there.
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Haruko and either Sakuragi, Rukawa, Aouta, or Akagi if we go by platonic relationships. Also Youko and Oda, as well as Okita and Eri (though they're more WillTheyOrWontThey). Subverted with Ayako and Miyagi since they're around the same height.
* IAmNotLeftHanded: Shoyo restrict Fujima's playing time as a matter of professional pride.
* TheIdiotFromOsaka: Hikoichi is a perceptive guy who prides himself on the amount of effort he puts into researching opposing teams. He also mistook Sakuragi for Rukawa and Akagi when they first met, and was convinced that he really had all the talent be boasted of.
* IdiotHero: Sakuragi and Kiyota. Rukawa [[NotSoDifferent also has some traits]], he just hides them better.
* ImportantHaircut [[spoiler:Mitsui, and later Hanamichi. In the anime, Haruko; she actually realizes Rukawa won't love her back right after she cuts her hair short, and starts swooning less over him.]]
* InstantFanClub: the Rukawa cheerleaders.
* {{Irony}}: Sakuragi frequently calls himself a genius, and such moments are either ignored or turned into a CrowningMomentOfFunny. But seeing as he manages to go from a complete beginner to someone giving the top senior high basketball team an ''extremely'' tough time, he may very well be counted as one.
* ItsAllMyFault: After losing to Kainan, Sakuragi and Rukawa have a fight over whose fault it was (that's right, each blaming himself instead of the other).
* JerkAss: Rukawa.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Surprisingly enough, Miyagi was this towards Ayako in the prequel.
* LargeHam: Sakuragi is a HotBlooded rookie who loves to loudly claim he's "A BASKETBALL GENIUS!"
* LethalJokeCharacter: Miyamasu. Small, nerdy, unimposing... and an excellent long-distance shooter who manages to utterly disrupt Sakuragi's concentration in the Kainan game.
* LiteralAssKicking: Rukawa often does this to Hanamichi.
* LoudLastName: This happens a lot.
* LoveAtFirstPunch: Surprisingly enough, Ryota and Ayako were both this to each other in 6th grade (according to the prequel). Perhaps Miyagi's adorkable side came with puberty.
* LoveMakesYouDumb: Haruko is a quite normal and booksmart girl, but mention Rukawa to her and she'll go all starstruck. Miyagi also suffers of this: mention Ayako and he'll do the same ''even in the middle of a game'' ("Well done, Ryouta!" "Aya-chaaan!").
* LookingForLoveInAllTheWrongPlaces: Basically, the life story of Hanamichi Sakuragi and Ryota Miyagi. [[spoiler:The descent on criminality of Mitsui and his posterior come back can be see as a [[DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife non-romantic version]] of the trope]]
* MadeOfIron: Nearly everyone. Hanamichi and Rukawa get beaten up, hit with the metal side of a mop. They're both left made bloody messes, and at one point Rukawa faints from bloodloss and lays in a pool of his own blood. They both proceed to beat the shit out of their respective opponents. Everyone received at least one attack, and while the redshirts were knocked out of the fight with one blow, Hanamichi made Tetsuo, a big muscular man, look like a fly by comparison.
* MadnessMantra: Hanamichi [[ImprobableWeaponUser uses it]] to disrupt Uozumi's free throws. ''[[TheCuckoolanderWasRight It works]]''.
* ManlyTears: Rivers and rivers of it.
* TheMedic: Ayako, the team manager, often has to bandage the guys when they get injured. [[spoiler: The only time she refuses since she's not sure if it'll work, Akagi actually ''forces'' her to.]]
* {{Meganekko}}: Kogure is a male example.
* MoodWhiplash: Goes from drama to comedy and then to sports action without almost any warning.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Any basketball skill Sakuragi learns.
* MyBelovedSmother: Mitsui's mother, apparently. He lampshades this by loudly whining about how his mom refuses to believe him when he says he's staying at Akagi's to study and nothing else.
-->'''Mitsui:''' ''(hanging up the phone)'' Won't trust even her own son...\\
'''Sakuragi:''' Well, after all that stuff you did...
* NaiveEverygirl: Haruko.
* TheNicknamer: Sakuragi's list of nicknames:
** Rukawa: Fox (Kitsune)
** Akagi: Gorilla (shortened 'Gori')
** Uozumi: Boss Monkey
** Hanagata: 'Glasses' ('Megane')
** Kiyota: Wild Monkey (And he gets called 'Red-haired Monkey' in return)
** Maki: Old Man
** Kogure: Glasses Man (Megane-kun)
** Mitsui: Missy (Micchy)
** Ryota: Ryochin
** Masashi Kawata: Gori-ball
** Anzai-sensei: Pops (Jiji)
** Himself: Genius (Tensai)
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: With a bit of ShoutOut too: Shohoku's colors and jerseys are also based on the Bulls and fans have lots of fun drawing parallels to its star players at the time of the comic's running. Sakuragi's resemblance to Dennis Rodman is somewhat accidental; the series started before Rodman was on the Bulls at all (and let's consider also that Sakuragi had been a typical school delinquent for quite a while), but given that Sakuragi shaves his head, bringing a physical resemblance to Rodman into the picture, it seems like the author just ran with it. There's also Akagi's uncanny resemblance to Patrick Ewing despite being a Japanese high school student.
* NoIndoorVoice: Sakuragi
* NoSocialSkills: Rukawa
* TheOjou: Eri Fujisawa from the OAV is a mix of Ojou and {{Tsundere}}.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: The feelings from Hanamichi to Rukawa, who leads to...
** UnknownRival: basically, how Rukawa sees Sakuragi for a long while.
*** Sakuragi eventually directs this to Sendoh and Fukuda as well, and thinks of doing so to Morishige as well (though Shohoku never gets to play against Meihou, except for a dream Sakuragi once had).
** Also, it might be argued that Rukawa may feel this towards Sawakita.
** [=AND=] basically all that Kiyota thinks of Rukawa, partly leading to his rivalry with Sakuragi.
** Rukawa also thinks this of Sendo.
* OnlySaneMan: Yohei among Sakuragi's buddies.
* OutOfFocus: Parodied; After not being featured prominently for several chapters, Hanamichi snaps and shouts "I am the main character!"
* PaperFanOfDoom: Manager Ayako's weapon of choice.
* PerpetualFrowner: Rukawa
* PhenotypeStereotype: ButNotTooForeign Michael Okita has green eyes and blond hair.
* {{Prequel}} {{Spinoff}}: In 1998, Inoue published a one-shot manga called Piercings, which starred Ryota and Ayako. As the name suggests, it tells the story of how and when Ryota got his piercing, as well as some insight into Ayako and Ryota's families.
** However, unlike most prequels and spin-offs, it's relation to the main series wasn't promoted at all, and it isn't till the last pages that we learn who the two children really are.
* RageQuit: [[spoiler: Sakuragi quits the team in the earlier episodes because he is only being given basic training]]
* RatedMForManly
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: [[spoiler: Kogure, on gangster Mitsui. After being slapped ''twice''.]] Easily, his first CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
* RedOniBlueOni: Sakuragi and Rukawa (Sakuragi even has red hair and Rukawa has blue eyes in the anime), Akagi and Kogure
* RedHeadedHero: Somewhat subverted, since Sakuragi actually ''dyes'' his hair.
* RomanticTwoGirlFriendship: Haruko and Ayako have some traces of this at the beginning.
* SchoolNewspaperNewsHound: Mari Kawai
* SeriousBusiness: Basketball, of course.
* ShesAllGrownUp: One possible explanation for Miyagi's deep infatuation with Ayako. It's revealed in the prequel he first met her when he was 11, but at the time thought she was weird. Yet when he meets her again in high school, he's head over heels.
* ShoutOut: Aside from the NoCelebritiesWereHarmed above, the team jerseys of the schools in the Kanagawa Prefecture bears resemblances to the top teams of the NBA in TheNineties:
** Shohoku High - Chicago Bulls
** Ryonan High - Orlando Magic (at least the 1993 jersey)
** Kainan High - Los Angeles Lakers
** Shoyo High - Boston Celtics
* SmallNameBigEgo: Sakuragi in the beginning, zero skills, and still likes to call himself a Basketball Genius. While he does improve as the series goes on, his bark is consistently louder than his bite.
* TheStrategist: Fujima
* SuperDeformed: By the bushel. Since the "normal" style is ''very'' near to a realistic one (which is Takehiko Inoue's default), the comedic effect is increased. One of the licensed videogames was a basketball simulation where all the characters were in SD.
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: Sakuragi with Rukawa. Rukawa himself is a proxy example because he is '''very''' individualistic - it's like he thinks he could take on the entire opposing team alone.
** Possibly lampshaded at the end of the manga, where [[spoiler:Rukawa makes the final pass of the game against Sannoh to Sakuragi, who is in position to score the winning bucket and does.]] Then, they high-five... And immediately turn away from each other contemptuously.
* TeamDad: Anzai, Taoka, Takato and other coaches. To a degree, also Captain Akagi.
* TeamMom: Ayako, Anzai's wife, somewhat. Kogure is a male example.
* TenMinuteRetirement: [[spoiler: When Sakuragi quits basketball in the earlier episodes, he comes back very quickly]]
* ThoseTwoGuys: Sakuragi's delinquent friends are those ''four'' guys. Usually parodied whenever they are presented (needless to say, [[strike:the others]] Okusu, Noma and Takamiya feel less than pleased with this treatment):
-->"Hanamichi Sakuragi... Yohei Mito... [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg And the others]]."
** Haruko's friends Fuji and Matsui are those two ''girls''.
* TimeToUnlockMoreTruePotential
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Ayako and Haruko, Fuji and Matsui.
* TournamentArc (Regionals and Nationals)
* TrainingFromHell (Hanamichi's special training, either with Anzai or Gori - I mean, Akagi. The Ryonan training is actually so hard that the mere ''memories'' make *all* players, from Hikoichi to Sendoh to Uozumi, go weak at the knees.)
* TrueCompanions: Many: Sakuragi's gang of friends, and the baseketball teams themselves.
** Akagi even lampshades this trope. He bluntly states that he doesn't consider any of the starters his friends, but he does think they're the best teammates he could have.
*** That said, after overhearing Sakuragi loudly declaring that he will defeat Kainan to help protect his dream of championship while forced out of the match by a painful injury, and witnessing him giving his all to do so, Akagi clearly begins to show a ''genunie'' brotherly love for the boy, in spite of his attempts to do otherwise.
* {{Tsundere}}: Manager Ayako, towards DoggedNiceGuy Ryouta. [[spoiler: In the end, she ''may'' have started to return his love for her.]]
** Ayako's friend Mari Kawai and Eri from the OAV are also pretty Tsundere-ish.
* UglyGuyHotWife: Anzai and his wife.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: Aouta
* UseYourHead: Hanamichi likes doing this. Very, VERY literally.
* [[WhenSheSmiles When He Smiles]]: Rukawa, in the Sannoh arc. It's his ''only'' smile in the '''entire run''' of the manga.
** If you don't count one of the movies, where he smiles [[spoiler: while giving his blazer to Ichirou.]]
* WifeBasherBasher: See WouldntHitAGirl below.
* WouldntHitAGirl: During the gang fight, Ayako gets slapped. Ryouta [[UnstoppableRage goes apeshit at the guy who beat her]], repeteadly screaming that women should not be hit ever. In the anime, also, Sakuragi is pissed off when he mistakenly thinks one of his rivals/friends is neglecting his girlfriend, [[WhatTheHellHero and calls him out on it very harshly]].
** Miyagi's protectiveness regarding Ayako is actually a funny aneurysm moment, in the prequel, an 11-year-old Miyagi slapped her. Twice.
* YamatoNadeshiko: A grown-up example is Anzai's wife, who even dresses up in a kimono.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Or better said, ''blue eyes''. Lots of people with brown eyes in the manga have them blue in the anime.
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: Rukawa uses "Do'aho" for everyone who irritates him. Sakuragi aside, Sawakita is the only one that reacts to it.
* YoungerThanTheyLook: Shinichi Maki, to the core. Sakuragi simply can't believe he's just 17 and refers to him as "old man", which is [[BerserkButton one of the few things]] that pop veins in [[TheStoic the ultra-serious]] Maki. Not that said popped veins are easy to notice, though.
** Sakuragi's buddies even think Maki is the ''coach'' of his team when they meet him on the street!
** Maki claims that Akagi looks even older then he does. Uozumi is mistaken for Akagi's ''dad''.
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