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Heartwarming / Slam Dunk

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  • When Sakuragi awkwardly returns to the Basketball Team after losing his temper and quitting, he clumsily asks can he be let back in, and was about to leave again when he was told he has to start from the basics. Along comes Haruko, who was worried that he was off fighting again. Sakuragi sheds a slight tear as a gentle version of the title song "I cry out I love you" begins to play, and instead of returning to a violent life without direction, happily leaps back into basic practice to see Haruko's encouraging kind smile once more.

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  • Mitsui's Heel Realization and his tearfully begging Coach Anzai for a chance to come back to the team. The old man's saintly forgiveness results in an immediate Heel–Face Turn for the former ace.

  • Right after Sakuragi's first proper successful slam-dunk against Shoyo, he loses his boisterous attitude out of sheer shock over how it felt to dunk at the last minutes of the match and then be cheered on by the entire stands. He stays like this until the next day, while practicing in the school gym and idly talking to Youhei. While he's not playing up the genius act, he seems genuinely moved by how much he's improving and seems to be realizing a real love for the game.
    Sakuragi: I... think I'm getting good!
    Youhei: [Laughing] I thought you were a genius!
    Sakuragi: [Starts laughing along] I'm glad I'm a genius!

  • During the match against Kainan, Akagi gets injured and has to be benched. Overhearing his despair at possibly failing to take Shohoku to the nationals in his final year, Sakuragi loudly proclaims that he'll fight to secure Akagi's dream, declaring himself to be Takenori's "little brother under the basket". A visibly touched Akagi hears the declaration, and from then on develops into more of a genuinely caring Big Brother Mentor towards the hot-headed deliquent.
    • This leads to a nice moment at the end of the game, even if said match ends in a Tearjerker for Shohoku, as Akagi, recognizing that Sakuragi's pass that cost them the match was a honest mistake on both their partsnote  and not a grab at personal glory, actually puts his arm around an inconsolably weeping Hanamichi, gently and wordlessly comforting him that he doesn't hold him responsible. Given their usual dynamic up to that match, it's a very touching Pet the Dog moment from Akagi.
    • Extra sweet once the roles are reversed after the victory against Ryonan gets them into the Nationals with Akagi bursting into tears and Sakuragi tells him to go line up for the end of the game.
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    • Akagi gets another moment after the spectacular alley-oop dunk he pulls off against Ryonan. As Sakuragi proudly brags (mostly to himself, but he's never been subtle) that it was his rebounding that made the whole move possible, in comes Akagi, enthusiastically agreeing and backslapping Sakuragi for his great rebounding. Also a funny moment for the collective reaction of the other Shohoku players and Sakuragi's gang.

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