Slam Dunk movie triggers nostalgic wave

November 05, 2023

Typically, midnight screenings of new movies are popular among young audiences, creating a lively carnival-like atmosphere. However, the recent midnight gathering of fans in their 30s or 40s for The First Slam Dunk has sparked an interesting and unconventional phenomenon that is being hotly discussed among movie fans this week.

Based on Japanese author and illustrator Takehiko Inoue’s overwhelming popular Slam Dunk manga, the animated movie The First Slam Dunk began its screening across the country’s IMAX cinemas on April 20 at midnight, eliciting a strong sense of nostalgia from Chinese fans born in the 1980s and ’90s.

Now, 30 years after the original manga was introduced in Chinese mainland, the beloved characters from Shohoku High School reunite in the new movie to compete against Japan’s strongest high school basketball team in the most challenging game of their lives.

The film interweaves two parallel storylines, with one following point guard Ryota Miyagi’s memories of his childhood and his journey to overcome the shadow of his older brother’s accidental death, who was a talented basketball player.

Earning 9.2 points out of 10 on the popular review aggregator Douban, the movie has grossed around 170 million yuan ($24.7 million) to top the country’s box office charts as of Friday, according to the live tracker Beacon.v