Updated on December 14,3:20 p.m. (GMT+8): Added images.

If you’re a devoted follower of Takehiko Inoue’s cherished 1990s basketball series, you’ll certainly be surprised by all the First Slam Dunk movie changes that conflict with the events from the manga and anime.

26 years after the anime’s finale was released, The First Slam Dunk movie picks up right where the anime left off — with the Shohoku High basketball team starting their inter-high tournament run.

Set of 4 Slam Dunk Acrylic Keychain Sakuragi Hanamichi, Rukawa Kaede, Mitsui Hisashi, Miyagi Ryota on Amazon
Credit: EBTY Dreams
GRAB YOURS TODAY: Slam Dunk keychains

While The First Slam Dunk movie continues to tell the story of Shohoku’s colorful cast of players, there are some noticeable differences between the anime and manga you might be interested to know moer about.

Warning: Major spoilers if you have yet to watch The First Slam Dunk movie, read the manga, or watched the anime.

Full list of changes in The First Slam Dunk movie that differ from the manga and anime

Ryota Miyagi from The First Slam Dunk movie
Credit: Toei Animation

Ryota Miyagi takes center stage

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The First Slam Dunk movie shifts the spotlight to Ryota and his family’s tragic backstory.

This is a major deviation from the manga and anime, where the focus was on Sakuragi Hanamichi, the self-proclaimed genius who only joined Shohoku High’s basketball team to impress Haruko Akagi, a girl he had a crush on.

The official Slam Dunk artbook on Amazon
Credit: Takehiko Inoue
GRAB YOURS TODAY: Slam Dunk official artbook

While Ryota played a major role as the team’s primary point guard, his backstory was never fully explored. In the manga and anime, Miyagi was constantly butting heads with Sakuragi. The two eventually found common ground when Miyagi explained that he only joined Shokoku High’s basketball club to get the team’s assistant manager, Ayako, to fall in love with him.

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Ryota’s older brother Sota and his traumatic childhood were completely new and were only introduced in the movie. Even parts of Mitsui Hisashi’s past were altered to fit Ryota’s story better for the movie.

Mitsui was an ace player in his junior high days, but an injury to his left knee forced him to stop playing basketball. Despite recovering from his injury, Mitsui felt excluded from the team while he was gone. He eventually became a gang leader and started bullying Ryota.

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In the manga and anime, Ryota didn’t know that Mitsui used to be a basketball player. In the movie, they showed a flashback scene where Ryota played a 1-on-1 match against Mitsui when his family moved to Kanagawa Prefecture.

Even Mitsui’s return to the team was changed. In the manga and anime, Mitsui was filled with guilt and remorse when he saw coach Anzai Mitsuyoshi after his gang attacked the Shokoku basketball team while they were practicing. The First Slam Dunk movie skipped this important event and just showed Ryota and Mitsui putting aside their differences as they entered the gym.

All new voices

Shohoku High team from The First Slam Dunk
Credit: Toei Animation

If you watched all episodes of the Slam Dunk anime, you probably noticed that all the characters in The First Slam Dunk movie sound different. This is because all the characters have new voice actors.

Ryota MiyagiYoku ShioyaShogu Nakamura
Hanamichi SakuragiTakeshi KusaoSubaru Kimura
Kaede RukawaHikaru MidorikawaShinichiro Kamio
Hisashi MitsuiRyoutarou OkiayuJun Kasama
Takenori AkagiKiyoyuki YanadaKenta Miyake
Haruko AkagiAkiko HiramatsuMaaya Sakamoto
AyakoEriko HaraAsami Seto
Mitsuyoshi AnzaiTomomichi NishimuraKatsuhisa Hoki
Kiminobu KogureHideyuki TanakaRyota Iwasaki
Youhei MitoToshiyuki MorikawaChikahiro Kobayashi

Fans of the Slam Dunk franchise who followed the series in the 1990s will know that there were significant changes made between the manga and anime.

The final five episodes of the anime deviated from the manga. Instead of going straight to the inter-high tournament, Shohoku played a practice match against the top players from Shoyo and Ryonan – an event that never took place in the manga.

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It is speculated that the anime did not continue because the series creator, Takeniko Inoue, struggled to take creative control from the producers.

Regardless, the success of The First Slam Dunk movie, could jump-start the idle franchise and possibly continue the story of the beloved basketball series.

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READ MORE: Who is Eiji Sawakita in The First Slam Dunk movie? Story, personality, and skills