It appears that Japan is demonstrating that they love anime a bit more than they like Avatar: The Way of Water. Possibly they like basketball a bit more as well. After all, how else do you explain the latest Slam Dunk anime film beating James Cameron’s latest epic sci-fi masterpiece in theatrical performance over there?

Nothing but Net for Takehiko Inoue!

"The First Slam Dunk" key art from IMDb.
I’m not a fan of basketball, but just this once: “Go team!”.

Variety and other news websites just recently announced that Avatar: The Way of Water did not take 1st place in weekend box office gross and attendance in Japanese theaters. Instead, that honor goes to The First Slam Dunk: the latest anime film in the Slam Dunk anime series. Which itself is the anime adaptation of the manga of the same name by Takehiko Inoue.

In fact, this latest Slam Dunk anime film managed to gross a hefty $4.13 million USD from 365,000 tickets sold. For comparison: Avatar: The Way of Water “only” grossed $3.6 million USD from 259,000 tickets sold. To be fair, that’s still a pretty hefty box office gross. It’s just not first place as far as Japan is concerned.

In fact, it’s even worse when you look at the situation from a tickets sold perspective. Now why would we do that, you might ask? Well, it’s because unlike in the US, Japan ranks film performance not by total gross, but by a number of tickets sold. If you go by that metric, then Avatar: The Way of Water actually drops down to 3rd place in Japanese theater rankings. 2nd place actually goes to Suzume. Apparently, Makoto Kobayashi’s latest anime film masterpiece managed to sell 316,000 tickets for a total gross of $3.13 million USD. All in all, it seems Japan would rather watch anime than James Cameron’s sci-fi magnum opus.

The First Slam Dunk: Synopsis

This and other sports anime goes to show that there’s an anime out there for everyone.

Unfortunately, we don’t have an official synopsis for The First Slam Dunk as of this writing yet. However, we do have an official synopsis for the original 1993 anime series from the show’s page on Crunchyroll. You can check it out below:

Hanamichi Sakuragi, an entering freshman at Shohoku High, holds a record for being rejected by 50 girls during middle school. Ever since the last girl turned him down for a guy on the basketball team, Sakuragi’s been traumatized by the sport.

You can watch all 3 seasons of Slam Dunk, spanning a total of 101 episodes, on Crunchyroll.

Source: Variety