The full story behind Jordan Brand and the Manga Slam Dunk created by Takehiko Inoue.
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By now, most of you have seen the new Jordan and Slam Dunk collection that is set to release in Asian Markets this week and globally on November 1. I did a little digging, and here is everything you need to know about the collaboration.
Lets start with manga, according to wikipedia, Manga are comics created in Japan, or by Japanese creators in the Japanese language, conforming to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century. What does this have to do with sneakers, well you have to look no further than manga artist, Takehiko Inoue. A big fan of the game of basketball, Mr. Inoue created a manga called Slam Dunk back in 1990.
Before we get into the comic, lets talk about basketball a little bit. In the 80s, basketball started to become a global phenomenon. Led by stars like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, the league was really starting to grow. In the late 80s, Jordan was starting to come into his own and became the face of the league on a global scale. This brings us back to Mr. Inoue and his Manga, Slam Dunk. Being a fan of basketball he was obviously a fan of Jordan and the story of his main character, Hanamichi Sakuragi parallels jordan’s in certain ways. Both had a natural talent in the game of basketball which later turned them into all-stars.
Fast forward to 2014, the Slam Dunk series ended in 1996, though, it was made into anime and films after that. For this collaboration, Jordan Brand and Mr. Inoue took a two prong approach to the story focusing on the legacy of Sakuragi and where the story has gone since it stopped in 1996. Of course the best way to do that was to include a shoe from the past, the air Jordan 6, and a shoe from the present, the Jordan Super.Fly 3. This enabled the story to continue and allowed Mr. Inoue to bring Sakuragi to 2014
From the box to the actual shoe, the Jordan 6 focuses soley on the past. The illustrations are all taken from the 31-Volume Manga series and applied over the red upper. According to Jordan Brand, the images highlight moments from the series, paying tribute to the legacy of Sakuragi’s personal growth and on-court talent. The fact that they used the VI is no coincidence, I did a quick search on the web for the series and found this DVD cover with Sakuragi wearing the Carmine Air Jordan 6. That 10 is what we see on the heel of the shoe. That jersey looks pretty familiar as well.
For the Super.Fly 3, the collaboration takes a step into the present and picks up 18 years later. The shoe is in essence the next chapter in the story. Mr. Inoue says that he’d imagine Sakuragi was still alive somewhere, recovering from injury and working out while continuing to think of himself as “the genius” he once was in high school basketball. That story line is continued on the Super.Fly 3 in all new illustractions that will never be published. The story is extended to the box as well with brand new illustration that continue the story of Slam Dunk. The black, red, and white upper go perfectly with Sakuragi’s old jersey. I personally think it was interesting that they used the Super.Fly 3 to continue the story considering that is Blake’s shoe and he is known for Slam Dunking in a sense.
The collection doesn’t stop at the shoes, Jordan Brand has included 2 t-shirts and a hat as well that pull illustrations from the series and the fictional Shohoku high school team. Both the Jordan 6 and the Super.Fly 3 release on the 18 in Asian markets and will hit the US on November 1 for $250 and $185 respectively. I hope you all enjoyed this, if so, be sure to hit that like and subscribe button to see more content like this. I am your host Jacques Slade and as always, I appreciate you. Yall have a good day, Peace.
Jacques 'Kustoo' Slade highlights daily updates and reviews on the best performance, lifestyle, and retro sneakers in Home of Today in Sneaks and The Week in Sneaks. Currently a contributing editor at Complex (and having previously worked Kicksonfire and NiceKicks), you don't need to look any further for best news coverage of the biggest footwear brands.
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