The First Slam Dunk gains release date for North America with GKIDS

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The First Slam Dunk — But Why Tho

Whilst celebrating its 15th anniversary as a producer and distributor of award-winning animation, GKIDS reveals that it has bought The First Slam Dunk from animation studio Toei Animation. The First Slam Dunk is based on Takehiko Inoue’s best-selling manga ‘Slam Dunk’, one of the biggest-selling manga series of all time.

With over 170 million copies sold, the success of the manga series has led to a number of adaptations. This includes numerous video games and a successful anime series that was on the air from 1993-1996. However, The First Slam Dunk is the first new feature film release from the franchise in over 28 years. Not only that, but the film will be the directorial debut of the manga’s original creator Takehiko. The film will tell the story of Ryota Miyagi, a high schooler who was born and raised in Okinawa. With a strong love of basketball, he runs circles around his opponents. With help from his high school team, he makes it to the Inter-High School National Championship. But once there, he and his teammates must defeat the reigning champions.

In Japan, the film has already become the 24th highest-grossing film in that territory. Elsewhere, it became the most-watched Japanese movie in South Kora. Also, it has the title of the biggest opening weekend for a foreign animation film in mainland China. The film, which has 124 minutes in runtime, will be first shown in its original language. A dubbed English version will follow in the summer. Both GKIDS and Toei Animation made an agreement regarding the distribution deal in North America.

The president of GKIDS, David Jesteadt, has said: “I am very thankful to our partners at Toei Animation for working together with us on what I consider one of the best sports films ever made.” “The First Slam Dunk is thrilling but also deeply emotional, and it has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. We can’t wait to share the film with the fans as well as those who are discovering this work for the first time.”

Likewise, the president of Toei Animation, Masayuki Endo, says, “We’re thrilled to work with GKIDS to bring Toei Animation’s blockbuster film The First Slam Dunk to North America”. “The First Slam Dunk has been a smash hit in Asia since premiering in Japan.” “And we’re excited to see the response from U.S. and Canadian audiences when it premieres this summer.” The producer of the film, Toshiyuki Matsui, added that “I want to welcome North American fans – both new and old – to the world of Slam Dunk. “The First Slam Dunk offers the unique excitement and thrills only available in a movie theatre.”

The movie is in safe hands as GKIDS has a history of success. So far, they have scored an astounding 12 Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations. This is for films like The Secret of Kells, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, and more. Similarly, Toei Animation is responsible for the success of franchise series such as Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon, One Piece, Digimon, and Saint Seiya.

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