First Slam Dunk, The

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Short takes

Not suitable under 11; parental guidance to 12 (violence, themes, coarse language, subtitles)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for First Slam Dunk, The
  • a review of First Slam Dunk, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 31 August 2023.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 11 Not suitable due to violence, themes, coarse language and subtitles.
Children aged 11–12 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, themes and coarse language.
Children aged 13 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: First Slam Dunk, The
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes, animated violence and coarse language
Length: 124 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Ryota Miagi (voice of Shugo Nakamura) idolises his older brother Sota, who is Okinawa’s basketball prodigy. His brother helps him practice on the courts, trains with and encourages him, until the day he disappears on a fishing trip and is presumed dead. Ryota tries to fill his brother’s shoes and even wears the same number on his basketball jersey but it seems that he will always live in Sota’s shadow. When his barely functioning family move from Okinawa, Ryota continues to train and eventually finds himself playing on behalf of the Shohoku High School basketball team who has made it to the National Championship and who are playing against the undefeated champions, Sannoh. Ryota finds himself living his brother’s dream of playing against the legendary team (Sannoh) and trying to defeat them. As the underdog team is down by over 20 points, they must muster every ounce of courage and resilience and draw upon the strength and endurance they don’t even know they have in an attempt to achieve the impossible and to show the world that despite everything that’s been thrown their way, they still have the will to win.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Grief; The loss of a family member; Bullying; Family breakdown and dysfunction.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • Two brothers shove and elbow each other while playing basketball on the court.
  • A ball slams into a player’s face.
  • Ryota shoves his mother away as she tries to pack up Sota’s things.
  • Ryota’s mother slaps him roughly and wrestles him to the ground.
  • School bullies punch Ryota behind the school building, telling him that he is nothing.
  • A character says to another in a threatening manner that they want to, “take someone out”. The man then rubs his knuckles in a menacing way.
  • One character punches another in the head.
  • Two players slam down onto the floor, one jumping, soaring and landing on the other.
  • One player punches another in the buttocks.
  • A man shoves a boy to the ground.
  • A character punches a guy in the face.
  • A child is punched and beaten on a roof.
  • One character head-butts another and then body slams him.
  • Four guys are beating up another character, repeatedly hitting and punching him. Snow begins to fall as he lays, battered and bruised, on the ground.
  • Ryota is in a scooter accident and winds up regaining consciousness in a hospital bed, lucky to be alive.
  • A player crashes into a table, scattering spectators as he lands. He injures his back in the crash and tries to push past the pain to finish the game despite the debilitating pain.
  • A character is punched in the head and nearly cut with a blade.
  • A player disrespectfully grabs the chin of an older coach.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

  • Nothing further noted for this age group.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Ryota is very angry with his brother for breaking his promise and going off to fish with his friends instead of playing basketball with him – he calls out to him that he hopes he never comes home. When Soto disappears that day, and is subsequently presumed dead, Ryota secretly blames himself for his brother’s death and is haunted by his own words in the years to come. His grief and the sadness of his mother and sister may be unsettling for some children.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further noted.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Nike shoes
  • Bank West.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • One player grabs the backside of another and it looks like he is going to pull his pants down.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Bastard
  • Stupid
  • Dummy Weine
  • Liar
  • Butt
  • Shit
  • Ass
  • Shut Up!
  • Damn it!
  • Suck
  • Idiot
  • Brat
  • Screw you
  • Moron
  • Losers
  • Arsehole
  • What the hell
  • Cocky bastard
  • Lousy
  • Fool
  • Piss me off.

In a nutshell

The First Slam Dunk is a 3D Anime film by writer-director Takahiko Inoue, based on his popular basketball-themed manga series, Slam Dunk. The film features frequent flashbacks and moves between different time periods in an effort to paint a more detailed picture of the players, especially Ryota, however, this may be confusing for some children. The Japanese language and fast-paced English subtitles is also likely to make it challenging for younger viewers to follow along. The film is best suited to older teen audiences, Japanese speakers and fans of Manga and basketball.

The main messages from this movie are that the experience of losing can eventually become an asset; that no matter what happens or what challenges life throws your way to never, no matter how hopeless things may seem, ever give up.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Persistence
  • Determination
  • Teamwork
  • Perseverance
  • Hard work.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Bullying others.
  • Fighting or using violence as a means to solve conflict.
  • Bottling up emotion and trying to push your pain away.
  • Holding on to grief and sadness and refusing to allow others in.