Who knew that Slam Dunk was so clairvoyant? It seemed harmless at the time, but this clip perfectly illustrates the current state of sneaker culture 20 years prior. Or at least the culture that the internet likes to perpetuate…
When talked about in the context of greatest manga series of all-time, Slam Dunk is among the elite tier, praised for its cultural impact in Japan (the series is credited with helping popularize the game of basketball in Japan during the 1990s). While Slam Dunk might not have had the crossover success in the U.S. on the level of a Dragon Ball or Naruto, it retains a loyal fan base that includes more than a fair share of sneakerheads. How could you not love a series that uses basketball as the crux of a multi-layered story of love, friendship and drama? Oh, and the main character Hanamichi Sakuragi wears Air Jordan 6s and 1s through most of his uh, career.
Apparently, somebody at Jordan Brand must be a fan of Slam Dunk because later this year there will be an eponymous Air Jordan 6 dropping in (allegedly) limited quantities. The red upper features reflective detailing that show off a collage of characters and scenes from the manga while Sakuragi’s jersey number can be found embroidered in the ankle area where you might have seen #23 in the past. The reaction to the shoe has been mixed on the blogs (it’ll sell out anyways no matter how limited or not they are), but credit goes to Jordan Brand for actually making “storytelling” mean something again.
2014 has certainly been the year of the Air Jordan 6, a shoe that is celebrating its 23rd anniversary. We’ve seen the Air Jordan 6 drop in all sorts of new colorways like the “Brazil” and the “Spi’zike” and “Infrared 23“, all of which have had some sort of story attached to them. The problem is that those stories have all been vague and kind of nonsensical and don’t really do much to honor Jordan’s legacy. The “Brazil” was really just a shameless tie-in to the World Cup (if they really wanted to do a World Cup tribute, they should have used this as inspiration), the “Spi’zike” doesn’t even use the same color blocking as the “OG” Spi’zike and what the hell does “Infrared 23″ even mean? The upcoming “First Championship” is also another bit of nonsense that is hopefully just a matter of lost in translation because if there is a shoe that should be dubbed “First Championship”, it should be you know, the shoes Jordan actually wore en route to his first ring.
Holy hell, the copyright violations…
The Air Jordan 6 “Slam Dunk” comes from a pure place. Sure, it always surprised me that Nike never took legal action and shut down series creator Takehiko Inoue for using their kicks (and other brands for that matter), but it ended being a fun footnote in the history of one of the most beloved and historically significant sneakers ever made. Those are the type of stories that Jordan Brand should be chasing; genuine moments that actually touched people and furthered their love of the brand even when they had no idea what a “brand” was.
Say what you want about the Air Jordan 5 “Fresh Prince” (and we all have), but we all remember Will Smith wearing Jordans all throughout that show’s history. It was just one of the many reasons why that show resonated so much with kids at the time and Jordan Brand capitalized on that with a full swath of not just kicks but apparel as well. The Air Jordan 6 “Champagne” and “Cigar” also falls more into the “inspired” than “something that was made up in a soulless marketing meeting” category (they also fall in the “proof positive that people will pay anything for Jordans” category), because the image of Jordan celebrating a championship with a champagne bath and a victory cigar is something that’s etched in our memory. Basically more things like the Air Jordan 11 “Space Jam” and less things like the “Fear” pack. It’s a slam dunk, people…
Ok, so the upper is based on his hair, the shorts are the midsole and the outsole is from the shirt. Yeah, way to overthink this…
© jmartinez for KicksOnFire.com, 2014. |
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Post tags: Air Jordan 6, Air Jordan 6 Slam Dunk, Anime, Japan, Jordan Brand, Manga, Michael Jordan, Slam Dunk
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