Otaku USA Magazine
Drummer from First Slam Dunk Opening Theme Passes Away

The Japanese rock band BAAD might be best known to otaku for doing the theme song “Kimi ga Suki da to Sakebitai” for the original Slam Dunk anime, as well as singing for the special Slam Dunk: Ketsui no Shōhoku Basuke-bu. Unfortunately, the band has sad news to share: Yasunori Arai, who was their drummer, has passed away.

BAAD put out an announcement about it, but did not give a lot of information. They said that Arai died on May 22, and that he had been receiving medical treatment. They did not say what the medical treatment was for. The funeral has already occurred, and it was limited to people close to Arai.

The band had disbanded in 1999, but they decided to reunite for their thirtieth anniversary. Five days before Arai passed away, BAAD held a special event. Unfortunately Arai was too sick to take part.

Slam Dunk, which started out as a manga, has been a very successful franchise, leading to multiple adaptations. The new movie, THE FIRST SLAM DUNK, which was directed by creator Takehiko Inoue, will be coming to American theaters sometime later this summer, after receiving its North American premiere at Anime Expo.

VIZ Media publishes the original manga in English and gave this description for the first volume:

“Takehiko Inoue’s legendary beloved basketball manga is finally here and the tale of a lifetime is in your hands.

Hanamichi Sakuragi’s got no game with girls–none at all! It doesn’t help that he’s known for throwing down at a moment’s notice and always coming out on top. A hopeless bruiser, he’s been rejected by 50 girls in a row! All that changes when he meets the girl of his dreams, Haruko, and she’s actually not afraid of him! When she introduces him to the game of basketball, his life is changed forever…”

Source: ANN


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.