Slam Dunk is a 31-Tankobon (volume), 24-Kanzenban Japanese manga and anime series written by Takehiko Inoue about a basketball team from Shohoku High School. It was first published in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan and has sold over 100 million copies in that country alone. In 1995, it received the Shogakukan Manga Award for shonen.It was so popular that many Japanese teenagers began playing basketball after it was published. Inoue has also used basketball as a central theme in two other manga series: Buzzer Beater and Real. The anime series, consisting of 101 episodes, was produced by the TV Asahi terrestrial television network and Toei Animation and directed by Nobutaka Nishizawa. It was first aired on TV Asahi from October 16, 1993 to March 23, 1996. It was later aired on the anime satellite television network, Animax, in addition to four animated movies produced. The anime series follows the manga storyline, but leaves out the National Tournament games. The animated movies are separate stand-alone stories. The manga was originally licensed in North America to the now-defunct Gutsoon! Entertainment and serialized in Raijin Comics during 2003 and 2004 before Gutsoon folded. The license has sinced been picked up by VIZ Media, who confirmed at Comic Con International 2007 that will start publishing the series in 2008. A preview of the series will published in the upcoming December issue of Shonen Jump Another English version has been published in Singapore by Chuang Yi.