Anzai-sensei, the jovial coach of Shotoku High School’s basketball team, was recently spotted on American television!
Slam Dunk is not only one of the most beloved sports manga/anime series ing the world, but it is also in the list of the top 10 best-selling manga series of all time. In addition, the series almost single-handedly propelled the popularity of basketball in Japan during the 1990s, spurring many schools to create basketball clubs for children who aspired to be like series’ protagonists Hanamichi Sakuragi and Kaede Rukawa.
One of Slam Dunk‘s most lovable characters is Anzai-sensei, the coach tasked with transforming Shotoku High School’s basketball team into athletes capable of winning the national championship. Anzai-sensei is also responsible for saying one of the most memorable quotes in Japanese manga/animation history: “If you give up, the game is already over.” Dubbed “the White-Haired Buddha” for his calm demeanor, he becomes an important mentor for Sakuragi and the others on the team.
It seems like Anzai-sensei may currently be doing more than just coaching the next star high school basketball team, however, because a Japanese fan recently spotted a real-life dead ringer for him on an American news program the other day. The fan subsequently posted the following screenshot to social media, which positively blew up due to the man’s uncanny resemblance to the respected basketball coach:
今朝、TVに安西先生出てた。in NYC https://t.co/9fXXMjjaOJ—
Ari(2/9〜14inNY個展) (@maru9227) February 09, 2016
“This morning, I saw Anzai-sensei on TV in NYC.”
Other Japanese Internet users were delighted by the chance sighting, and shared their love for Anzai-sensei in a series of Twitter comments:
“If they make a live-action Slam Dunk movie, this guy would be perfect for the role.”
“So who is it really?”
“‘Anzai-sensei, I want to play basketball!'”
“I wanna jiggle his chin like Sakuragi always does!”
“I’m at my son’s basketball game in Kagoshima now. I wonder if Anzai-sensei’s around…hehehe.”
We sure do wonder if anyone’s ever told the man in question about his resemblance to a tremendously popular manga character. We also hope that no one’s ever taken the liberty of jiggling his chin!