Sporadic Sequential
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Hanamichi SMASH!!!

I was re-reading Slam Dunk volumes two through four when it suddenly struck me: Hanamichi is a lot like the Hulk in several respects. In general, both have explosive tempers and get stronger the madder they get, but here are some other similarities that struck me:

Both have the superhuman ability to leap great heights.

The Hulk is able to control his leaps to travel great distances.

Hanamichi has difficulty controlling his leaps, frequently crashing into backboards, teammates, or opponents.

Both characters are fond of boasting about their prowess.

For the Hulk, it's always about how he's "the strongest one there is!"

For Hanamichi, he's always bragging about being "a natural" at basketball.

Both give others nicknames based on defining attributes.

The Hulk referred to Dr. Strange as "Magician" and Nighthawk as "Bird-Nose."

Hanamichi's nicknames include "Judo-Man," "Monkey Boss," and "Four Eyes."

Both join teams even though they're not really team players, and their presence on the team is maintained through subtle subterfuge.

The Hulk was a member of the "non-team" team The Defenders for several years, but he frequently fought with teammates and abruptly quit the team when upset.

Hanamichi joins the basketball team even though he hates sports, and he frequently clashes with teammates. He has threatened to quit several times and often must be flattered in order to remain.

For both, Beauty tames the Beast.

The Hulk always calmed down for Betty Ross.

Hanamichi's mood does a complete 180 whenever Haruko is around.

Both shred their clothes whenever they "Hulk out."

'Nuff said.

I could go on (for example, what is it about both Hanamichi and the Hulk that attracts adoring adolescent boys willing to overlook their every flaw in order to idolize their strength and arrogance?), but I'll leave it to others to draw additional parallels between the two brawny brutes. And of course, there are important differences, too. For example, the Hulk is primarily associated with the color green ("Jade Jaws," "Greenskin," etc.) while Hanamichi is identified with his striking red hair. Wait a second... you don't think Hanamichi could be this guy, do you?

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