Michael Pizzucato (Animax Dub)
Vincent Gutierrez (GMA Dub) |
|Height||184 cm (6'0½")|
|Weight||70 kg (154 lb.)|
|Hair Color||Dark Blue|
|Manga Debut||051. "Super Problem Child"|
|Anime Debut||021. "Enormous Trouble Makers! Hanamichi vs Miyagi"|
|Japanese Voice||Ryōtarō Okiayu|
|English Voice||Steven Bednarski |
Michael Pizzucato (Animax Dub)
Vincent Gutierrez (GMA Dub)
|[v · t · e]|
Despite having the opportunity to join more prestigious high schools like Ryonan, he choose to go to Shohoku because of Coach Mitsuyoshi Anzai. Anzai had given him the courage to win in the Junior High tournament by encouraging him during the last seconds of the match. However, an injury to his left knee in a training session in his first year at Shohoku interrupted his basketball career. An imprudent early return to the court reinjured the knee more severely, leading to a basketball hiatus of over a year.
Mitsui initially has shoulder length black hair with dark blue highlights when he became a delinquent along with his group and has a broken frontal teeth in both sides. He also has indigo eyes. When he returns to play basketball, he cuts his hair shorter and it was styled slick back and gains a false teeth to match up his broken frontal teeth. His hair later grows out and turns into a wavy style during their battle against Ryonan.
Like Takenori and Kogure, Mitsui wears a navy blue standard Shohoku winter school uniform. As an initial delinquent, his jacket is open to show his white short sleeve loose undershirt. His summer uniform is the same as his winter school uniform but its short sleeve button shirt is loose.
When he returns to play basketball training, Mitsui wears a white short sleeve shirt with the sleeves are folded to make it sleeveless, light purple trousers and white Asics basketball shoes with red linings. His actual training outfit is a maroon short sleeved loose shirt and black basketball shorts, he gains a red kneepad with black outlines where it supports his former left knee injury.
His Basketball Jersey is red and black and its alternate pallete is red and white.
When he was in middle school and as a Freshman in Shohoku, Mitsui's hair is in a short wavy style.
In his 1st year, Mitsui has an overflowing confidence and is very competitive, especially towards Akagi. In the 1st year match, as there were 12 freshmen that year, Mitsui split from his middle school teammates. He envisions a bright future for Shohoku until his left knee injury during practice aggravates due to returning early instead of waiting for full recovery. Despite his eventual recovery, his exclusion embittered him and quits basketball. He became a gang leader but regretted it eventually.
He returns with a renewed determination of conquering the nation he once dreamed of. While being competitive against Akagi during their 1st year, he has learned to accept the latter as the suitable captain for the team. He is also not afraid to stand up for a friend, just like what he did for Tetsuo; he insisted Ryu and his gang to beat him up instead of the latter.
While his lack of stamina is his main weakness, the great determination and trust for his team is what keeps him going, shown when he is totally worn out against Sannoh. His lack of stamina and resilience also showed when he gets involved in fights, easily getting knocked out and having his teeth knocked out.
He went to Takeishi Junior High, where he was the MVP in his final year. It was at the final match where he met Coach Mitsuyoshi Anzai, who encouraged him not to give up hope until the last second, and enabled him to win the game. As a result, he went to Shohoku High School, having turned down Coach Taoka Moichi (who was also present at that game) when he offered him a place at the more prestigious Ryonan High. It was noted that Kainan and Shoyo also tried to recruit him for scholaships, but turned them down.
He injured his knee during practice in his freshman year while trying to shake off Takenori Akagi (which was later explained as an old injury in the middle school championship game where he knocked the knee after unsuccessfully diving for the ball, although he was able to play on at the itme), and exacerbated his injury by returning to play before he had been healed. As a result he was not able to compete in the district tournament, and was disheartened into quitting basketball and becoming the leader of a gang.
He retained a great resentment toward the basketball club for a long time, and he and his gang picked on Ryota Miyagi during the latter's 1st year. A fight ensued, in which Miyagi beat Mitsui senseless, before taking a beating himself, knocking out a few of Mitsui's frontal teeth.
Both of them were in the hospital until after the practice game against Ryonan in Mitsui's third year. At this point, Mitsui attempted to ruin the basketball team by forcing them to fight against his gang and trying to get them banned from the regional tournament for fighting. In the end, Sakuragi's own gang - Yohei, Takamiya, Ohkusu and Noma - along with Norio Hotta and Mitsui's own friends voluntarily took the blame for the fight, and Mitsui was filled with remorse when he saw Anzai again. He rejoined the team and vowed never to fight again - a promise that he upheld even when he found himself cornered by some members of his old gang outside Shohoku.
Coach Anzai decides to sit him out along with Miyagi, Rukawa and Sakuragi as a consequence of the fighting incident. Because of it, Akagi and Kogure had to endure the lack of firepower for Shohoku, which gives Miuradai a big advantage. Eventually, Coach Anzai let them play as they express their regret over the incident and vowed never to fight again. With them entering the game, he and Miyagi finally filled the up the missing pieces for the team that's in need of strong guards.
Mitsui is best known on the team as a 3-point specialist, though his skills extend to other areas. During a practice match, he managed to shut down Sakuragi, playing Center. His defensive ability completely shut down Fukuda's scoring abilities. His 3-pointers helped Shohoku catch up when they were 12 points down against Shoyo and again when the team was 20 points down against Sannoh in the Nationals 2nd Round. He can also create a shot, even with defender on him.
His major weakness is his lack of stamina due to his long break from playing basketball thus, in the later halves of games, he has not always been reliable as he was before. Such as being completely worn out in the game against Shoyo and Kogure has to sub in for him; he collapsed on the court during the game against Ryonan. Most of all, he was totally worn out against Sannoh and can barely move. The worst part is him becoming a liability in defense as his match up, Minoru Matsumoto easily gets past him. Also. he is not as consistent as he used to be in shooting 3-pointers and can miss despite being open. His immaturity and impatience not only caused him to be forced into long rehab, also, he actually has poor mental toughness because he is the only Shohoku player to come from an affluent family, and his early success in high school (prefecture champion and MVP) left him unable to deal with setbacks. His only redeeming quality as a thug then was to never become a smoker.
Shohoku Basketball Team
The two players had history with one another before Mitsui stopped playing basketball. He once competed vs Akagi due to the latter also getting attention because of his height. He also considered Akagi's dunks somehow to be a challenge for him.
The two have known each other, when Miyagi beats Mitsui, knocking his frontal teeth, before been beaten by his gang, which hospitalized both of them for some time. Mitsui, along with Tetsuo and his gang came to the gym in order to take revenge on Miyagi and force the team to fight, so they could be disqualified from the tournament. During the showdown, Kogure reveals that Mitsui was a basketball player, once an MVP who got injured 2 years before the start of the series. While denying his interest about basketball, considerating it boring, Miyagi tells Mitsui he was the one who couldn't forget about his past. With Anzai's sudden arrival, Mitsui, remorsefully confesses that he wants to play basketball. Since then, Mitsui started to get along with Miyagi, acknowledging him as a friend and teammate.
At the end of the manga, with Miyagi as the new captain, Mitsui started to get into fights and quarrels with him because of his new strict personality, though, not at the same extent it used to be in the past.
Kogure and Mitsui used to friends during their first year of high school, until Mitsui receives a leg injury that made him unable to play basketball for some time. After Mitsui returns to the gym with the intention of destroying the basketball team, Kogure reveals to everyone about Mitsui's past, including his goal of the national championship. When Mitsui started denying his interest about basketball, to the point of knocking Kogure down. Kogure scolded Mitsui for giving up on his dream so easily, saying that he really has no guts and shouldn't give people so much expectations. Thanks to Anzai's call, Mitsui was finally able to redeem himself, admitting that he wants to play basketball. After the incident, the relationship between the two started to return to its formal shape.
Mitsui has high respectful for Anzai, and admires him very much because he was the one who willed Mitsui during the match in middle school to not give up until the end, which enabled Mitsui and his team to win the match. Mitsui decided to join Shohoku because of him and his inspiring words. When Anzai entered the gym, all the thoughts of destroying the basketball team in Mitsui quickly vanished and felt very remorseful. Mitsui tearfully confesses that he really wants to play baskteball again. Since then, Mitsui promised to never fight again, which he even held up despite being cornered by his former gang. During the match against Ryonan, when Anzai was hospitalized, Mitsui brought a photo portrait of him, and even prayed for him as a sign of respect, which was not well-received by Sakuragi and Akagi, because his act of respect unintentionally implicates that the old man is already dead.
Hasegawa lost against Mitsui during middle school and subsequently lost his confidence. But when he saw him being a delinquent, he was totally shocked after seeing Mitsui as a shadow of his former self. He vows that he'll never lose to him again. They meet again in the match between Shohoku and Shoyo and he marks him with a box-and-one strategy. Mitsui overhears Hasegawa that he won't allow him more than 5 points. This reinvigorated Mitsui's MVP caliber and he consecutively shot several 3-points on the 2nd half. He scored a total of 20 points in the game and cover the 12 point lead of Shoyo before being gassed out eventually.
- To Shokoku on his first year introduction : "My goal is to lead Shohoku to dominate the National Championship! To be the best in Japan!"
- To Anzai : "Anzai-sensei... I want to play basketball."
- To himself (about Rukawa) : "This guy always thinks he is the best. He is annoying, doesn't like to talk, and has no respect for the others. But I have to admit it, he is really strong."
- To Minoru Matsumoto : "Masashi is Masashi, Akagi is Akagi. Then, who am I? Tell me... I'm Mitsui. A person who will never give up."
- In the original English Dub of the anime, Sakuragi calls him "Missy" instead of "Mitchi".
- He is considered as one of the problem players because of the fight history. The others are Miyagi, Rukawa and Sakuragi.
- In his hospital ward, he has two posters of Michael Jordan dunking. One is a fake finger roll dunk, the other is 'the look-away' reverse dunk.
- He is likely based on former NBA player, Craig Hodges They both wore the no. 14 jersey and were three-point shooters. It also be based Jeff Hornacek due to them wearing no. 14 jersey, and Horncek's left knee also wearing knee brace, as his knees deteriorated from shooting practices. Hornacek is also a liability on defense due to lack of speed and agility, but his defense was still serviceable.
- His left knee injury seen in both the manga and anime is revealed to be an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and is a very common injury for basketball and volleyball players in real life. Additionally, after his return to play basketball, Mitsui was seen checking his former left knee injury at the hospital. The reason is a destabilization of his leg from his ankle injury suffered in the first practice match, but returned only three days post surgery.
- He is the only character to have his own theme song, which later became the ending theme song (Sekai ga Owaru Made wa...).
- He wears Asics TBF 707 sneakers. Asics is also the team sponsor for Shoyo and Sannoh.