|Relatives||Takenori Akagi (elder brother)|
|Manga Debut||001. "Sakuragi-kun"|
|Anime Debut||001. "The Gifted Basketball Player Is Born!?"|
|Japanese Voice||Akiko Hiramatsu|
|English Voice||Martha McIsaac|
Charmaine Cordoviz (GMA Dub)
|[v · t · e]|
Haruko Akagi (赤木 晴子, Akagi Haruko?) is Takenori Akagi's younger sister and Sakuragi's love interest. Haruko was responsible for uncovering Sakuragi's athletic talent after seeing him try to dunk a ball at her request. She was impressed by the height of his jump and considered him good enough to join the team. Sakuragi always listens to her due to his deep affection for her. They have gone on some (what Sakuragi considers) non-official dates and have occasionally trained together.
Sweet, kind, friendly and with a captivating personality, she is always around to cheer on the players, especially her brother Takenori, who is extremely protective of her and taught her the basics of basketball, and Sakuragi, whom she considers her best friend. Haruko often appears at matches together with Sakuragi's cohorts and her two best friends, Fujii and Matsui. She, like most girls in Shohoku, has a strong obession for Rukawa, although he never reciprocates her feelings and, later , she acknowledges that he will not love her the way she wants him to and tries to let go of her crush, however unsuccessfully.
Haruko is also emotionally weak, very naïve and a very dense girl. She was unable to realise Sakuragi's love for her until the end of the manga, when he confessed his love for Basketball to her. She is also unable to understand that she is the main factor for Sakuragi's and Rukawa's rivalry; as Rukawa is an obstacle for Sakuragi to win her heart.
Despite her emotional denseness and sweetness, Haruko is a pretty good student, helping Akagi tutor Sakuragi and the other three starters when they had to retake some tests they had failed or be disqualified from the National Tournament, and is not afraid to stand up for others when needed. She confronted Sakuragi when she mistakenly thought that he had attacked Rukawa, and also defended him many times from his most rabid fangirls.
At the end of the manga series, Haruko became the second manager of basketball team. .
Haruko didn't play a much important role in the series apart in the beginning of the series, when she asked Sakuragi if he liked basketball, which the latter told her yes because of his affection for her. When she asked him to dunk the ball, she was impressed by his jump, which led her to believe that Sakuragi would be the savior of the basketball team.
Since then, she is always watching the team's practice or watching basketball matches with her two friends; Fujie and Matsui.
She also had spent time with Sakuragi several times; when she offered him to teach him layups, helping him buy basketball shoes, conforting him after his mistake during the match against Kainan and helping him buy his second basketball shoes after the first ones were worn out after completing his 20 000 jump shots training.
At the end of the manga, she became the second manager of the team. Her first job as a manager is to keep weekly correspondance with Sakuragi, who is still in rehabilitation from his back injury, informing him of the team's progress. In the first letter she sent to Sakuragi, she informed him that she would be waiting for him, revealing her new feelings for him after the latter confessed his love for basketball to her during the match against Sannoh, in which Haruko realises his feelings for her.
In Slam Dunk :10 Days After, She is seen reading Sakuragi's returned letter, and was pleased that Sakuragi is the Rehabilitation King. At the end of the chapter, she sent him a letter again informing him of the team's progress. At the end of the letter, she told Sakuragi she is desperately waiting for his return as the Reboung king once again.
Haruko has great respect for her elder brother, and a lot of faith in him as a Basketball player. She always cheers him up and congratulates him on his victory and achievements in the matches.
-"Do you like Basketball ?" The question that trigerred Sakuragi's interest in basketball.
-"I'll be waiting." Haruko's reply to Sakuragi's feelings.
Haruko first met Sakuragi, when she asked him if he likes Basketball. Sakuragi immediately falls in love with her, and decides to play Basketball as way to gain her affection. She is the first person to recognise his potential after she asked him to do a slam dunk, impressed by his jumping ability, which leads her to believe he would be the savior of the basketball team. She is also the first one to befriend him, despite hearing from her friends that Sakuragi is known for being notorious due to his arrogance,short temper and for his fighting history. She believes instead that he is a good person and was disappointed when she mistakenly taught Sakuragi has beaten Rukawa, calling him horrible. However, she regretted her actions after Yohei Mito told ther the truth of the incident, and apologised to Sakuragi for her mean behaviour over him. Since then, the two began to get along and quickly became best friends. She usually helps Sakuragi in his practice, cheers him up during matches, conforts him when he is depressed and usually go out doing several activites for a change of mood. Although Haruko is oblivious and pretty dense for Sakuragi's feelings due to her crush on Rukawa, Sakuragi always tries his best in basketball to win her affection. However, as Sakuragi began to improve in his basketball career, Haruko began slowly to care for him, admiring his hardwork and his achievements. She is also among the ones who witnessed Sakuragi's improvements after he completed 20 000 jump shots training, growing envious and proud at the same time for his growth. When Sakuragi got injured in the back during the match against the powerful Sannoh, Sakuragi confessed his love for basketball to Haruko, holding both her shoulders, and also indirectly revealed his love for her, telling her he isn't lying unlike the first time she asked him that question, since the first reason he played basketball, was his love for her, not for basketball itself. The sudden confession made Haruko blush, stunned , speechless and at the same time concerned about his injury. After Sakuragi scored the winning shot, Haruko sheds tears of happiness.
After the Inter high championship has ended, Sakuragi and Haruko's relationship began to improve as while in rehabilitation, Haruko kept close contact with him, writing letters to him every week informing him of everyone's situation. In the end, Haruko encouraged him to tries his best to recover and once he is done with his rehabilitation, she would be waiting for him; implying she has reciprocrated his feelings.
-"Rukawa-kun's head is full of Basketball. Originally, there was never any room for me to enter it." Haruko, realising her hopeless crush on Rukawa.
Like all high school girls, Haruko has a huge crush on Rukawa due to his amazing talent as a basketball player. She had been infatuated with him since junior high when his team played against them, in which Rukawa scored a dunk over 3 players, which caused Haruko to gain a crush on him saying that his performance was burned in her memory. However, Rukawa doesn't acknowledge her crush on him. During their first interaction, when Haruko mistakenly taught Sakuragi has beaten Rukawa, seeing him bleeding, she offered him to clean up his wound, but Rukawa snapped coldly at her, which left her very upset and hurt by his cold behaviour. Despite that, Haruko still clinging to her feelings, insists on coming to the gym, watching the team's practice, hoping to get his attention. During practice or during matches, she always squeals or get heart strucked whenever Rukawa gets points, much to Sakuragi's chagrin. Whenever she tries to talk to him, he always walks away ignoring her, or responds by simple answers to avoid conversation, completely oblivious of her existence. In fact Rukawa cares about nothing besides basketball and himself. After motivated by Anzai to become the best high school player in Japan, Rukawa became more devoted to basketball. During practice, when he blocked Sakuragi's shot, the ball came straight at Haruko, which she dodges it. Rukawa picked up the ball, in which Haruko believes it wouldn't have made a difference to him even iif the ball hitted her. Realsing that only basketball is in his mind, Haruko's crush towards him began to decrease slowly, acknowledging that she would never be able to get his attention, though she still admires him as an amazing player.
At the end of the manga, she turned her attention to Sakuragi instead, staying in close contact with him.
-To Hanamichi Sakuragi: "Do you like Basketball ?"
-To herself (About Sakuragi): "Sakuragi-kun will be the savior of the basketball team."
-" No one can ever know how to do everything without learning it first."
-To Sakuragi: "Sakuragi-kun, it was me who brought you to the basketball team, i believe that my eyes aren't deceiving me."
-To Sakuragi (about his match against Kainan High): "I'm sure that yesterday's match will be unforgettable. Because it's the match when Sakuragi-kun, the basketball player scored his first dunk. Player Sakuragi, when did you score your first dunk ? You will be definitely asked about that in the future."
-To Sakuragi: "Even geniuses make mistakes."
-To herself (acknowledging her unrequited love for Rukawa) : "Rukawa-kun's head is full of basketball. Originally, there was never any room for me to enter it."
-To Sakuragi (reciprocrating his feelings): "Good luck Sakuragi-kun, once you finish with this rehabilitation... I'll be waiting.... I'll be waiting."
- She has a huge crush on Rukawa.
- She was the first person to recognize Sakuragi's potential in basketball.
- She always squeals or gets heart strucked whenever Rukawa gets points.
- It is implied that she finally realised Sakuragi's love for her after he confessed his love for Basketball to her.
- It is implied that at the end of the manga she started to have a crush on Sakuragi.