With the series having hit its mid-series climax a few weeks ago, I thought this would be an appropriate time to talk about what I think of Kuroko no Basket so far.
Let me tell you, Kuroko no Basket is anything but realistic basketball. But let’s do a reality check, in a world where little girls are guns and King Arthur is a woman– I don’t see why this is a problem. It’s always about how you’re going to sell your premise anyway.
But unto the main point of this post: Is Kuroko no Basket good? Yes. It’s very good. And I’m saying this without the yaoi goggles off. The direction is well done, the pacing is great, the characters are well defined and the animation isn’t so bad either. The humor is fantastic, there’s no obvious buildup and a joke gets thrown at you so fast the only way you can react is by laughing. The matches themselves are fun to watch and I love how there’s always something revealed in the middle of the game. It wasn’t always good though, to me it started gaining momentum when the match against Midorima’s school started. The matches before that were so-so.But if there’s anything that makes this series better than most shows it’s that is has a great cast and they’re all given a good amount of the spotlight. You get to see what these characters do in their free time, what other hobbies they’re into and how everyone has their own specific strengths and weaknesses. But what stands out to me the most is the depth in Kuroko’s character, and his relationship with his ex-teammates in Teiko.
There was a time I jokingly said that Kuroko no Basket was basically Basketball Utena, but while reflecting on this post, I realize that there might have been an inkling of truth to that joke. Yeah, yeah it sounds crazy but hear me out on the more psychological implications of the series hahaha! (If you find this boring, feel free to skip this part) It’s not just Kuroko chasing after the Generation of Miracles, his ex-teammates have their own issues to settle with him as well. From what I’m seeing no one from the Generation of Miracles believe Kagami or the Seirin team are capable of utilizing his talents as a ‘shadow’. In the anime, three of the five other Teiko team members have made their appearance and both Kise and Midorima interact differently with Kuroko but both have voiced out their ‘respect’ for him, but there seems to be a case of Kuroko’s ex-teammates projecting themselves on Kuroko or forcing their ideals on him.The first scene with Kise is fairly humorous, he claims they were both bullied by their teammates but Kuroko outright denies this and says that it was only Kise who was bullied all along. This is proven by a flashback where everyone scolds Kise for being 20 points below his average score despite Kuroko being the same. Akashi (voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya nonetheless!) blatantly announces that Kuroko is different from them and hence, gets different treatment. Its pretty ironic how Kise projects himself at Kuroko, when his ability is copying other people. The second one with Kise convincing Kuroko that he’s wasting his talent staying with Seirin, this is a reoccurring sentiment shared by most ex-Teiho team members.
However, in a flashback– it shows Midorima wanting to prove to Kuroko that 3 pointers are better than dunks. It’s a stupid juvenile thing, but still- for a character like him, this was a very telling moment.
And then we have Aomine, Kuroko’s previous light. I like his choice of confronting Kagami, and claiming that his light is dim. It looks like something to do more with his pride than Kuroko being someone else’s shadow. He too, has the same belief as Kise and Midorima, the Seirin team can’t use Kuroko’s skill properly.
Aomine’s clearly confirmed his asshole status, and I’d make Aomine-Akio comparisons from his descent from a good guy to a total jerkface but NO. I haven’t seen enough of him to do this and Aomine hasn’t been riding sexy cars lately.
To keep it short, the similarity of these three in terms of thinking boils down to how Kuroko can only be at his best if he stuck with an old teammate, there’s this condescending tone as they speak about that you have to wonder if the respect truly is there. The Generation of Miracles seem to be made up of people with very strong personalities who like to impose their will on a passive Kuroko, but things have changed and Kuroko recognizes his own will– as such he wants to carve his own path and show his former teammates that basketball isn’t solely about winning or being the strongest. That’s essentially what the Seirin team is, they don’t have the strongest players but they work so well together that it’s led them to beating two of the Kings and having the strength to stand up to the Generation of Miracles.
I could go on and on about these characters, but I might have to save that for future posts. I find this to be a rather underrated series, so I thought I’d just share my musings.