Monday, January 14, 2013

[Anime] Kuroko's Basketball

25 Episodes
Fall 2012
Sports, Shonen

Synopsis: (from Chrunchyroll)

Kuroko's Basketball The Teiko Middle School Basketball Team. The class that produced three perfect seasons in a row, with five once-in-a generation players, called "The miracle generation". There was another player who all of them respected... A legendary 6th player. An up-and-coming power player, Taiga Kagami, is just back from America. When he comes to Seirin High School, he meets the super-ordinary boy, Tetsuya Kuroko. Kagami is shocked to find that Kuroko isn't good at basketball, in fact, he's bad! And he's so plain that he's impossible to see. But Kuroko's plainness lets him pass the ball around without the other team noticing him, and he's none other than the sixth member of the Miracle Generation. Kuroko makes a pact with Kagami to defeat the other members of the Miracle Generation, who have all played basketball at other schools. A battle of light (Kagami) and shadow (Kuroko) begins!

Click below for my review!


Just one word: WOW!

Kuroke's Basketball takes the typical sports anime and give it something new. The typical sports anime is about a specific team, who may be slightly above average, but they have immense potential in the form of a single player. They struggle, they practice endlessly to be the best and win whatever championship. Kuroke's Basketball follows that same basic premise, however it adds its own twist! First, we're presented with a unique back story. The previous year, there was a starting team of five extraordinary  players that they called the Generation of Miracles. There was also a sixth legendary member, who didn't have their level of skill, but was able to play with the five due to his special passing abilities. Each of the six players joined basketball teams at different schools. This is where things get interesting. Now these six players are in their first year of highschool and for the first time, they must play against one another!

So, the special sixth player is Kuroko, our main character, and he joins the Seirin High School Basketball. At first glance, Kuroko is so ordinary that he's nearly invisible and lacks basic basketball skills (though he is adorable). An up-and-coming player from America, Kagami, joins the team as well and is shocked by Kuroko's lack of skill. However, Kagami (and the rest of the team) discover that Kuroko's lack of presence enables him to achieve incredible passes. Thus, a special bond and team is born. Kuroko and Kagami vow to work together to be the best (including winning against all of the Generation of Miracle members)!

What impressed me about this series, other than the unique storyline, is the character development. Yes, the games themselves are exciting. For someone who doesn't particularly like sports, I was thoroughly excited and engaged with the game play. It was fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat intense and definitely grabbed your attention. However, if the characters, the players in those games had not been so individualized, likeable, and interesting, I would have lost interest. The producers did a great job of not only giving each team  its own identity, but also each team's starting five and coaches. No one character was like any other. Each of them had distinct personalities. Some of them were cool, ridiculous, apologetic, strange, and cocky. Others were aggressive, selfish, superstitious, loud, and more. Some liked their team mates; others hated or were annoyed by some or all of their teammates. They fought, they laughed, they bonded. Just like a real team. This is what makes Kuroko's Basketball a special sports anime and one definitely worth watching. I cannot wait until season two to see what else the Seirin team (and the others) have in store for us!

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