So, last week I talked about my love for sports anime and how they've affected my life. This week I want to review one of the shows that was a particularly big influence on me. Kuroko No Basuke. This review will be spoiler free!
That being said I will give you the premise for the show, but it's reviewed at the start of each episode so it's not like it's a spoiler. The premise of the show is that in Tokyo there was a particular middle school that won the National Championship three years in a row, it was a team made of 5 prodigies of the game. They were known as "The Generation of Miracles". However, there was one other member of this team, a phantom 6th man, who lacked a game record and was relatively unknown, but was respected by The Generation of Miracles. His name is Kuroko Tetsuya. Each of the 5 prodigies have now split ways and gone to their own high schools, and Kuroko has as well. There he meets Kagami Taiga, a strong freshman, back from America and joins the Basketball team to take down The Generation of Miracles.
Kuroko isn't your normal shonen protagonist, not at all. He has no presence, which is pretty much his ability on the court. He's not fast, he's not strong and he can't do anything on his own. You may be wondering at this point how can this kid be any good? He's a passer, he is practically invisible on the court and the way they show this in animated form is one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time.
This show has a really good mix of action and comedy, Kuroko's lack of presence is played for laughs really well throughout the show and each character has their own quirk that lets them shine through. Character development is another strong point of the show, it does something that I wish more anime would follow by example for. It doesn't dedicate an episode to a character and go, hey it's time for this character to have a character development episode! And then proceed to do that for a number of different characters. Instead it chooses to build the character development right into the main story and each character gets a little attention each episode. Another high point for the series is that games don't last too many episodes (with the exception of the last one for the season, but I'll get to that later) it's generally 2 episodes per game, if that. One thing that I was really surprised by as well is the level of animation in this show, it can be mindbogglingly awesome at times.
This isn't bad per-Se, but some of the special abilities of the characters are ridiculous. Midoriama in particular, but Kise too can be just enough to break suspension of disbelief sometimes. For the most part though this show is accurate to Basketball in all of the moves and strategies that the teams are performing which is really cool. Something that irks me though is the way they through English in to some of their terms because it just sounds silly, for example "one-on-one" is "wan on won" the way they pronounce it in the show.
The cliffhanger ending! I know I know the next season starts on October 6th so it's not like I have that long to wait for more, but it's not just that. They move the focus away from Kuroko and Kagami in the last few episodes, and yes this happened in the manga too, but it was a really weird way to end the season. They shift heavily over to Kise and Aomine two of The Generation of Miracles. For a crazy awesome game, that lasts too long and pulls us out of the groove focused on Kuroko and Kagami, but those are my only complaints about the show!
I loved this show a lot, go check it out I give it a 9.0/10.0