Kuroko’s Basketball (黒子のバスケ) is the anime adaptation of the shōnen, sports (basketball) manga written by Tadatoshi Fujimaki. Season one originally aired during the 2012 spring season with 25 total episodes. The series was produced by Production I.G. and directed by Shunsuke Tada. I remember catching the first two seasons why they were simulcasting, but halfway through season three, I just lost touch with it due to life getting in the way. Recently, I’ve really been wanting to finish the whole thing, but due to the fact that I haven’t seen any of it in years, I decided to do a re-watch of the first two seasons.
Kuroko’s Basketball is about two freshmen at Seirin High School who have been newly recruited into the basketball club who are determined to prove that they aren’t just your average-Joe b-ball players. There’s Taiga Kagami, a guy with tons of raw talent who’s recently returned from the United States, and then there is Tetsuya Kuroko, a boy who is about as basic and average as you can possibly get, which gives him an edge during basketball games. The series follows them as they strive to be the best Japanese high school basketball team around, which means going head-to-head with nation’s most-talented group of players, known only as the Generation of Miracles, or players attributed to having almost God-like playing powers.
The first episode is quite your straightforward pilot episode. It introduces the key players (pun not intended, maybe) for the series, a teasing morsel of their talents, and the gist of what the plot will entail as we progress forwards. The set-up was very enjoyable. We are taken to the first day of school, where clubs are trying to recruit as many people as they can, cherry blossoms are blooming and swirling, there’s camaraderie in the background—it’s a great, charming vibe. Enter the cast one after another through minor interactions and plot queues and then we finish off with Kagami and Kuroko agreeing to work together so they can be the best of the best.
For the entire 24-minutes, I got an excellent feel-good aura from what I had seen. Now, I will admit that some of my attraction and pleasure stems from my familiarity with the series. I mean, this is a re-watch, so knowing how these characters are going to grow and evolve as we go from one episode to the next does make me a bit biased. However, regardless of that, it still felt good. There is a presence to it that makes me want to keep watching it. I’m sure the small titbits of silly humour also helps in that regard.
The animation, considering this thing is about six years old, holds up rather well. Some of the computer graphics implementation is a bit awkward, but not to the point where it’s creating a separation between the visuals, kind of like oil and water, at least not yet. The music likes to be semi-dramatic, which adds to the suspense and can come off slightly cheesy. As someone who positively adores cheesy shows, it was great for me. Nevertheless, if you aren’t a fan of cheesy things, then it may be off-putting for you.
By far, I suspect, my favourite thing about the series is going to be the characters. Their interactions and the bonds they formulate as they engage with one another, whether those bonds will be of friendship or rivalry. Kuroko and Kagami have phenomenal chemistry and already have the makings of an awesome bromance kindling away. The coach for Seirin is a girl who isn’t overly feminine, dumbed down or sexualised with exaggerated breasts or anything, and has an appealing personality. It felt superb to see a strong female role in a series about a bunch of jock-dudes doing their jock-things. So, I’m definitely digging the characters.
All in all, I’m very enthusiastic about re-watching through Kuroko’s Basketball, especially when I think about some of my favourite characters getting closer to making their debut (Kise Ryōta and Aomine Daiki are my ultimate KnB babes). If you haven’t seen this series and are someone who likes sports-based shōnen shows, then I recommend you try this out.
You can watch all three seasons of Kuroko’s Basketball over on CrunchyRoll.