This anime took a lot longer to finish than I originally planned. I said it in my update post, but we all know how much that gets read, so I’ll reiterate here: there were some parts that were a little slow, which made my motivation to watch the episodes extremely low. Fortunately, when they finally got into playing actual basketball games, it made it seem like less of a chore to sit through.

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t finished watching this season and plan on watching it at some point in your lifetime, or if you don’t want spoilers, I suggest you don’t read past the Quick Summary.

Quick Summary

In middle school, Kuroko was part of an elite basketball team later called the generation of miracles. Kuroko was known as the phantom sixth man within this group due to his unique skill of bearing very little presence. Now graduated from middle school, he went on to Seirin to continue his basketball career. Another student, Kagami, who just came back from America with a monstrous playing style, will also be joining the Seirin basketball team. With the help of their teammates Kagami and Kuroko plan to become the best in Japan (I know they have more goals than this, but don’t forget this is a generic summary).

First Impression

Besides the beginning being a bit slow for me, the second half made it all worth it, and overall I liked the premise of the show. I love the underdog type shows where the main characters have different hurdles they must overcome in order to reach their ultimate goal with each hurdle getting progressively harder. And throw a sports premise on top of that story line and you have a set up for a great show.

Coming into this, I knew about the rules and basic logic behind basketball. When I was just wee babe, probably in 4th or 5th grade, I played basketball. I was that kid that everyone expected to turn into a great basketball player. I was tall and Black. Let me tell you….. that didn’t mean anything. I was terrible at basketball. I think out of the entire year, I made one basket…..maybe two….. We were a really bad team.

Plus, for the first few games, I’m pretty sure I just stood on one side of the court because I didn’t know I could cross over to the other half. Anyway…..

Now that I’m older I don’t really do sports, so I don’t have a very deep understand of anything like the strategies behind each play, but I’m pretty sure if I had to come up with some, I could figure out a few decent plays. Based on this knowledge alone I feel like I could have come up with some more captivating things to focus on during the actual basketball games in this anime.

Further into the anime….

A lot of what they seemed to focus on was how big the players were and how fast they moved. It was almost agonizing to see the characters be shocked because a player from another team was moving one leg in front of the other in a very fast manner….. yes, it is called running. There was no reason for that to cause everyone on the court to make a shocked face and small “agh” sound.

My mother had seen some episodes and she just kept making faces every time there was a slow-mo shot or multiple cuts to character reactions (she’s not very into anime anyway). Episode 18 is full of them. My sister laughed through the entire episode….

Stepping back a bit and trying to look at the episode from an outsider’s perspective a lot of the stuff does seem kind of dumb and childish. All the themes and lessons that were sprinkled in each episode were never profound or thought-provoking. Nor did they really build upon already established issues within the sport.

I feel like my opinion is a little biased when I talk about Kuroko no Basket and its sport technicalities, because I’m always comparing it to Haikyuu. When I think about how both anime present their sport, Haikyuu seems to breaks down the skills needed in such a way that it increases the viewer’s knowledge of how the sport might actually be played in real life.  It also doesn’t having its characters yelling out obvious observations of plays during the middle of a game.

One other issue I had with the show was its pacing. The skills the characters already possessed at the beginning of the anime were already considered amazing and overpowered. In my mind, I was thinking “okay, so where can they grow from here?”  (with the exception of Kuroko, because he only has a single well developed skill). Even in their first game against another team, Kagami literally murdered the opposing team. I was waiting for them to show the more powerful people for the main characters to set their sights on beating, but we didn’t really get a glimpse of those people until the second half of episode 3 and into episode 4, and they weren’t even that impressive. And why is everyone shocked when Kuroko isn’t useful in the game against his own teammates? My thinking is that they should be able to beat him with no effort.  He hasn’t picked up any other skills since their time in middle school, and they had a chance to play practice games and real games with him. He should only be effective against people who have never played him before.

Characters

Once again, I can’t talk about every single freaking character, so I’ll only talk about those who left an impression, which is still a lot of people.

kurokoTetsuya Kuroko

Why does he have no other skills?! How can someone who is the main character go a whole freaking season without any significant growth? What bothered me about Kuroko is that he didn’t seem ambitious to become any better at the game. He was perfectly fine just staying in the shadows supporting stronger players. The main character should at least have some drive.  Yes, at the end he showed some initiative, but this isn’t some 12 episode season……this was 24 episodes and in all these episodes he did nothing but be invisible and pass the ball around. Also, I like characters with a bit more personality. Even background characters in this show had more of a personality than Kuroko. If it weren’t for him being in the title I would have barely mentioned him in this review because he left such little impact. I think the real main character in this anime is Kagami…. He is probably the most stereotypical choice but he’s got more going for him than Kuroko.

kagamiTaiga Kagami

He can be classified in one word: Intense. I love his enthusiasm to always try and beat people stronger than him. It’s the type of objective that would lead someone to get stupid strong as the series progressed. His intensity kind of reminds me of Soma from Food Wars (Shokugeki no Soma, if you don’t know its English name). Even though half the time he just seems to be pissed off, I love that his character is always determined to grow. Even though he’s already kind of OP, they showed the limits to his current skill base…..part of it being his stubbornness, stupidity….and not listening to people.   I’m hoping that by the end of this series that his skills can match his extremely cocky attitude.  It will make for a very fulfilling ending.

kise-ryouta-kaijo-wallpapers-1280x720Ryota Kise

I didn’t like him at all at first. He was just some pretty boy character who thought too much of himself. I honestly didn’t see any worthwhile skills until we got to Ryota vs Aomine. That was best episode of this show thus far. Seeing him at his full potential got me excited for all the other future matches to come. This is what I was waiting for. This episode had everything. Internal struggle, previously established overpowered strong opponent, overcoming the internal struggle and beating said opponent……but then instead of coming out on top he still lost anyway, which would have been completely unexpected had it not been for Ryota not being one of the main characters.  This episode was purely for building Aomine up to an almost unstoppable level.

aomine_returned_to_his_former_selfDaiki Aomine

How can I even describe Aomine….oh that’s easy: cocky, stubborn, rude, overbearing, free spirited, overconfident, competitive, selfish, ball hog. Yes, the worst personality in the anime so far. He became like this because he realized no one else would be able to challenge him…….….he needs to get out more. If he was that good he should have just joined the NBA. That would have brought him down a notch. The people there are already pretty cocky. I would pay good money to see the dynamics of a team after Aomine joined. Even though his personality is really bad, I can’t help but like this character (A note from The Editor: His seiyuu is Suwabe Junichi, so that almost makes up for his trash can personality). I’m kind of hoping no one ever beats him, but I know that it would probably be good for his character growth to lose at least once.

midorimaShintaro Midorima

This dude…..will have a very small section dedicated to him. He’s got a snobbish attitude about him that no one else has and he’s serious to the point where it’s comical…..ok his section won’t be very inspiring…this is all I have to say.

akashi-akashi-seijuro-kuroko-no-basuke-34557158-225-350Seijuro Akashi

Hello, my pink haired Gaara that kind of looks like a snake…..the mystery around you intrigues me. I know you will show up later and I’ll learn more about you as I continue to watch more. And why are his eyes two different colors? They didn’t seem to always be like that.

momoiSatsuki Momoi

I can’t tell if she is actually in love with Kuroko and just likes to bother him a lot…..or if she just cares very deeply for Aomine in a completely platonic way. I mean, who would you choose to follow? Your childhood friend? Or the boy you like? …..Now that I have actually written that question out, read it, and said it out loud…it seems really dumb…the answer is super obvious (hint: the correct answer is the boy you like….jk. I’m really not that shallow).

papaPapa Mbaye Siki

This one may come as a surprise to you all that he’s on this list…..or maybe not……but was anybody else bothered by this character? I definitely was. Not by his appearance or his really crappy personality (which I could be). But by the way he talked. It made him sound so freaking stupid! Yeah, I realize that Japanese wouldn’t be his first language but….come on now….his voice didn’t have to sound like that for us to understand that he was not Japanese. His appearance alone was enough.

Conclusion

Since this is already super-duper long (I am so sorry), I will give you a quick ending:

Even though I bashed this anime a lot, I did actually enjoy it. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you are not looking for anything deep and just want people continuously freaking out over someone jumping really high and a bunch of action shots, this is the show for you.