Saturday, March 9, 2013

Kuroko no Basuke

Kuroko no Basuke means Kuroko's Basketball. What a peculiar title. What makes it even more peculiar is its "official" English title: The Basketball which Kuroko Plays. It is based on a manga which I never read. Honestly, I forgot how in the first place I came to know about this anime/manga.

Anyways, this is my very first basketball-themed anime which I ever watch. I watched 2 episodes of Dear Boys and that was it. I dislike the art style. Ironically I am still following the manga. Haha.. I also never watch Slam Dunk, supposedly the "god" of basketball-themed manga and anime. Lol.. I don't really enjoy the manga and still do not see what's the big deal about it. Okay, back to Kuroko, basically I am totally unbiased since I have no other similar themed anime to compare with.

When reading the synopsis, I think Kuroko no Basuke is very unique in many areas, except for the background story which is a bit cliche. Teiko Middle School is a school famous for its basketball club. Their 5 main players are "godly" that people dub them as Generation of Miracles. However, there is a phantom sixth player who is recognised by the 5 aces although he is relatively unknown as compared to them. Upon graduation, these 6 prodigies go to separate High School and from there begins their rivalries.

Our main character, Tetsuya Kuroko, is the phantom 6th player. His playing style is very unique as he is only good in passing balls but never shoots. That is very untypical "main character" for a basketball story. As such, his playing style relies on teamwork as compared to individual "selfish" gameplay from the other 5 members of the so called "Generation of Miracles". From this, it sorts of become a cliche: teamplay vs solo play yada yada..

Typically basketball stories will follow the main character's school journey to reach the interhigh. And typically the school will beat some strong schools and then lose to the number #1 and that's the end of the story. This anime is not like that! I am quite amazed when Kuroko is able to beat 2 of the Generation of Miracles to reach the top 4 in their region. Then he loses to another member of Generation of Miracles. Unable to recover from the trashing, he loses subsequent matches and fails to qualify for interhigh. However, the story does not end there! The story will continue on to the second season with the focus on Winter Cup!! Hmm hmm.. What's more unusual (in a good way) is that in the last few episodes, we are watching the full matches between 2 members of Genration of Miracles i.e 2 schools which do not belong to the main character! I am glad that they only reserve "special abilities" to select few characters because initially I fear that this will turn out to be something like Prince of Tennis with every character own their special shooting/skills etc.

In general, I enjoy the matches. But other than that, I have tonnes of "complaints" about this anime. First, the characterisation is poor. Kuroko, as a main character, is damn boring! Sigh.. He hardly shows any emotion. I also find it weird that the Generation of Miracles are more fleshed out than the other members of respective schools only serve to make up the 5 people in a team. Take a look at Seirin High School (Kuroko's school) members below. Some of the characters look alike -_- For the rival schools, the non-Generation of Miracles are always depicted as nasty and not like-able.
How many pairs of "twins" can you see? Haha..
A few interesting things happen at the beginning but just get forgotten after few episodes. What happens to Kuroko's promise to be Kagami's shadow? What happens to the so called "special ability" of Riko to see the statistics of the players simply by looking at them?

Haha okay I shall stop here. I should not comment further because I will be biased comparing it with Harlem Beat or Dear Boys manga. I should read Kuroko no Basuke manga first before I can say whether I really like it or not.

A few interesting things to note. Kise calls people whom he respects (for their basketball skills) with the ending -cchi. For example, Kurokocchi and Kagamichi, instead of calling them Kuroko or Kagami respectively. I never know that there is such suffix in calling names in Japanese other than -kun, -san, -chan, etc. In the middle of story and out of nowhere, suddenly appears this dog whose eyes similar to Kuroko's and thus its name Tetsuya #2. He becomes like a mascot to the team and the series.. Well, I don't mind because he is damn cute k!! Haha.. If I find such a dog in real life, I don't mind keeping it sia..
Kawaii~~~ Kyaaaaa!!!
Anyway, season 2 is coming and I will be looking forward to it. Haha.. Not an excellent anime but still an enjoyable one nonetheless.

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