Kuroko no Basket
I’m impressed! This isn’t your typical shounen anime about a clumsy boy who gets bullied, falls for a beautiful girl, and yet somehow excels in sports, nor is it about a cocky prodigy or a kid who gets dragged in by fate. It’s just…different. The titular character’s goal is to help another guy to become the best basketball player in Japan, and his greatest strength lies in being invisible. Wat.
Kuroko really is a breath of fresh air among shounen protagonists. Although he lacks a strong personality, that’s the whole point of being the sixth “phantom” member of the “Generation of Miracles,” which is made up of five other prodigies. He’s serious, articulate, and confident in his area of expertise, which is passing the ball. He’s barely noticed by others, not because he’s terribly withdrawn, but because he’s short (for basketball) and just doesn’t carry a strong presence. I actually laughed when he seemed to magically appear in front of people, scaring the wits out of them. I don’t know how anyone could miss that odd hair color of his. Kuroko is most interesting when standing in contrast to Taiga, who is hot-headed, tall, and good at slam dunks. The comedy between them works very well. In a nutshell, this anime is about two guys with opposite personalities supporting each other toward their shared passion. Please don’t interpret that the wrong way. :3
Not much can be said of the other characters just yet, except for the coach of the team, Riko. That’s right, a girl. Her specialty is reading men’s potential just by looking at them…especially when they’re shirtless (lol). I love her already because she’s a leader, not the beautiful/ditzy/tsundere/emotionless/moe type that’s so common in anime these days.
The plot has an effective hook, that is, it makes you want to stick around for Kuroko and Taiga to face off against the Generation of Miracles. Each member has gone on their own way to play on different teams. As far as Kuroko is concerned, Taiga doesn’t stand a chance of beating them without his help. Oh boy, this is going to be fun.
My last words of praise go to the animation, artwork, and music. Simply excellent. While there will always be some use of still frames and shortcuts made during game scenes, the animation is still nice and fluid, especially when Taiga makes slam dunks and the sweat drips off their faces. The character designs and artwork are appealing to look at, and I like three songs enough to want the full versions–two piano and one techno.