Seijuro Akashi, Daiki Aomine, Ryouta Kise, Shintarou Midorima, and Atsushi Murasakibara, those five players make up the Generation of Miracles, the generation of five prodigies who led Teiko Middle School to three consecutive National Titles. Among this group of prodigies lied a strange rumor, a rumor that said there was a phantom sixth player who appeared as the shadow that pushed the team forward. That is the premise behind Kuroko no Basket, a basketball anime about five prodigies who each wield abilities such as being able to successfully score three-pointers with a perfect accuracy rate, becoming invisible on command and the capability of copying techniques and styles on the fly just by seeing without any prior training. Kuroko’s Basketball makes it clear that it subscribes to the fantastical school of thought of Shonen when it comes to the sports realism.
Kuroko no basket does acknowledge how ridiculously insane it is for a basketball player, and high schoolers at that, to possess such absurd latent abilities and attempts to weave it into the overarching goal of defeating the Generation of Miracles. The logic is that since the opponents that our duo and their school are going up against are of such formidable skill, becoming the best in the nation is only a step afterwards. While it is good that the series has set a high benchmark with a clear destination that it can comfortably work towards, the matches are difficult to be involved in when the odds are overwhelmingly in favour of the Miracle’s team. It is one thing to have a really good player on the opposing team, another to have that player be comparable in ability to Shaquille O’Neal and Tiger Woods and is shown to perform shoots that defy reason even in the series’ own constraints.
The incredible abilities of the Generation of Miracles do not undermine the message that the show is sending about hard work and cooperation, faith and trust in sports teams despite being dangerously close to doing so at times. Moments against unbelievable odds, where loss is all but certain, and his team mates are beginning to lose the energy to carry on, Kuroko refuses to surrender and insists going on despite the inevitable. The most invisible player who is told that he has no presence end up being the one who has the most unbreakable will; even when Seirin High experiences crushing defeat, they face it having given it their all and manage to pull back together for more intense training in order to be better and improve on their solidarity. Likewise in the finale, which I found to be the most exciting match out of the entire series by far not least due to the more leveled playing field of having two of the Miracles go against each other. In this match we are treated to the same lesson as in the aforementioned match, this time in seeing how devastating the effects of the defeat are on the losing team and their desire to become better and improve in order to prevent their team mates to experience the same disappointment and pain.
I was trying to be as unbiased as possible with this review, but I found that I loved Kuroko no Basket so much that I couldn't help but let some of my personal favoritism creep through in my review. In my honest opinion, Kuroko no Basket does everything right, or at least everything that it was supposed to. What I mean is that it accomplishes the goal of any anime, which is to entertain the viewer with something new yet bold and unpredictable. The word unpredictable is perfect for this anime. While you expect the main character/team to always win in most sports anime, that idea is far from pushed in this anime.
Seirin doesn't always win, they don't always have it easy, and they are FAR from perfect. Seirin is a team that takes everyone by surprise primarily because they've only had their basketball club for a year. Despite winning many games during the Interhigh Championship, they soon find themselves in trouble during the Final League of the Interhigh Championships. That is the most appealing aspect of Kuroko no Basket, an anime where the main characters/team fails. I love these kind of stories simply because it means that they have to use that failure to grow and help themselves evolve.
The evolution of each team is truly amazing, but not as amazing as the evolution of the players themselves. This anime focuses on not only the team growing and becoming stronger, but the players themselves as well. Kuroko no Basket hits every major point that I look for in an anime, and it hits those points hard. Entertaining and intriguing while constantly appealing to the viewer's competitive side is a great way to get people hooked. Kuroko no Basket has little to no flaws, and for a sports anime, it easily competes with some of those top tier anime that I've been lucky enough to see for couple of years now. Kuroko no Basket is an anime I highly recommend for any hardcore anime fans, or to anyone who is looking to get in to anime. It's a must watch anime for any and everyone who simply loves anime.