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Ever since the third season of “Haikyuu” began airing a couple of weeks ago, my craving for sports anime has been in full effect. While thinking the fact that the show is airing weekly and I have to wait for new episodes each week, I happened to remember the other really popular sports anime made by Production I.G., and, well, here I am, my first impressions after five episodes.
For those unaware, “Kuroko no Basket” tells the story of two high school basketball players. Taiga, who spent his middle school years living in the United States, joins the basketball team at Seirin High School. There, he meets with Kuroko, who is revealed to be a phantom sixth member of a famous middle school group known as the “Generation of Miracles.” The two of them vow to help each other become the best.
Part of the reason I brought up “Haikyuu” before is because both it and “Kuroko no Basket” have a lot more in common than just their production studio. Both of them feature a main character pair that have not only a deep-seeded rivalry, but also awesome teamwork that can rival even the best, and eventually does. Alongside the main characters in both series is also the quirky cast of side characters who become much more important as the series goes on.
Still, none of this is to say that “Kuroko” is worse than “Haikyuu.” Another quality they share is there, well, quality. Right off the bat “Kuroko no Basket” makes its characters interesting and memorable. In the first episode, after challenging and losing to Taiga in a game of basketball, Kuroko tells him that he is a shadow. As is shown later in the episode, this is a reference to Kuroko’s talent for weaving around players and passing on the court.
The animation is also incredibly on point. Already the scenes with games look incredibly stylized. One part that really stands out is the animation for the scenes where Taiga and Kuroko are passing between each other and going in for points.
The show is also pretty good musically. On top of the adrenaline pumping soundtrack, the show was also blessed with a great opening song from GRANDRODEO, a band whose fast, electro rock style makes a great fit for any sports or action intensive anime.
One thing that I do worry about moving forward is the side characters. Although the show has not given any indication of this, there is always the possibility that it will ignore its supporting cast in favor of a sole focus on Taiga and Kuroko, which would leave the series feeling a bit one dimensional, especially for a sports anime. Still, that is mainly just nitpicking at this point.
Overall, I find myself pretty invested in “Kuroko no Basket” already. It has a great set up, a long with a great studio behind it, and considering how good “Haikyuu” has also been, I would not be surprised to see the series rise to that level. Definitely worth giving a watch.
How do you all feel about “Kuroko no Basket?” Let me know in the comments.
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