Tag Archives: Kuroko no Basket

Final Thoughts: Kuroko no Basket

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

It took a while, but I finally managed to finish Production I.G.’s other great sports anime accomplishment: “Kuroko no Basuke.” The show has the feel of being mostly a giant tournament arc, but there were still a lot of ups and downs, especially near the end. With that said, here are some of my Final Thoughts.

“Kuroko no Basket”: Friendship is Magic

Although I have still yet to watch many sports anime, one thing that I have noticed among the ones I have seen is there tends to be a bit of weakness when it comes to thematic endings. The same seems to be true of “Kuroko no Basket.”

While the road to get to the show’s thesis was certainly exciting, and I would happily watch another season were one to be made, the series seems to suffer from the same lack of a greater overall point. At the end of the series, after beating Akashi, the takeaway seems to just be that “everything will be OK as long as you’re having fun.”

While this is not even a bad message, it does feel a little boring from a show that was otherwise action packed and pretty much always delivering in its game scenes. Speaking of the games, though…

The Games are Incredible

One of the reasons I initially did not want to watch the series was because, out of context, the scenes where characters use their special techniques look pretty dumb. However, plenty of things do not make sense out of context, so of course I ignored this and just gave the series a chance.

Even though the abilities themselves still do not make a ton of sense in context, it works enough to where there is still plenty of room for hype when Seirin faces their next opponent. Specifically, all of the games against the “Generation of Miracles” are extremely well done. There is a lot of back and forth, emphasis on the decision making and technical abilities of each of the players, and exploration of character motivation during the games.

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One game, or rather series of games, that stands out is Seirin vs Shutoku, where Kurkoko and Kagami have to contend with Midorima’s insane shooting ability. Through a series of extended flashbacks, the show demonstrates just how much practice Midorima has put into his shots, to the point where he can easily make three pointers from full court. Most of their games are spent figuring out how to counter Midorima and make up for lost points that they could not defend against.

Even during the games without the “Generation of Miracles, there is still plenty of strategy and play-making that gets explored, which makes them all the more interesting to watch.

Kuroko and Kagami

Previously, I wrote about my feelings on the similarities and differences between “Haikyuu” and “Kuroko no Basket.” While the two can definitely feel a bit one-dimensional at times, there relationship certainly stands out from the first episode.

Using the power of misdirection, Kuroko can seemingly make himself invisible. This, combined with his ability to pass incredibly fast give him the title of the “Phantom Sixth Man of the Generation of Miracles.” At the beginning of the series, Kuroko makes a promise to Kagami that he will make him number one, and will become the shadow to his light.

It is a really cool dynamic and also allows for a pretty powerful visual metaphor for their play style. Kagami likes to be flashy, often using his incredible jumping power both on defense and to score, and Kuroko works from people’s blind spots, making passes and steals with ease.

Conclusion

Exciting really only begins to describe the sports anime experience that is “Kuroko no Basket.” It combines a sport that is already pretty high energy with a storyline that, while thematically weak, creates a lot of tension among its characters, almost all of whom are fleshed out incredibly well. Fans of sports anime who somehow have not seen this show should definitely fix that immediately.


How do you all feel about Kuroko no Basket? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Production I.G. and Two Great Sports Anime

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

It has been a while since the last time I talked about these two shows, but considering their quality, I felt it was important to revisit them, especially now that I have seen more of one of them. “Kuroko no Basket” and “Haikyuu” are two shows made by Production I.G., the studio behind a number of classic anime, including “Eden of the East” and “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.”

Production I.G. has worked in a variety of genres. Aside from the two shows listed above, they are also responsible for co-producing “Attack on Titan” with Wit Studio, as well as making “Pyscho-Pass” at the Direction of Shinichiro Watanabe.

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Within the realm of sports anime, the studio has also been relatively sucessful. Aside from the “Haikyuu” and “Kuroko no Basuke,” they were also responsible for both “Ace of Diamond,” co-produced with Studio Madhouse, and “Run with the Wind,” both of which were received relatively positively.

However, I think both “Kuroko no Basket” and “Haikyuu” excel for a number of reasons. For starters, while both shows have a relatively large cast, they do enough with those casts to make each of the minor characters pretty memorable.

A good example from each would be Tsukiyama from “Haikyuu” and Hyuuga from “Kuroko no Basket. In the case of Tsukiyama, his character stands out initially because of how tall he is, but isn’t particularly moved by the idea of playing Volleyball. However, after getting good at blocking, he realizes how much fun it is to use his height to his advantage during play.

Hyuuga’s story is noticeably different. While not possessing any innate skill rather than being somewhat taller than average, he works hard both at leading the team and at being a good player. These two things lead to some pretty great moments of other teams underestimating his skill and him proving them wrong.

Another thing great about each show is the dynamic between their main characters. In “Kuroko no Basket,” Taiga is initially perplexed by Kuroko, as his skills at basketball seemed below average at best. However, as he learns about Kuroko’s specialized skills in passing, he comes to understand just how good of a teammate Kuroko can be. In the first episode Kuroko promises Taiga “to become the shadow to your light.”

Meanwhile, Hinata and Kageyama’s relationship in “Haikyuu” is also quite different. Hinata starts out wanting revenge on Kageyama for beating his middle school team when they first met. Leaving his teammates behind, Hinata trains, practicing almost everyday until he can join his high school volleyball team. Upon arriving to Karasuno High School, Hinata finds out that Kageyama is actually on his team. The two eventually must put aside their differences, though, in order to work together, while still maintaining their rivalry.

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They would not be great sports anime, however, if they were lack in great action scenes, and of course they have those in spades as well. For “Kuroko no Basket,” a great scene that comes to mind is in the second episode, when Kuroko show Taiga and the rest of the team why he was known as the phantom sixth member of the generation of miracles.

While scrimmaging, Kuroko uses his passes to both confuse his opponents and to get the ball to Taiga, who himself uses his incredible height and jumping capability to dunk over everyone. The two work together extremely well, and manage to outscore the other team by a large margin. It is a scene that not only looks cool, but manages to foreshadow the heights the two of them are able to reach.

“Haikyuu” has a lot of great scenes, but one that stands out a lot is when Kageyama and Hinata first play together in Tournament. While their chemistry during practice suggested that the two would not be able to work well together, it turns out not to be the case. The both of them manage to not only work together well, but pull of an impressive series of spikes and fakes that manage to net them the win. In that way, it is very similar to “Kuroko no Basket” in that it manages to foreshadow their success.

Now, that is not to say either series is without fault. “Kuroko no Basket” can often suffer from being a bit to shounen, which can often ruin the atmosphere. For example, it is a bit hard to take a basketball anime seriously when one of the main rival’s abilities is that he can literally make a shot from anywhere on the court. While theoretically it make sense that, given enough time, anyone could make shots consistently from that far away, it does come off a bit silly.

“Haikyuu” certainly is not as bad, but also does not get a free pass. The teams in Haikyuu actually suffer from the opposite reason: being to indistinct. None of them, save for Jousei high school, leave a particularly large impression. Often times it feels like characters are being introduced for the first time when they have been in the series for much longer.

Overall, though these are minor nit-picks. Both “Haikyuu” and “Kuroko no Basket” are great sports anime in their own way, but are similar in their quality. Both manage to have interesting supporting casts, dynamic rivalries, and breath-taking action scenes. While I certainly would not recommenced watching them back to back, they are worth watching at some point.


What are some other great sports anime I should watch? I’ve heard about Slam Dunk quite a bit, and Hanebado also seemed pretty cool, but I would love to hear from you all. Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Animated Observations Update #9: What Feels Like the End of the World

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

I Hope everyone has been doing well and staying safe. Life has definitely changed dramatically for everyone in the past month, but considering the amount of updates I skipped over the last couple of months, I wanted to make sure everyone knows whats happening with myself.

Done with Break

Having the month of March to recharge my brain and take some time to think about what I want to do has definitely helped me feel more inspired to write. While I definitely did not watch and play as much as I wanted to, it still felt like I got stuff done. Now, I am ready to write again.

COVID-19

It also helps to get your creative juices flowing when there is a deadly pandemic forcing everyone inside. While the part of the U.S. I am from does not have it particularly bad, the state government has definitely been taking it just as seriously. Pretty much everything non-essential is either shutdown completely or is actively encouraging people to stay away.

Which makes sense. The recent pandemic is nothing to take lightly, and the initial claim that the disease only affects older people has been proven demonstrably false. All most people can really do at this point is just hope that it ends relatively quickly, although at this point that does look like wishful thinking.

What I Have Been Watching/Playing

For the first half of the last month, I spent my time pretty exclusively playing “Fire Emblem: Three Houses.” However, I usually only got to play it a few hours at a time, and because of that, I still have at least six or seven chapters left until I finish the game.

Around the middle of the month I decided to take a break from “FETH” and finally watch some anime. My two main accomplishments are catching up on “My Hero Academia” and starting and getting through half of “Kuroko no Basuke.” While the former has only been kind of meh, the latter I have actually enjoyed quite a bit.

While it definitely has its moments of being a little too shounen for being a sports anime, it is definitely exciting to watch, and I honestly cannot wait to finish it.

Online Classes

For those completely unaware, COVID-19 has forced most college students into online classrooms, often times with students getting kicked out of their dorms entirely, and some not even being allowed to get their stuff.

Fortunately, since I was already a commuter student, this was not as much of an issue for me, at least initially. Online classes overall have definitely been a worse experience than just going there in person, and while I do appreciate having more time, I certainly would trade it to not have to meet in Zoom again.


What have you all been up to recently? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

First Impressions: Kuroko no Basket

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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.

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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.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!