A new basketball club at a new school is eager to rise above and beyond, and are thrilled with the two new members they gain.
One is a fiercely competitive, incredibly skilled and incredibly tall young man – Kagami Taiga, who lived most of his life in the US, and is very disappointed with the state of the sport in Japan. The other is Kuroko, apparently a member of a what was known as the ‘Generation of Miracles’, in a basketball team that all other highschools are in awe of. However the members have all now moved on to separate schools.
The club’s coach, however, is somewhat disappointed when Kuroko is not entirely what she expected. That is, until she sees his ‘ability’ in action.
I was actually surprised with how much I enjoyed this, even with its problems. Kuroko is another Jump manga I”m not really in the habit of reading; whenever I flip through, always seemed to just be sweaty guys playing basketball. I’m not a sport fan, and despite what often gets said, I often find its very hard to care about sports anime when you don’t give a damn about the sport (or…even know the rules, for that manner). But this episode may have changed my mind just a little, and I might have to start paying a bit more attention to the manga in Jump from now on. Kuroko does at least manage to have some interesting characters, as well as injecting that classic shonen ridiculousness – enough to be silly and fun, but not enough to be over the top.
Shonen heroes usually have as much bombastic presence as possible, but Kuroko is different…his ‘special ability’ is the fact that he is rarely ever noticed at all. This is pretty neat, and would definitely be helpful for his games…but I just find it so hard to believe. The guy has pale blue hair. How does he go unnoticed? Especially given the incredibly ordinary, border-line realistic appearance of everybody else. Furthermore, if his team was so famous, wouldnt people have gotten used to his ability and start noticing him? It seems like something that would lose its effect once people expect him to be there, although I assume that this will end up being addressed.
Despite being the main character, he’s still incredibly mysterious so it’s hard to really address him as a character other than the fact that he seems kind of adorably aloof and quite likeable enough. (The part where he casually attacked Taiga with his knees made me laugh).
I also liked the character of the basketball coach, who has the ridiculous ability of being able to look at a guy’s abs and “see” all his “stats”. (So yeah, tons of shirtless guys in this episode alone. Add the eventual partnership between Taiga and Kuroko and it’s not hard to see why there’s been a thriving doujinshi scene on this for some time)
As for Taiga himself…he’s currently too much of a cliche RAR I AM THE GREATEST AT WHATEVER FIELD THIS SHONEN THING IS THE FOCUS OF EVERYONE ELSE SUCKS AND ESPECIALLY YOU MAIN CHARACTER I DONT LIKE YOU ONE BIT, EXCEPT FOR IN THE MANY DOUJINS WHERE I BANG YOU type. You know the one.
Anime like this walk a fine line between being silly fun and taking themselves too seriously and thus becoming stupid, so it remains to be seen which way this one will go. I have a feeling the animation is going to lower in quality the longer it goes, but it was still more enjoyable than the other Jump series that aired this season (ie Medaka Box.)