The most common criticism I've seen so far of Kuroko no Basket has been how unrealistic it is. I myself am an avid basketball fan who plays regularly and watches NBA games. I can understand the criticism as this anime has a lot of spectacular dunks, blocks and flashy passes, the stuff you usually only see in highlight reels, but occurs regularly throughout the games in here. There's also the shounen elements with the special powers of Generation of Miracles members and other things such as the "martial arts" Seiho employs.
That being said, I am completely ok with this. Why? Because it makes it
interesting. Think about it. As a basketball fan, it'd be great to see the teams run plays like the triangle or pick and roll, but you can't expect the average viewer to understand what's going on. Plus, trying to explain this and other technical terms would eat up screen time and bore a lot of viewers.
This is first and foremost entertainment. Kuroko no Basket is great to watch BECAUSE of these elements. Watching Kagami slam the ball down or Kuruko go ninja and make an amazing pass is far more exciting than watching a player hit an open jumpshot from good ball movement. It's the same reason why many people label the Spurs in the NBA as "boring" despite their well-oiled offense. If you really wanted realistic basketball, you'd watch an actual game. What Kuroko no Basket excels at doing is showing how exciting basketball can be to a mainstream audience. I have yet to be disappointed by any of the episodes, as they have all left me with a big, goofy grin on my face from the thrilling games or cliffhangers at the end of each episode. Look around and you'll see that many viewers are not basketball fans, but love this anime. This is great because it's garnering interest in basketball in people that would have never noticed the sport were it not for this anime. This is especially true in Japan, where basketball is nowhere near as popular as sports such as baseball or football (soccer).
As for the anime itself, it captures your attention with epic scenes, likeable characters, and funny comedy. Kuroko's sudden appearances that startle every character out there is a running gag, opponents with names like "Papa" and Kagami's Engrish "THIS IS JAPANESE LUNCH TIME RUSH!" keeps things interesting. The story is your classic sports anime, with the Seiren basketball team aiming for the top. However, if you were expecting some athletic, hot-headed knucklehead who excels in the sport...well, that's the deuteragonist Kagami. Kuroko is the protagonist here, and he's an unconventional lead for a sports anime. He's terrible at almost every aspect of basketball except passing and stealing. Together, he and Kagami form a exciting duo to watch reminiscent of real-world duos such as Stockton and Malone. The other characters aren't explored too much initially and I was afraid the other Seiren members would just become useless bodies, but slowly we've been introduced to their own unique skills. The only other characters that the anime really delves into are the members of the Generation of Miracles, who are all distinguished by their special powers and...colorful hair, Kuroko included. Here is where the shounen aspect of the show is most visible, with the members displaying everything from behind the backboard shots to full court shooting range (though I have to admit that's really pushing it). They are the equivalent of the boss characters you see in other shounen anime, as Kuroko, Kagami, and the Seiren team must find a way to overcome them.
The art and animation are solid, however, animation isn't as consistently fluid as I would've liked. The movement of players shooting or passing the ball feels too rigid or unnatural at times, as if they didn't draw enough frames (with the exception of Aomine's ridiculous handle). It compensates for this by having a lot of slow motion and close up shots of dunks, blocks, and steals which really help excite the viewer and make this anime so thrilling. It is definitely one of the better looking sports anime out there, which is part of what makes it so appealing to a wider audience. For the most part, the music consists of guitar-heavy tracks that come in whenever something notable happens, such as opponents being surprised by one of Kuroko's passes. The opening and ending feature rock songs that keep the same adrenaline pumping feel the anime has. The one thing that really bugs me though is how each episode starts off with a narrator introducing the Generation of Miracles story. It's understandable in the first few episodes, but past that there's no point in it, since viewers would already be familiar with the backstory (EDIT: They finally stopped this nearly HALFWAY through the season).
In short, Kuroko no Basket is an entertaining anime to watch, even if you don't like basketball. The thrilling games will capture your interest and many can relate to the story of going for the top and exceeding expectations, as the underdog Seiren team does time and again. Don't go into Kuroko no Basket expecting expertly executed plays like in real basketball. Don't go into it thinking you'll see a mirror image of a real game in anime form. Go into it expecting a thrilling game of dunks, blocks, and crazy passes, a lot of O.O faces from the characters, and competitive trash talking. Watch it for the determined characters, comedy, and overcoming special powers we've come to love in shounen anime. It doesn't portray basketball too realistically, but realism in this case would only drag a fun anime like this down.
Synonyms: Kuroko no Basuke, KuroBas, The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays
English: Kuroko's Basketball
German: Kuroko’s Basketball
French: Kuroko's Basket
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 8, 2012 to Sep 22, 2012
Premiered: Spring 2012
Broadcast: Sundays at 01:58 (JST)
Producers: Bandai Visual, Lantis, Nihon Ad Systems, Mainichi Broadcasting System, Banpresto, Shueisha, BS11
Licensors: None found, add some
Studios: Production I.G
Duration: 24 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
Score: 8.061 (scored by 698348698,348 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.