Teiko Junior High - The Generation of Miracles
Teiko Junior High, known for its strong basketball tradition, had always been a key fixture in the middle school basketball scene. Victorious in many championships, the school nonetheless produced one team that stood as the pinnacle against all others that came before it, and perhaps all that would come after.
They came to be known as the Generation of Miracles. Made up of five superbly talented prodigies who took the skills required of their positions to the highest levels, the Generation of Miracles went on to successfully dominate the championship for three consecutive years. Undefeated in every game, their sole philosophy lays in victory through absolute strength. This was no team for the weak. At the conclusion of their era of dominance, each member of the Generation of Miracles decided to play for different high schools. The rivalries, new and old, between these members drive a majority of the plot.
1st Year: Power Forward (Currently plays for Tōō Academy)
“The only one who can beat me, is me”
The ace. Commonly acknowledged as the strongest player in the Generation of Miracles, Aomine cuts an imposing figure. His dark coloration, short navy blue hair, solid musculature, and expressions that never venture far from scowling or smirking all emphasise the bad boy credentials of his character, as does his often blunt and disdainful way of speaking. He is somewhat short-tempered, arrogant, and fiercely competitive. He is superbly talented in all facets of basketball.
Amusingly, he has an overbearing love for female idols; there are several instances in the series where threatening to destroy his treasured idol magazines and mementos is the only way to get him to turn up for practice.
Indeed, practice is almost considered to be redundant where Aomine is concerned. Having nurtured a deep love for basketball from an early age, Aomine often played street ball against adults when he was just a child. As a result, he excels in one-on-one matchup situations, combining his unmatched speed and natural affinity for ball-handling to create extremely unpredictable plays. Aomine's blistering speed was notably demonstrated on one occasion when, on his fast break, his defender was unable to catch him even though he was actively dribbling the ball. Aomine also has strength to complement his amazing speed. He is regularly shown powering through larger defenders and even tearing a basketball ring off the backboard during a slam-dunk, with little apparent effort.
As a further mark of his depth of basketball knowledge, it is also often Aomine who provides the running commentary court side to explain the various reasons for a game's shifting momentum, or who deconstructs how a particular trick play was done.
The result of having played basketball in an unconventional street ball setting for most of his life, Aomine developed a unique style that defies all traditional basketball logic. Because his movements are non-standard, defending against him is nearly impossible. Aside from his lightning-quick crossovers, Aomine frequently passes defenders by dribbling the ball through their legs or throwing it over their shoulder before blasting around them to continue his dribble, akin to the real-life Harlem Globetrotters' style of play. These are supplemented with punishing, abrupt changes of pace that never fail to leave defenders wrong-footed in his wake.
This unorthodox style extends to his shooting as well. He is not restricted by the need to have a proper shooting form, which grants him endless avenues of offense. Regardless of the shooting angle, how off-balance he may seem, or how quickly he is travelling, Aomine has demonstrated the ability to convert any play into a successful shooting opportunity. He has done so with his body nearly parallel to the ground, whilst throwing the ball one-armed after sustaining a mid-air hit, even whilst in flight behind the backboard.
This is a domain reserved only for prodigies. It is only accessible to that handful of players who have reached the absolute pinnacle of their craft, and whom above all possess an uncompromising love for basketball. Even then, it can only be unlocked through activating specific triggers fundamental to the core of their spirit. For Aomine, this trigger is his desire to compete unreservedly against an opponent he deems worthy.
Aomine is the only character depicted throughout the series that seems to have conscious control of The Zone, where other characters have tended to stumble into it by accident.
Players within The Zone are able to release the full 100% of their innate potential. Their focus is raised to extreme levels, which automatically filters out all unnecessary information and allows them to concentrate completely on the game. When in The Zone, players are generally depicted with electric sparks leaping from their eyes. They demonstrate vastly augmented reflexes, speed, power, and accuracy. In this state, Aomine’s offensive abilities surge from the realm of the overwhelming to the realm of the utterly unstoppable.
However, it takes a high physical toll on the player using it. Aomine can only use The Zone for about five minutes before his physical fatigue drops him out of it.
1st Year: Center (Currently plays for Yōsen High)
“All these things you guys seek: hard work, guts, faith. I’ll crush them all. Everything.”
Cornerstone of the team's inside defence. Murasakibara is one of the tallest characters presented in the series, with long arms and legs to boot. He is fair-skinned, and his mostly bored face is framed with shoulder length purple hair.
He appears somewhat absent-minded, usually speaking in a distracted manner that suggests he’s not fully paying attention, and has a great fondness for junk food. He is unapologetically lazy, regularly refusing to do anything that will require extra effort on his part, and openly contemptuous of players holding to ideals like teamwork and having fun in each game.
For Murasakibara, the only constants are strength and talent. To him, being passionate about a sport for which you have no talent is the height of stupidity, just as a fighting spirit is useless against an insurmountable skill gap. Meeting such opponents will not fail to ignite the flames of his ire, causing him to burn with the need to crush them and their futile beliefs. He professes not to like basketball, and claims to play only because it is something he is good at.
On the court, Murasakibara utilises a combination of his imposing height, long wingspan, frighteningly quick reflexes, and devastating power to disable attempts by opponents to score inside points. It is noted that his defensive range covers the entire area within the three-point line. His defensive pressure is so intense that even Aomine has remarked that he finds scoring against Murasakibara difficult.
Whilst he is generally known for his defensive abilities, and will not often stray from his team’s defensive half due to his laziness, Murasakibara can channel his abilities to become an offensive monster when he becomes sufficiently incensed or the victory of his team is in doubt. When this happens, he is an active presence beneath the opposing board to grab offensive rebounds, and easily penetrates defences through sheer force.
His signature move on offense is the Thor’s Hammer. This is a low-post move that capitalises on Murasakibara’s huge frame and strength. Starting with his back towards the basket, Murasakibara executes a spinning jump that culminates in a powerful two-handed dunk. The swirling air currents that it is depicted with suggest that its power is comparable to the harnessed might of a destructive whirlwind. In one instance, Thor’s Hammer was shown to easily shatter a three-man, triple-team defense, where in another it has demonstrated enough force to collapse the entire frame structure supporting the backboard.
Despite his protestations to the contrary, it appears that Murasakibara actually does harbour a deep love for the sport of basketball. He has shown the ability to access The Zone at one point in the series, which would not have been possible if he really was as indifferent to basketball as he makes himself out to be. Like all players in The Zone, Murasakibara receives a tremendous boost to all of his stats, though only for a limited time. His trigger is as yet unknown.
1st Year: Shooting Guard (Currently plays for Shutoku High)
"Shooting from farther away is obviously the best, since it's worth three points...Between two and three points, more is obviously better."
The three-point specialist. Midorima is tall and fair-skinned, with short green hair that cascades across his forehead in a fringe. He wears glasses, and has a habit of taping up the fingers of his left hand (which is his shooting hand) in order to prevent damage to them. Midorima projects an aura of cool, calm composure, which is in keeping with his keenly analytical mind and methodical approach.
He is as pragmatic as he is proud. Midorima will not shoot unless he is sure it will go in, resulting in other Generation of Miracle members observing that he has never missed a shot. These traits also drive his relentless pursuit of the three-point shot, as his philosophy dictates that games are won by the team that scores the most points. For Midorima, settling for less is not an option. His pride in his own abilities fuels his often condescending way of speaking, and his respect is not easily won.
Midorima is almost fanatically superstitious. He is regularly depicted with random items like stuffed toys or ceramic figures based on what his daily horoscope has determined as his lucky item for the day. He also puts much stock by the suggested compatibility of star signs for the people in his immediate circle, along with their blood types. Although he insists that he is merely doing everything within his power to ensure the odds fall in his favour, his superstitiousness leads to many amusing, nonsensical scenes and dialogues throughout the series.
High Projectile Three
Midorima is a consummate pure-shooter, the strongest depicted within the series. More than his unerring accuracy, the element that truly sets Midorima apart as a shooting specialist is his ability to shoot from anywhere on the court. There appears to be no limit to his range - he has repeatedly demonstrated the capacity for full-court shots that never fail to find their mark.
The shot gets its name from the path of its trajectory. When Midorima shoots a long-range three-pointer, the ball is propelled into the upper reaches of the basketball stadium, following a perfect parabolic curve that terminates in the centre of the opposing basket. He often concludes his shooting motion by turning and running back to defend his own team's basket before the shot has run its course, as though it is already a foregone conclusion.
Aside from the obvious benefit of being able to rack a full three points on each shot, the true power of this shot is in the debilitating effect it can have on the opposing team's morale. The anxiety involved in speculating on whether the shot will go in is exhaustive. For the basket to sink after its long and leisurely path through the air, as though there had never been another possibility to begin with, can easily break an already mentally exhausted team's determination to fight on.
Midorima's ability to shoot these outrageous three-pointers is limited by his physical stamina. He is only able to produce a limited number per game, due to the amount of effort required to fling a heavy ball a distance in excess of 20 meters.
1st Year: Small Forward (Currently plays for Kaijo High)
“In basketball, I never forget to return a favour.”
The copycat. Kise Ryota is tall, muscular, and handsome, as befits his employment outside of school as a model. He is fair-haired as well as fair-skinned, and his brown eyes have distinctively long eyelashes. He has a piercing on his left ear.
Kise is easily the most carefree member of the Generation of Miracles, always the first to crack a joke and the first to laugh aloud. He is open and honest with his feelings, and will freely acknowledge those whom have earned his respect, with no condescension or sarcasm whatsoever.
Kise is a ferocious competitor and a naturally gifted athlete. This is evidenced by his belonging to the Generation of Miracles even though he only began to play basketball during the first year of middle school. His athletic talent allowed him to master, in the short span of three years, skills that usually take far longer to develop. Even Aomine remarked, regarding their practice sessions, that he could not afford to take it easy against Kise.
The key to Kise's monstrous growth and basketball prowess is an ability that is best described as a kind of eidetic reflex. While people who possess eidetic or photographic memory are able to perfectly recall every detail of something they may only have seen once, Kise has the ability to unfailingly reproduce any basketball move he has glimpsed. Moves, once copied, are catalogued within his internal database and can be reproduced at any time. This endows Kise with a flexible and diverse playing style which is not limited to a single move or trait.
The limit to this ability is Kise's own physical prowess. He is unable to reproduce the moves used by anyone who has stronger stats than himself. This means that he cannot just copy moves by watching a professional basketball game on television, as those players are necessarily stronger than he is. Similarly, his eidetic reflexes are unable to reproduce the signature moves used by the other Generation of Miracles members.
At some point in the series, Kise displayed the ultimate form of his copying technique, called the Perfect Copy. When Perfect Copy is active, Kise's eyes are depicted with a glowing yellow ring within his irises.
Perfect Copy basically negates the previous technique's limitations, and notably allows him to copy the signature moves of other Generation of Miracles members. Whilst having Aomine's blinding speed, Murasakibara's impenetrable defense, or Midorima's three-point ability is more than enough in any given game, Perfect Copy's true strength lies in Kise's ability to combine any of these moves to fit the situation at hand. This can lead to all sorts of creative plays that would normally be considered impossible, and grants Kise a playing strength that can stand on equal footing with The Zone.
Although these implications are never explored, Kise's access to the Perfect Copy technique potentially means that he could be strongest member of the Generation of Miracles, perhaps able to surpass even Aomine.
Similar to The Zone, the enormous strain associated with reproducing the signature moves of the Generation of Miracles dictates that Perfect Copy cannot be endlessly sustained.
1st Year: Point Guard (Currently captain of Rakuzan High)
"I am the absolute."
The undisputed leader. Compared to his fellow Generation of Miracles members, Akashi’s stature is much less physically imposing. He stands at average height, has fair skin like most of the others, and sports short, ruby-red hair. Akashi possesses two-tone eyes. His right eye is ruby-red, and his left is a shade of amber, which references the fact that he possesses two distinct personalities. He radiates an aura of otherworldly calm, and is soft-spoken.
At first glance it may appear implausible that the exceptional Generation of Miracles willingly subordinate to someone who does not exhibit any outstanding traits. This is, of course, an illusion. Akashi’s average build hides a formidable physicality. He has shown the ability to execute a slam-dunk, even though lay-ups are much more suitable to his height. More alarmingly, he was able to convert a dunk over two defenders whom had at least a 15cm advantage on him. His soft-spoken and calm demeanour also conceals a tremendous force of will which easily cows anyone into submission; Akashi is consistently depicted dominating other more apparently powerful characters through a few well-chosen words and the mesmerising intensity of his absolute belief in his supremacy. The targets of his wrath are usually left wide-eyed and temporarily paralysed, with no recollection of how they ended up that way.
He is an excellent strategist. He is capable of sizing people up with a remarkable degree of accuracy within moments of meeting them, and has a penchant for implementing complex, multi-layered tactics that systematically demolish the spirit of the opposing team.
Akashi’s play style is determined by which of his two personalities is currently at the fore.
His first personality exhibits an extreme self-reliance; he harbours no illusions of needing his team mates to win, and thus resolves to do it all by himself. In this mode, Akashi’s pursuit of individual glory is relentless and uncompromising.
This is his main special ability whilst under the influence of his first personality. The Emperor Eye is an exaggerated form of offensive and defensive awareness that grants Akashi the power of on-court prescience. When his Emperor Eye is activated, Akashi is depicted with glowing ruby rings within his irises. Through split-second observation of minute details on opposing players, such as muscles tensing and lines of sight, he can effectively see the future of their movements, which allows him to perform a number of normally unfathomable feats. On defense, this translates to his stealing the ball from players before they can complete their shooting motions, and his seeing through all attempted feints and fakes. On offense, it allows him to perform ankle-breakers on any defender whilst doing nothing more than slightly shifting his centre of gravity to unbalance them.
It gives Akashi a wide field of vision without any blind spots. With the Emperor Eye, Akashi can visualise the position of every player on the court at any given time. This is particularly useful for setting up assists, and renders defensive moves like screens completely ineffective.
Akashi has also displayed the ability to enter The Zone. This state not only greatly boosts his base stats, but, used in conjunction with his already irresistible Emperor Eye elevates his skills to unprecedented levels. It is noted that his defensive sphere in this state is nearly an entire half-court. Akashi is never shown to feel the bite of exhaustion from overuse of The Zone, but it is assumed that, similar to the others, he cannot maintain this form indefinitely.
His trigger is the conscious decision to dispense with the support offered by his team mates and acknowledgement that he will do it all by himself.
His second personality appears to be the polar opposite of his first. In this mode, Akashi’s presence is withdrawn to a role focused on support.
Perfect Rhythm through Perfect Passing
Instead of blazing through all opposition and taking it to the rim by himself, Akashi’s second personality favours the model of a pure play-maker. He is able to dish out a constant stream of seemingly unremarkable assists that create the perfect rhythm within his team mates' movements. Though they seem unremarkable, it is observed that these passes are in fact exceedingly difficult to pull off. They are executed with no telltale pre-motions, and always land precisely for the recipients to follow with their most effective move - even down to the angle of the basketball seams meeting their hands.
This kind of passing inexorably draws out the latent potential of each member within the team. Each pass they receive sees them moving with greater sharpness and confidence, to the point where every member of the team can play at a level that is comparable to The Zone, albeit at a slightly lesser intensity. The power of an ability to create a team of near Zone players cannot be understated.
Is it any wonder that these guys were named the Generation of Miracles?
Or that they were undefeated for the entire three years of their middle school career?
Be sure to catch the exhilarating action courtside as these five prodigies settle the score on who's strongest!