You don’t even need to like basketball that much to enjoy what this show has to offer.
I enjoy watching basketball, but honestly I’ve never really bothered with learning player names, which teams are playing well each season, game stats, etc. I’m what many would call a fake fan, and that’s totally okay with me. But, I am a legit Kuroko fan and you can become one too.
What is Kuroko’s Basketball about?
Teikou Junior High’s basketball team had an outstanding roster of players that brought the team to win the championships throughout all three years of their attendance. Their play embarked fear in all their opponents and admiration and praise from fans. The five starting players are dubbed as the Generation of Miracles and are known by all junior high and high school basketball players in Japan. The five each went to separate high schools following graduation and have considered each other as rivals. There were rumors of there being a sixth player on Teikou Junior High known as the “Phantom Sixth Man”, but many weren’t sure if he really existed.
Now at Seirin High School, two new freshmen have joined the basketball team. Taiga Kagami, a very promising player with plenty of room for growth, and Tetsuya Kuroko, a player with very little presence and with below average basketball skills. Although Kuroko seems useless, he is revealed as the Phantom Sixth Man on Teikou Junior High and he was crucial for making passes and assists to the other members of the team.
Kagami and Kuroko become closer and make a pact to help Seirin become the strongest Japanese high school basketball team while playing basketball the way Kuroko thinks is best. To do that they will need to improve and face against powerful old and new rivals as they try to win national basketball tournaments.
Get to the point. What’s so cool about this show?
A lot of things. On paper it sounds like a typical shounen show and in many ways it kind of is. But, it’s one of the few anime that consistently gets better and more interesting the further you progress in the show.
There are 3 seasons that are 25 episodes each. There’s very minor things from the manga that are skipped, otherwise it’s a very good adaptation and it has an ending so you won’t finish the third season in pain waiting years for a conclusion. Kuroko’s Basketball gives you plenty of time to learn about all the major players on Seirin High School so it doesn’t ever feel like it’s just about Kuroko and Kagami. The same goes for players on other teams. On the 5 different schools where The Generation of Miracles went to you get to learn more about those talented players as well as their teammates.
If you want a basketball show that is very realistic in every aspect, this isn’t the show for you. That’s not to say this show doesn’t follow all the proper rules of basketball, but there a few gimmicks with the players’ abilities. Namely, The Generation of Miracles each have a seemingly overpowered superpower that helps them become difficult to beat on the court. For example, there is a player who can shoot a basketball almost anywhere on the court given that he has enough time to make the shot. There’s another player who is able to copy other player’s moves and perform them nearly flawlessly after watching them performed once. There’s more for the rest of the players and they all seem impossible to beat, but everyone has limitations and there’s a lot of clever ways for Seirin High School to outsmart their opponents. Kuroko’s Basketball does a really good job of blending really good basketball plays with some of these superpowers into really entertaining and thrilling games.
I’m not a big fan of comedy in a lot of anime to be honest. Occasionally the comedy in Kuroko’s Basketball can be a bit much, but for the most part I think it’s actually pretty decent and doesn’t make me roll my eyes too much. That’s just me though!
The voice acting cast for Kuroko’s Basketball is really, really good. If you’re like me who’s watched some shows for specific VAs, then you might be interested in checking out some of the ones in this show. A few of my personal favorites who show up often:
Junichi Suwabe- voices Daiki Aomine in this show. He’s well known for voicing Archer in the Fate series, Leone Abbacchio in JoJo’s, Ryomen Sukuna in Jujutsu Kaisen, and etc.
Hiroshi Kamiya- voices Seijuurou Akaashi in this show. He’s well known for voicing Levi Ackerman in Attack on Titan, Koyomi Araragi in the Monogatari series, Shinji Matou in the Fate series, and etc.
Daisuke Ono- voices Shintarou Midorima in this show. He’s well known for voicing Shizuo Heiwajima in Durarara!!, Drole in The Seven Deadly Sins, Ushiromiya Battler in Umineko When They Cry, and etc.
Tatsuhisa Suzuki- voices Kazunari Takao in this show. He’s well known for voicing Makoto Tachibana in Free!, Mikio Shirato in Megalobox, Shinya Hiragi in Seraph of the End, and etc.
Where can I watch Kuroko’s Basketball?
The show is available on a few different streaming platforms. You can watch the entire series on Crunchyroll. They also recently made the first 2 seasons available on Netflix. Not sure what the release schedule is like for the third season, but it’s a good starting point if you already have a Netflix subscription.
As far as I can see, there isn’t a dub for Kuroko’s Basketball yet. I might be wrong, but admittedly I didn’t spend too much time trying to find a dub since I primarily watch anime subbed and I recommend it that way for the best experience.
Also, there are movies that recap some of the major games in the show. I DO NOT recommend watching those as a replacement for watching the show because they do not cover everything you need to know. Those movies mostly act as a way to catch you up on things that happened going into the other seasons; they are not good as a first time exposure to the series.
Wrapping things up
I try to keep my blog posts short because time is precious and I don’t think an additional 500+ words is going to help convince you to check out my recommendation any more than what I’ve written now. Give the show a chance.
If you skimmed to the bottom without reading here’s some quick takeaways for why to watch Kuroko’s Basketball: you don’t need to like basketball that much to enjoy it, it has a lot of episodes and a conclusion, really cool combination of regular basketball play and superpower gimmicks, top tier voice acting cast, and a random person on the internet like me said it’s good so it must be true.
Thanks for reading.