Have you people watched Slam Dunk? Have you people watched Kuroko no Basuke (otherwise known as Kuroko’s Basketball)? If there’s something I noticed is that people I know who watched Slam Dunk will immediately brand Kuroko no Basuke as an imitation of Slam Dunk and the people I know who watch Kuroko no Basuke will not watch Slam Dunk simply because they are already engaged with KnB.
As a guy who recently finished Slam Dunk and finished watching the latest episode of KnB and even finished reading the manga, I will lay out the facts and compare them for you. Or at least I’ll let you compare them yourself and decide which one is more suitable for you. And so, the battle between the two most influential basketball anime (for now) begins!
“KnB is imitating Slam Dunk!” A fan of Slam Dunk may say. It is true, of course but only to a certain extent. The names of the schools start with ‘S’ (Go on,roll your eyes), the characters in the anime series pronounce English terms with a Japanese accent (like, pronouncing dunk as dun-ke), the main protagonists both have red hair and they even have the same ability that is they both can jump very high, higher than normal people. However that is where the similarities ends. (With the exception of a few other references of Slam Dunk in KnB later on in the series)
The main protagonist of Slam Dunk is Sakuragi (Refer to image below), a delinquent high school student (don’t all anime take place in schools) who have red hair and a menacing build and height. Because of his terrifying appearance, many people are afraid of him and because of that (cue the dramatic music), he has no girlfriend. In his desperate attempt to find one (Go on, roll your eyes), he was rejected by 50 girls and because of that, he was heart-broken (though it did not seem that way). Until of course, he met the girl of his dreams who was conveniently the basketball team captain’s sister who also likes basketball very much. In a bid to win her heart over, he began involving himself in basketball and day by day, he…
Of course, that was the summary. The extremely short one. In the beginning, the anime was extremely long winded and kept focusing on Sakuragi’s growth but it was extremely slow because as you watch the anime, you’ll find a whole lot of scenes where you see Sakuragi go Super-Saiyan like “ARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!I’M GONNA DEFEAT YOU!!!” (You’ll feel like something epic is gonna happen!!!) then screws up. Every time. For example, when he tries to dunk, he misses the rim and slams the ball straight on the opponent’s head. Ouch. Or when he tried to shoot the ball, he throws the ball out of the court and the ball hits the spectators. Talk about an epic fail.
However if you can close one eye to this, you will find a lot of things to love about this anime. Namely, the backstories of the characters in Slam Dunk are much more relatable and elaborate than KnB’s characters. The anime constantly reminds the viewer that the skills and the prowess of the players on court are hard-fought thus making the characters more likable and relatable. Not to mention, the heart-warming and horrifically funny antics of the characters (especially Sakuragi) are also a welcome element in the story. And of course, if you persevere to the bitter end (the end is bitter all right), you will be rewarded as you watch the characters you watched for so long finally flourishing on the court, especially Sakuragi.
So, if you prefer an anime that’s more down-to-earth and inspiring, or you’re a basketball junkie that loves NBA and Kobe Bryant or LeBron James or whatever basketball star, for that matter then this anime is for you. It uses all kinds of basketball jargons like alley oop and Air ball so this one should be right up your alley. You can also learn the basics of basketball through this anime (Trust me, I learnt quite a lot).
So this is Slam Dunk. What about Kuroko no Basuke? Well, I didn’t want this but this post is freaking too long so… Stay tuned to Part Two of “Compare!!!Kuroko no Basuke (黒子のバスケ) and Slam Dunk!”