Take 2!! Compare!!! Kuruko no Basuke (黒子のバスケ) to(と) Slam Dunk(ツァムヅンケ)!


If you just stumbled onto this post and is interested to the topic I am discussing about, I suggest that you read my previous post first, otherwise you would have no idea to what I’m talking about, for this is a continuation of my previous post.

Without further ado, let us move on to Kuruko no Basuke!!

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If you don’t already know that Slam Dunk was considered the pioneer for sports anime in the 90s and considered the most influential basketball anime of all time, well, I guess you know now. And as for Kuruko no Basuke, it has gained quite a following since it’s introduction into the realm of anime. So, can KnB hold it’s own against the so-called “great” and “mighty” Slam Dunk, or even be considered a rival of Slam Dunk to the throne of basketball anime? Let’s find out!

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At the beginning of Kuroko no Basuke, we are introduced to the Kiseki no Sedai, the Generation of Miracles (Refer to image below) of Japanese basketball which is known to be comprised of the 5 first team players from Teiko Middle School Basketball Team. However, it was little known that there was actually a sixth player, also known as the phantom player and the sixth man of the Kiseki no Sedai and he is the titular character, Kuroko Tetsuya.

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The anime occurs during the time when the Kiseki no Sedai has finally graduated from Teiko Middle School and are now leaving their past together behind to walk their own separate ways and go off to their respective high schools. Then we are introduced to the actual protagonist of the anime: Kagami Taiga (Red haired high school student) who arrives at Seirin High School and joins the school’s basketball team. In addition to having a good and tall build (he’s 1.91 meters tall, equivalent with 6 feet 4 inches), he showed promising quality and talent as a basketball player, so he was welcomed into the basketball team with open arms (WIDE OPEN ARMS). But then, the basketball team seniors noticed another new peculiar addition to the club who goes by the name of Kuroko Tetsuya…

Kuroko no Basuke is a quite modern and refreshing take on the sports ‘underdog’ story and is not afraid to go over the top. I mean, when the fuck will a basketball player dye his hair different colors? Fancy Kobe Bryant with red hair or LeBron James with purple hair? As if two colors weren’t enough, there are enough different colors of the characters’ hair alone to form a rainbow! (Red, sky blue, dark blue, green, purple, yellow, grey etc.) In fact, even the characters’ abilities are…well…calling it over the top would be an understatement. THEY ARE RIDICULOUS. I
mean, have you watched a NBA match where the shooting guard shoots a three pointer from the other end of the courtand nails it? Or a NBA match where a player literally brings the hoop, backboard and the whole thing down to the ground with just one dunk?

Regardless of that, the anime still gained quite a huge following and large number of fans. But then again, I guess anime wasn’t meant to be taken too seriously. The plot was easy to understand and it maintains it’s pace throughout the anime so that you won’t get tired of watching it and you will definitely never feel bored watching this anime due to the unending fresh introductions of new over-the-top skills displayed by the characters.

However, I feel that you can’t quite connect with most of the characters. That’s because the anime keeps on emphasizing on the players’ talents (more so for the protagonist and the Kiseki no Sedai) and that they’re born basketball geniuses so much so that it overshadows the fact that they too worked hard to arrive at their level they are in. Plus, the characters are more one-dimensional and not as fleshed out as Slam Dunk’s characters. Most of the characters in KnB don’t seem to have a special characteristic or memorable personalities that make them stand out (apart from the hair color and absurd abilities of course).

Plus, if you look closely enough, you will find multiple loopholes in the explanation that the story provide to explain a certain event in the duration of the match or the ability of a particular player. I won’t state any obvious examples of course, but if you watched the anime, you’ll know what I’m talking about (SPOILER ALERT: Zone within the Zone, what the fuck is that supposed to be?!). And as for the plot, it’ll somehow feel forced at some point and it feels like the writers simply gave an excuse without thinking whether this excuse is legit or not to justify the course of action taken by the characters.

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(Cue trumpet fanfare tune)

And so the end has come. It’s time to bring the curtains down on this discussion. Who is King, Slam Dunk or Kuroko no Basuke? As a fair judge of this ruling, my stance remain neutral. However, as the evidence has already pointed out, Slam Dunk remains as the undisputed king of basketball, or for that matter, sports anime. It is superior in terms of character development, plot and presentation of the overall story if compared to Kuroko no Basuke. However, with the introduction of more awesome sports anime such as : Haikyuu! and Kuroko no Basuke, I believe even the mighty Slam Dunk may stumble and be replaced by another one day.

All this said and done, KnB is not a bad anime and afore mentioned flaws were actually quite minor thus can’t actually ruin your watching experience too much. Although it is still quite far off from being the heir of Slam Dunk’s throne, however it should be respected and viewed as a good anime. After all, for a sports anime to reach it’s level without burning out is quite a feat, thus should not be neglected. Watch it anyway. (After all, it was one of the first anime series I watched.)

But, make no mistake. Slam Dunk is the king and may still be king in the near or even distant future.

Long live the King!!

Feel free to comment on my post and let me know what you think or what anime you would like reviewed. If you liked this post, please support by visiting my site at seeanimeondaniel.wordpress.com
Thanks for your support!

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