12 Days of Anime #9: Teamwork in Kuroko’s Basketball

“Let’s have fun. This is our final play.” -Kiyoshi Teppei

I haven’t been this pumped for a sports anime finale since Prince of Tennis and even then, a tennis match just doesn’t have quite as high of an adrenaline rush as a basketball game does.

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The success of sports anime really rests on two important factors: 1) the portrayal of the sport as something genuinely exciting and aesthetically appealing to watch; 2) perhaps even more importantly, the development of the characters themselves. Fortunately for us, Kuroko no Basket easily excels about both, though any fan will rave more about the characters than anything else. Unlike most sports anime that unabashedly shower the protagonist with every shonen power up and ability needed for them to totally overtake the game, Kuroko (both the series and the titular character) never strays from its message of teamwork. Basketball is truly a team sport and Kuroko could not have made this more plainly than in the breath-taking match-up of Seirin vs Rakuzan at the Winter Cup finals.

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Though Kuroko is not certainly a perfect anime, its ending was all sorts of feel-good. You know that Seirin’s going to win, but you know Rakuzan’s going to make to fight for the last point down to the last second. Of course, there’s ample amounts of screaming, swearing, and sweating to be done throughout the process but you’d have to be a soulless guy not to react to this moment when Kuroko plays his final hand and one-ups Akashi, the guy who has never known the taste of defeat.

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Score for the blue guy. Against the elite Rakuzan, Seirin’s only and best bet of winning (Super-Saiyan power moves aside) was extremely perfect teamwork. Perfect teamwork demands unequivocal trust in your teammates and an insanely honed sense of intuition to anticipate and respond to their moves before they even make them. Hey, that sounds like telepathy, insanely perfect teamwork. Although our power light-and-shadow-duo are the ones who make the last shot, their victory rests on the combined efforts of all of the entire team–both on and off the court.

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Basketball = SO MUCH EMOTION

9 thoughts on “12 Days of Anime #9: Teamwork in Kuroko’s Basketball

  1. Have you tried other sports anime like Haikyuu or Diamond no Ace? KnB is a good portrayal of teamwork but I felt that it leans more towards showcase of individual effort and teamwork than certain other sports anime like those two I mentioned.

    In any case, nice post and I just wanted to say hi, I chanced upon your blog while blog hopping and I like the way you took out a certain theme from each anime to write about 🙂


    1. Haikyuu! is on my backlog…not a big fan of either baseball or volleyball but sports anime have a tendency to surprise me. I do like that mix of individual effort with teamwork as it gives each character a chance in the spotlight. Even if Kagami and Kuroko are seriously OP, we have Hyuuga, Izuki and Kiyoshi with their particular talents as well so Seirin really feels like a well-rounded team.

      Thanks for checking out this blog! Yeah, it’s the English major in me–I tend to look at an anime and pull certain thematic threads from it…and have a special fondness for taking a close look at character development. Hope you stick around for more.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Even if you aren’t a fan of the real sport, I think you don’t have to be to really enjoy it 🙂 most sports anime enthusiasts including me have not much real interest in the sport in real life, but these anime draw us in all the same.
        Yep, KnB still gives a well-rounded focus on the other team members no doubt, but I find that the emotional aspect of teamwork shines more for the other series as well. All are excellent sports anime though!
        I see, I particularly like to read about character development. I think there’s a lot to say about that in anime since it’s what they like to focus on 🙂
        Btw, I would really appreciate it if you checked out my blog as well hehe 😀


      2. Haha, fair enough. I’ll check them out sometime. The trouble with sports anime is that they also tend to be really long…and while I was more gung ho about marathoning through long-running shonen series in the past, it’s easier for me to commit to watching a shorter series (even 2-cour feels a bit long now).

        Yup, character development is the best and one of the main reasons anime is so fun to watch. I’m also a big fan of imagery and symbolism (something that I’ve been trying to notice more in anime).

        Of course I’ll stop by your blog. Always on the lookout for good aniblogs. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I agree, I used to be more enthusiastic in trying out the long running shounen series, but I really lost steam in the past one to two years xD 2-cour is especially long if it hasn’t managed to suck you in, and that has an increasingly higher chance of happening as we watch more anime and nothing surprises us anymore –> at least, that’s what I think.
        I absolutely agree, I am also trying to look out more of imagery and symbolism in anime, though I am afraid I don’t have the academic foundation to do it, having close to never taken literature as a subject before. I am always trying, though! xD
        Thank you! 🙂 This is actually my first time directly promoting my blog because I always feel it too shameless haha, so thanks for the kind response 😀


      4. That’s very true. The first anime titles we watch tend to form our basis of opinion for future ones, especially if they’re in the same genre. I’ll always have a soft spot for long-running shonen but am more critical of them now.

        It’s a common misconception that you need formal training to analyze anime or literature. Formal study helps but there’s a lot that you can do on your own. The best way to learn is probably to read more–read more fiction, nonfiction, anything to get your mind thinking. Try to think about what patterns you see, think about how characters change & grow in their interactions with other characters. If you’re looking for an introduction to literary theory basics, I recommend Terry Eagleton’s Literary Theory–it’s pretty short ~200 pages and introduces you to basic literary schools of thought (all the “isms”).

        I took a look at your blog–congrats on hitting your first year milestone. My blog’s only been around for two years so I’m pretty new myself but I like your content–hope you keep on writing about anime!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I do agree that reading more generally helps, but sometimes there’s so much choice out there it’s hard to make the decision to pick something when we have limited time. Hence its always better to have a few selective titles to know where to start. Thanks for the recommendation 🙂
        Thank you, one year is not a lot really. 🙂 I always thought its not easy to to sustain a blog for long especially when real life commitments seem set to only increase, so I think two years is a pretty good feat. I do hope I continue writing about anime as much as I can afford to. 🙂


  2. Great review, bruh. The review was on point. I totally agree with KnB not being that extravagant as a series but somehow, there’s something special about it which makes us crave for more til the end. And the story didn’t disappointed the viewers.

    I’ll be checking more of your contents. Good job and good luck. 😁

    P. S
    Just started my oen anime blog this month. Hope you can also take a peek and see my contents (mostly top lists and reviews).


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