— Temporal Vortex

Kuroko no Basuke – “I’m a shadow.”

Majority of sports anime have the team’s ace as the main protagonist and as for someone who hardly considers himself athletic, I was hardly able relate to any of the characters with respect to the sport they are playing.

I’m not a fan of sports genre anime and I can probably name only three anime(s) that I liked namely Slam Dunk and the baseball duo* (Cross Game & Touch) by Adachi Mitsuru. Well, before Kuroko no Basuke aired, that is. I’ve been following this series ever since last year via its manga and I’ve been drawn in by the supporting role of Kuroko despite being the main character.

Although I don’t avoid leadership roles, I tend to be the backstage guy. My main characters on MMORPGs are mainly full-support Clerics and Priests or whatever you call the class that heals and do the buffs. This nature of mine’s probably the reason why I like “the basketball which Kuroko plays”.

People actually think it’s easy to do the “support” role but, they’re underestimating the amount of attention one has to have in order to effectively keep an eye on the lives of your party members to keep them off from dying. Using the same analogy, Kuroko’s strategic passes probably needs him to be extra keen in observing the whole court.

It’s rather rare to see characters from a sports anime who actually specializes in supportive maneuvers. Sports have always been decided through scores and that’s why every basketball player practices in shooting the ball. That’s always been the highlight of any sport — the dunks, the home runs, the goals, the scores. Anything that has something to do with defense and support is underrated.

For someone who somewhat lives in the backstage, I find it a bit disheartening that at the end of the day, people always only get to notice those who do the scores, and seldom other people who made those scores possible. This is pretty much the reason why I’m biased on liking Kuroko. Kiseki no Sedai and Kagami are undoubtedly great players but I’d prefer somebody like Kuroko who’s capable of reinforcing anyone.

Hardly anybody specializes on support because everyone wants the share of attention received when one’s on the front lines. Very few ones volunteer to do the equally difficult but dull part of the game.

* – I also like Adachi Mitsuru’s H2 but I only read the manga and didn’t watch the anime. (as recommended by other fans)

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image credits: pixiv user 腰痛

6 comments
  1. Balloon ThiefNo Gravatar says: April 24, 20129:43 am

    When I used to play soccer, I never understood the appeal of the striker position. A great striker is someone who scores maybe once or twice. Or put another way, a great striker fails to score the majority of the time. Whereas the defense is successful when they stop the attack one hundred percent of the time. You can probably guess which position I played more often. The amazing thing is a large number of my teammates preferred playing as a striker.

    I believe that offense is the most attractive part of sports because it is usually more fun to watch. Great offense is dramatic and exciting. On ESPN every week they have the defensive baseball highlights. These usually involve players diving for the ball. In other words, ESPN highlights dramatic and exciting defense. Great defense is neither of those. Great defense means starting the play in a position that allows you to make the out without having to dive or be dramatic. Great defense isn't exciting to watch. It shouldn't be exciting to watch. Great defense should look effortless maybe even easy.

    One of my favorite sports anime Giant Killing was interesting because most of the team's offensive success could be attributed to one player, the Prince. He played the supportive role of midfielder.

    Anyway, interesting post.

    • foomafooNo Gravatar says: April 24, 20128:14 pm

      Hey, thanks for commenting!

      Our take on the subject is quite the same. It is indeed more difficult to play defense and yet it goes unappreciated because it lacks the excitement factor. It takes a lot of experience for a goal keeper to actually read which the direction the ball would come from and yet strikers who, most of the time, simply go for random offense just so to score gets all the attention. I'm not saying offense is just like that though since there are a number of strikers as well who think first before they kick. But then again, both relies on instinct.

      I agree with you, if the team/player is actually good in defense, they'd be able to fend off any offense without actually having to dive or anything since they knew where it will land in the first place. Though, I'd probably consider the double team strategy in basketball a great defense, and exciting to watch but not necessarily "effortless".

      Prince's role in Giant Killing is much like a Point Guard and I treat that as offense XD…

  2. theradioactivesamuraiNo Gravatar says: April 28, 201212:40 pm

    Had to read this because I've been wanting to watch the series. I just have the first episode, but I haven't watched it yet.

    "This nature of mine’s probably the reason why I like “the basketball which Kuroko plays”" made the anime sound different. (Truth be told, though, I prefer frontliners, and support roles are ones I'll probably never choose. I like being in the 'heat of battle' so to speak, and when it comes to fighting, I prefer it to be in close-range. =))) In any case, this /new/ take on basketball sounds interesting! I rarely notice support characters in sports series and having it under the spotlight may make me appreciate them more.

    I like sports anime – I'll probably start as soon as I have better connection. Para hindi bitin.

    • foomafooNo Gravatar says: April 28, 20126:07 pm

      Haha, I rarely use close-range/ frontliners when it comes to games – I prefer the "shoot them while they are far" strategy :))

      Yep, this /new/ take is the reason why I liked it – regardless of how mind boggling Kuroko's "misdirection" is.

      Well, you can also read the manga? But yeah, sports anime are probably more easily appreciated if it's animated.

  3. Yousei HimeNo Gravatar says: May 2, 20122:59 am

    I'm not a sport anime/manga fan either, but I've fallen in love with this one. I'm a sucker for underdogs, and I adore Kuroko's character. Who wouldn't want to pop up out of nowhere and scare the crap out of people? I'm waiting for the episode where he smiles. Character development has been a little slow, but it's there, and that will always keep me coming back.

    • foomafooNo Gravatar says: May 2, 20123:25 am

      I'm enjoying it so much whenever he scares the crap out of Kagami and everyone else too! I hope the anime won't overuse it though. Character development springs randomly from time to time whenever they are in the middle of training and matches so I don't really mind if it's slow — as long as it's there consistently like you said. Thanks for the comment!

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