Like I said when I wrote up Slam Dunk, I wanted to see how basketball anime had evolved in the 20-odd years since it was first aired. Kuroko’s Basketball is the logical place to go for that, given how it is the only other basketball anime to feature on the list. Unlike Slam Dunk, this is split into three seasons – thus giving me a proper place to have an out should I not want to watch all 75 episodes.
I took the out. After the end of the first season, I didn’t really want to continue on – which leaves Haikyuu as the only sports anime that I made the choice to stick with. Whilst Kuroko’s Basketball did improve on a lot of the things that made me want to give up on Slam Dunk – it wasn’t enough to keep me engaged.
There are more interesting characters in here, like the titular Kuroko and the team’s coach, but in the end the show failed me on two places. Firstly, thanks to the initial premise of there being a Miracle Generation of players, there are basketball players who are effectively supernatural. Whilst it is good to have big obstacles in a sports anime for the main team to triumph over or lose against – it’s not exactly a fair fight to lose against someone with godlike abilities.
Then there is the fact that multiple episodes cover the same match. Now I know they did this with Haikyuu, but I think that it worked for me there because you actually get to care about each individual member of the volleyball team – with Kuroko’s Basketball, the focus is mostly on two key players with some attention to the rest. When, like me, you aren’t as invested in one of the key players then you aren’t as invested in the game.
It is clearly just me on this as Kuroko’s Basketball is one of the holy grail’s of sports anime. I think that I have two issues at play. Firstly, I am not a big fan of watching sports in real life so I am not going to be as keen to watch it in anime form. Secondly, of the sports I kinda enjoy watching – basketball is not one of them. Now if there was a decent ice hockey anime out there, then someone please point it my way. Else, this is just another miss for me.
With this, I have nearly crossed out all of the sports anime from the list. Thankfully. I know that Ping Pong is still left, but I am actually looking forward to that one because of the very different animation style. Before that though, I think it’s time to get away from sports anime and maybe got for something from the list that’s completely different. Whatever that ends up being.