“Better late than never” seems to be the theme of our First Impressions posts here at Bokutachi no BLOG, haha. But to be fair, sometimes you do need to see more than just the first episode of something to know whether or not you like it. Of course, there are the shows that instantly impress upon you that they’ll hold your interest all season long…
…Only to fail you by ending poorly.
Kuroko no Basuke
When it comes to sports anime and manga, I’ve really only given one an honest shot: Eyeshield 21. And I loved it. Well the manga, that is; I don’t think I had anything against the anime except it seemed really cheesy in comparison to how awesome the manga was. There have been a number of soccer anime in the past few seasons – and I haven’t seen a single one of them even though I’d promised jGLZa that I would check out Area no Kishi – a baseball anime, and a remake of the Prince of Tennis (or was it a continuation of some sort) – none of which I even bothered to watch the first episode of. So unless we’re counting Karuta, I really, really haven’t watched any sports anime.
Then Kuroko no Basuke came up in the Spring Season list and I thought, “I’m going to watch – actually watch this and try to be fair.” Besides, I don’t know anything about basketball so maybe I’ll learn, like how I learned about football through Eyeshield 21. So I sat down and watched the first two episodes.
… So far I haven’t learned anything about basketball. And I’m not interested in seeing anymore. I am, however, interested in reading the manga. There’s nothing wrong with the anime per se, but I just feel that the characters and art style are more dynamic in manga form than in the anime. It was the same with Eyeshield 21, actually. There’s just a sense of intensity and build-up in the manga that can’t be carried through to anime.
From watching just two episodes, you get a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen through the season: they’ve set-up the five key obstacles our main protagonists and central team need to overcome; five key players known as the Generation of Miracles to meet along with their new, respective high school basketball teams, and beat. They’ve set up Kuroko and his playing style, and paired with Taiga, you know his focus is to be on a team where its players work together; where success doesn’t ride on the talents of one (or five) individual players, but a team that communicates, grows, and respects each other.
The beauty of sports anime and manga is that they are structurally predictable, but even knowing what’s going to happen doesn’t prepare you for the chills you get when a match is played through. So much can happen in one single game and if done right, you’ll be on the edge of your seat for every page and through every chapter it takes to get through it.
I have no idea what’s going on, haha.
I wonder if this is going to be like Arakawa Under the Bridge – not because of the fishing or the fair-haired, self-proclaimed alien, but because with Arakawa, you never really knew what was going on, but somehow, it all came together, made sense, and you had a whole whack of fun watching it happen.