The newest movie adaptation of Kuroko’s Basketball (Kuroko no Basket) was released in Japan back in March 2017, and a stage play was also performed this summer. Both adaptations were a huge success and got the fans very excited. Although it has been three years since the manga came to an end, its popularity does not seems to be fading out.
Kuroko’s Basketball is filled with both funny and tearful moments, unique characters, exciting basketball action, interesting word choices, and much more. We can talk about the manga’s charms forever, and I’m sure every fan has their own favorite things to talk about.
I would like to write about some of my favorite episodes. I must say that the game between Kaijo High School and Touou Academy was one of the best games. This refers to Episode 24 in the first season of the anime, titled ‘Don’t Get the Wrong Idea (Kanchigai shiten janee yo), which is based on chapters 67-70 in Volume 8 of the manga.
Personally, this is my favorite match in Kuroko’s Basketball. And, because I love this part of the story, I happened to recognize many interesting differences between the manga and the anime, which I would like to tell you about. I hope you enjoy it!
This article has spoilers for the first season of the anime and up to volume 8 of the manga.
Inner-Monologue During the Game: Part 1
At the end of the second quarter of the game, although Aomine and Kise end up facing each other, Kise decides to avoid a one-on-one battle and passes the ball to his teammate instead. In the manga, the spectating Kagami thinks to himself, ‘One-on-one isn’t the only option… but he doesn’t have the passion to attack at all!’ However, in the anime, these lines are instead turned into Aomine’s inner-monologue. Right before the monologue, Aomine says to Kise, ‘What’s up, man? You’re done already?’ so as far as the anime is concerned, I think this scene has a good tempo in showing Aomine’s feelings. However, when we think about what kind of person Aomine is, I feel that this line doesn’t quite fit his character.
‘One-on-one isn’t the only option’ means that ‘There are other options, such as avoiding Aomine and cooperating with the teammates.’ This line makes sense when Kagami says it. Kagami is a player who can think about winning as a team, so if one-on-one doesn’t work out, he would probably choose to pass the ball to his teammate.
However, let’s think about Aomine’s case. Even during the game against Kaijo High, Aomine only thinks about defeating Kise. He even says, ‘My style of basketball doesn’t depend on team members.’ Would someone like him come up with an option other than one-on-one? Passing the ball to his teammate was the best decision for Kise, but it seems strange to me that Aomine was calmly able to come up with this strategy.
Inner-Monologue During the Game: Part 2
Again, during the second quarter, Kise decides to abandon his feelings of admiration towards Aomine and he seriously tries to defeat him. In this scene, Kise thinks to himself, ‘I hope to win, but deep down in my heart, I’m hoping that you never lose.’ However, in the anime, this line is partially changed. It goes, ‘I hope to win, but deep down in my heart, I’m thinking that I don’t want you to lose.’ This is only my personal opinion, but to be honest, I did not want this line to be changed.
Kise must have had a dilemma between the desire to defeat Aomine and the desire for Aomine to be the strongest player. Both of these desires were equally strong inside him. That is why he had admired Aomine for all this time, whether Aomine was his teammate or opponent.
However, the word ‘think’ (omou), which is used in the anime, is a little weaker than the word ‘hope’ (negau). Therefore, the anime’s line makes it sound as if Kise had wanted to defeat Aomine all along, more than he wanted Aomine to be the strongest player. This scene has a lot to do with Kise’s character as a basketball player, so I wished this particular line was exactly the same as in the manga.
Kise and Aomine
During the ten-minute interval, Kise speaks with Kuroko and he asks, ‘Who do you think will win?’ Then, Kuroko answers, ‘Both of you probably won’t give up until the end, so I don’t think it would be strange if either of you won.’ Come to think of it, the word ‘give up’ in this scene seems to have different meanings regarding Kise and Aomine.
Aomine is a player who truly enjoys basketball and has his own unique style. He has the ability to defeat anyone who plays against him. Kise has always admired Aomine’s talent, and during the game, Kise starts hoping to win against him with his teammates. Therefore, for Kise, the word ‘give up’ refers to giving up winning against Touou Academy as a member of Kaijo, and to give up defeating Aomine, the ultimate super player. He stopped running when he realized his lack of ability, and this was the moment he ‘gave up’ winning.
On the other hand, Aomine is very talented in basketball, and because no one was able to defeat him, he had started to feel that basketball was boring. During the game against Kaijo, although Aomine is happy that he could use his full-strength to fight against Kise, he does not worry about losing at all nor does he depend on his teammates. Therefore, for Aomine, the word ‘give up’ refers to giving up playing basketball with all his powers, regardless of who he is fighting against. The moment he ‘gives up’ is not when he loses hope in himself, but rather when he loses hope in his opponent.
Never Give Up
Until the end of the game, no one, including Kise and Aomine, gave up winning, and both Kaijo and Touou fought with all their might. That is why this game became such an amazing game which is loved by all fans. The charms of Kuroko’s Basketball is not just the scenes with the protagonist. The passionate battles between rivals are another aspect which makes the manga exciting for fans!