Note: I won’t be writing a post about Fate/Zero. I don’t write about episode 14 of an anime just because there happened to be a bit of a wait for it to air. It’s the same as it always was. Fantastic production values and great ideas with too much bloody talking.
Instead I’m going to write about homoerotic basketball.
There are adaptations of manga that smooth out the problems, skip over parts that don’t work, use the animated medium to great effect, and generally improve on the source material. There’s plenty examples of such this season, like Space Bros, Sankarea and Mysterious Girlfriend X (two of those by the same director). On the other end of the spectrum you get the occasional failure, such as Zetman, where an attempt to condense too much information with disorientation action sequences makes the experience much worse. But at least in Zetman they tried something. It didn’t work, but I appreciate the attempt. Kuroko’s Basket does fuck all with the adaptation. It’s so by the books, so generic and so safe that it ended with something rather painfully bland.
I’ve been trying to pay more attention to directorial techniques recently. First impressions of a season is the best place to do it, because if you check out the first chapters of all the manga, you can spend more time looking at the presentation rather than the content. This may not sound like the ideal way to watch anime, but I’ve really enjoyed doing so, and it’s helped me admire those anime that do it well all the more. Kuroko’s Basket plays everything almost frame by frame to how the first chapter of the manga did it, with the touches usually associated with anime being the same dull bag of tricks every anime uses. Sound drops when things go slow motion. Speed lines in the action shots. Whoosh sounds when the camera pans up to a tall guy. Do manga fans really want this? Something that parrots the manga exactly?
As for the actual content of the episode, it was hard to judge because I’d already read the part of the manga this covered. Hence my reaction was a blank one of “yup, this sure is that one chapter I read”. The power levels shtick is dumb, but they aren’t applying any actual numbers to the bodies, so it’s all just lipservice that doesn’t amount to anything. It could even be fun if the show didn’t present everything else as realistically as it seems to do. I will give props to the show for having the two main characters have actual distinguishing personalities, which is enough for me to continue checking out a couple more episodes. Plus once I go beyond the chapters of the manga I’ve already read, maybe I can start enjoying the content rather than the directing.
Hey look, sharing options!