20 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Kuroko’s Basketball episode 1

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!

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20 Comments

  1. RogerMoore
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    I thought the episode was alright. I hadn’t read the source material beforehand, so it was all new to me, and I thought it was fairly enjoyable. Nothing to write home about, but it was fine.

    I’m just slightly confused by how many people I’ve seen praising the hell out of this show. It’s not exactly bad, but it’s hardly stand-out, either.

  2. Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    The OP was noteworthy, the episode itself was quite fine and then there is still manager-chan… I’d like her to blow my whistle if you know what I mean.

    • Ando
      Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:40 am | Permalink

      Surely you mean the coach?

    • Mike
      Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:47 am | Permalink

      Oh god I hope you mean the coach–

      • Posted April 9, 2012 at 1:15 am | Permalink

        Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu- I knew this was going to happen! It was the same with Giant Killing but in this this case my mistake is rather… un…pleasent. Yeah, let’s just leave it at that.

        Brb, killing myself.

    • fathomlessblue
      Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      She could coach me any day, errr, I mean I’d let her show me some new techniques, errr, sorry, I mean I’m interested in her ball dribb…

  3. luffyluffy
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Homos playing with Balls, what else is new.

    • gw_kimmy
      Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:37 am | Permalink

      PPFTT.

      i love you.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        I’ve seen a lot of stuff. Homos playing with robots, homos playing with fleets, but never homos playing with balls… Hmm…

        Don’t forget other gems like homo superheroes and this seasons newest classic, Homos on the Slope, which involves homo’s playing jazz and pretending mayonnaise is an instrument so they can eat it sensually off each other’s body.

      • Kiseki
        Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        Inazuma Eleven = homos playing with balls.

        Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the episode with the infamous “Yeah I want more! Gimme more balls!” line, so I guess I’ll just have to treat you to German triplets. And amazing ball control.

      • Kiseki
        Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        Cool I managed to get the balls line anyway!

      • luffyluffy
        Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        I guess P4A would be more about homos loooooving dem balls.

  4. Posted April 9, 2012 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    I got excited when I saw ‘homoerotic’ and then I got unexcited when I saw ‘basketball’.

  5. Erif
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Oh yeah, looks like one of the best premieres yet!

    Haha, oh Erif, you kid.

  6. fathomlessblue
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    While I can see what you mean with the art direction, this was still one of my favourite opening episodes of the season. There was enough of a hook to keep me interested, while the premise didn’t alienate people with little interest in sports (cough). Honestly, the last sports anime to impress me like this was Giant Killing. I doubt it will reach those heights, but I’ve decent expectations.

  7. Scamp
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Lordy me, the lot of you are a bunch of pervs

    • Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      We are just healthy young men.

    • Someone Else
      Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

      We are young men, not necessarily healthy

    • luffyluffy
      Posted April 10, 2012 at 3:06 am | Permalink

      Hey hey, some of us are women you know.

  8. Someone Else
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    For some reason I liked it…Must be because its also incredibly intense, I wish it would be like Chihayafuru but I guess I’m asking too much

    By the way, people have been comparing this to Slam Dunk, what do you think about it?

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