Characters that made my year – Kuroko Tetsuya (The Twelve Days of Christmas: Day Eleven)
Magical Basketball Anime! It should be illegal for a series to be this addictive, but every week I’m left sitting giggling at my computer screen as I watch Seirin’s latest exercise in male bonding…..which I am aware is pretty creepy, but hey hasn’t stopped me yet. I don’t know exactly what makes Kurobasu so good – everything about it just seems to click & work. It has so many of my favourite elements – shounen sports, multi-coloured bishies, shipping potential time infinity, pretty animation, fantastic cast – but it is still somewhat surprising that the series nails things quite so well.
Kuroko is the series lynchpin (clue is in the name) even if he is a very atypical shounen sports series lead. Kuroko’s gimmick is that he has very little physical presence on court (or anywhere to be fair) and exceptional skill at passing, which is uses to his advantage to get around his opponents guards and create opportunities for his team-mates to score. Kuroko’s entire playing style is built around never being the focus of attention – the exact opposite to what most shounen leads go for. It is refreshing and Kuroko is a great character to watch – perpetually cool and collected, it takes quite a lot of fluster him (and you’re in trouble if you manage to make him angry). However Kuroko’s skill is such that all the lauded genius’ of the show with their inflated egos, respect him and acknowledge his talent as a legitimate threat.
I’ve selected a recent episode – ep35, as my favourite Kuroko moment as it best demonstrates what his character is all about. Seirin are struggling against Kirisaki Daiichi’s latest tactics until Kuroko comes in to change the course of the game. As his former team-mate points out, the only reason giving Kuroko free reign to do as he pleases works, is because his current team-mates trust him implicitly and understand his skill. I love that Kuroko expresses how pissed off he is at Hanamiya’s underhanded tactics by soundly snipping the strings of the web Hanamiya created – actions speak much louder than words, and that is exactly what Kuroko is all about.