Manga of the Month: Kuroko’s Basketball

Kuroko’s Basketball (黒子のバスケ) by Tadatoshi Fujimaki

narutaki_icon_4040_round Kuroko’s vision of basketball is pretty simple: create ultimate teamwork to defeat teams reliant on star players. Kuroko experienced the later during his middle school years as he played the mysterious 6th man on his team nicknamed The Generation of Miracles. Kuroko observed the crumbling of his former team before each of them moved on to rival high schools.

Now Kuroko has joined Seirin’s still fledgling basketball club with some talented 2nd years and a unique coach. There he meets the returned from America Taiga whose potential is palpable spurning Kuroko to make him a bold promise to “make you the best in Japan.” They vow to confront the Generation of Miracles as they make their way to nationals.

Tadatoshi Fujimaki’s version of basketball sometimes borders on magic, much like the escalation of shonen battle manga. And that is also reflected in the detailed artwork of the sports scenes. His character Kuroko adds a very unique take on sport as well.

At first, I didn’t know what to expect of a quiet, mild character like Kuroko. He is a fare-cry from the stoic or hot-blooded character you’d imagine in the lead role. On the basketball court, he plays a nearly invisible player whose strength lies in passing the ball. Still Kuroko is a genius-type, but he is such a genius that many times only the other geniuses can tell how good he is. That being said, at the beginning of the story he can barely make a layup or any other play beyond passing or stealing the ball.

Kuroko’s desire to create a team that works in perfect unison means he puts a lot of focus on the improvement of others, which mirrors his ability on the court to divert attention from himself. In most instances, he doesn’t seem concerned about himself at all which is shocking. But there is no doubt as the series goes on that this beautiful ideal of Kuroko’s makes him shine brightly.

The rapport between the Seirin members is exactly what Kuroko is looking for in a team and exactly what I want as a reader. I’ve never found myself more interested in basketball!

~ kate

Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! #12: Six Seasons and a Movie

hisui_icon_4040_round As rushed as parts of this battle might have been it should have been clear that Julian and Beatrice are far too powerful to be defeated in a single episode. The previously ever-present Angelica has been neutralized, Miyu and her iteration of Shiro have been freed, and Darius’ true face was revealed. Accomplishments have been made. Julian’s true level of threat has been made clear but also he has been shown to be vulnerable. Both sides have retreated to lick their wounds before their final confrontation.

If you asked me before today I would have assumed the last leg of the story would have been concluded in either the next season of the TV series or 2 more seasons at most. But it seems the rather long flashback arc is not just getting its own season but in fact a rather unexpected movie.

Unless of course, they make Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 4ier¡¡¡

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Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA ILLYA 3rei!! #11: The Breaking of Shiro Emiya

hisui_icon_4040_round At this point, I’m becoming firmly convinced the universe does not want these posts to come out on time. Ever since Otakon, I have been playing catch up. I finally got things back on track but then I could never gain any momentum on the episode ten post. I also got a tidal wave of work at my job so I could not use any of my free time there to fill in some gaps in needed. The fact that the Prisma Illya event in Fate/Grand Order was starting in full swing did not help me. But eventually, I buckled down and wrote that post. I realized the main problem was the longer I put off the post the harder it was to get moving.

Then I got sick the day episode 11 came out. Nothing more than a little summer cold but it really drained my energy. Then the episode itself was delayed. I’m writing this on Thursday so we shall see how much the curse holds up.

Either way, this is the penultimate episode of the season so I don’t have much more to go until I can rest for a bit.

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