Kuroko’s Basketball is commonly referred to as “the Slam Dunk of this generation”, meaning that it’s the definitive basketball anime for the 2010s. However, if you were to actually compare the two, Kuroko’s Basketball is undoubtedly the better anime.

Kuroko’s Basketball (also known as Kuroko No Basuke or Kurobasu to fans) is a basketball manga/anime about the eponymous Kuroko. He is the “secret” member of the high school team known as the Generation of Miracles, so named because each member is so highly skilled that only one such player would appear in each generation, but this generation was lucky enough to have six such players.

Each player has a special basketball power, and Kuroko’s power is to become invisible to his opponents on the court, hence his status as the “secret sixth man” of the Generation of Miracles. However, their immense power led to great pride, and the team eventually fell apart and went to six different schools in senior high. Kuroko’s quest is to defeat each one of their teams, and show them the power of friendship in the process.

Before I get burned at stake by the legions of Slam Dunk fans, let me give you six undoubtedly good reasons that show Kuroko’s Basketball is the superior anime. You might disagree, insults may be flung, we might start a flame war, but wars have been started over smaller issues (no, not really, so please don’t start a war).

 

1. Kuroko’s Basketball focuses on multiple basketball teams, whereas Slam Dunk focuses on one 
team

Aomine and Kise. Credit: Kuroko no Basket Facebook Page

Aomine and Kise. Credit: Kuroko no Basket Facebook Page

Slam Dunk follows Shohoku (the protagonists’ team) as it battles its way to the top. Kuroko’s Basketball, on the other hand, doesn’t just follow Seirin (Kuroko’s team). It also features matches between the other teams (such as the Season One finale between Aomine’s Touou and Kise’s Kaijo). You legitimately want Kise to win in that match, especially since Aomine is set up as the villain of that season.

Warning: Do not do an Internet search for “Aomine Kise” unless you want to be scarred for life forever.

 

2. Kuroko’s Basketball has characters with wackier hair colours

Wacky hair colours. Credit: Kuroko no Basket Facebook Page

Wacky hair colours. Credit: Kuroko no Basket Facebook Page

Remember Slam Dunk’s characters? For me, they were basically “orange haired guy” (Sakuragi) and everybody else, because they all had black or dark coloured hair.

For Kuroko, each member of the Generation of Miracles has brightly coloured hair that could only be possible in real life with copious amounts of bleaching and hair dye. This helps you to identify them, which isn’t that much of an issue since the characters are also wearing team jerseys.

What it also does is to subtly remind you that they are really special (since everyone else has black or dark coloured hair) and powerful players, and hence worthy of their title as the Generation of Miracles.

 

3. Kuroko’s Basketball’s characters have signature moves and call their attacks

Kuroko's Ignite Pass Kai. Credit: Kuroko no Basket Facebook Page

Kuroko’s Ignite Pass Kai. Credit: Kuroko no Basket Facebook Page

One very common manga/anime trope is that you have a signature move, and you call your attacks. This means that, for instance, instead of just pressing the elevator button, you will have the “Imperial Elevator Summoning Finger Stab of Power” move. You will also scream the name of your move as you are pressing it, and it will be animated with flashing lights and all sorts of funky (but irrelevant) backgrounds.

That’s what Kuroko’s Basketball  gives you in spades. Every character has a signature move that’s glamourised so that they look awesome when performing it, even if it’s just a pass (like Kuroko’s Ignite Pass Kai).

Compare that to Slam Dunk, where the characters don’t really call out their attacks (nor do they have one beyond regular basketball moves). Sure, it’s more realistic, but we’re watching an anime! We’re allowed to have some over the top fantasy in it.

 

4. Kuroko’s Basketball’s characters are legendary from the get go

Aomine in the Zone. Credit: Kuroko no Basket Facebook Page

Aomine in the Zone. Credit: Kuroko no Basket Facebook Page

The other issue is that Slam Dunk’s characters start off as inexperienced rookies, and then grow into stronger players. Kuroko’s Basketball  characters are already established as being the strongest basketball players of their time, and this makes for more tension because it feels like we’re watching gods fighting each other.

It’s a different form of storytelling, but it’s once that makes Kuroko’s Basketball feel that much more epic.

 

5. Kuroko’s Basketball usually has two storylines going on

Young Kuroko and Aomine in the background, Senior High Kuroko and Aomine in the foreground. Credit: Kuroko no Basket Facebook Page

Young Kuroko and Aomine in the background, Senior High Kuroko and Aomine in the foreground. Credit: Kuroko no Basket Facebook Page

While Slam Dunk follows Shohoku’s progress in a fairly linear fashion, Kuroko’s Basketball  usually has two storylines going on.

Remember that the central premise is that all the legendary players used to be on one team (Generation of Miracles) and that Kuroko is trying to prove a point about friendship by beating them all? Kuroko’s Basketball starts out with this mystery (why did they split up?) and gradually shows you what happened over the course of the series. So there’s the storyline in the present, and also a storyline in the past, usually told from Kuroko’s point-of-view.

With two ongoing storylines, it makes for a much more interesting and dynamic show, since you get to see how the past affects the present.

 

6. Kuroko’s Basketball objectively has the better team than Slam Dunk

The Vorpal Swords. Credit: Kuroko no Basket Facebook Page

The Vorpal Swords. Credit: Kuroko no Basket Facebook Page

This is a no-brainer. The Generation of Miracles are like a team of level 99 Sakuragis, whereas Shohoku is Sakuragi and his weaker friends.

Of course the Generation of Miracles would win.

 

Kuroko's Basketball: Last Game. Credit: Kuroko no Basket Facebook Page

Kuroko’s Basketball: Last Game. Credit: Kuroko no Basket Facebook Page

In Kuroko’s Basketball: Last Game, the Generation of Miracles and Kagami unite to play against an unbeatable American basketball team by forming a new team called the Vorpal Swords. They’re in university now, so they’re bigger and stronger. Still, Americans are generally larger than the Japanese, so the Vorpal Swords are in for a tough fight.

Will they be able to win this Last Game, or will the ending play out like the horrible manga conclusion of Slam Dunk (where they lose the final game)?

Watch Kuroko’s Basketball: Last Game to find out! Trailer here:

And if you’re a super fan, catch the Fans’ Screening: Kuroko’s Basketball: Last Game where you also get a set of keychains, a folder, and your very own poster!

Sugoi!

 

Credits: Kuroko no Basket Facebook Page, Golden Village Cinemas