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mangacracker #10

Vivi Vivi 24/04/2018 6 min read

A boy takes on his old basketball team, to show them the true meaning of teamwork in the most indirect way 

Kuroko no Basket begins with a boy, Tetsuya Kuroko, at the top of his game. As a member of Teiko Middle School’s champion basketball, Kuroko helped the team earn the name “Generation of Miracles”, for their unbeatable record. But High School beckons, splitting this star team apart. Each member of the “Generation of Miracles” go their separate ways to begin the next stage of their academic journey, becoming each other’s rivals in the process! Kuroko, believing that basketball is all about working together, seeks out Seiren High School’s basketball team. Here he bonds with Taiga Kagami, a naturally brilliant player with a passion for the sport who shares Kuroko’s dreams of becoming champions. Kuroko believes basketball is rooted in teamwork, with victory only meaning something when a game is won as a team. This is in stark contrast to Kagami, who begins his time on the team as a lone wolf with only personal victory on his mind. With his ordinary looks, bland appearance and average physique, Kuroko sails through school mostly unnoticed, both on and off the basketball court. A situation Kuroko is more than happy with, being the mysterious, “Phantom Sixth Man” in Teikou’s basketball team. This talent of making himself “disappear” to allow perfect passes to his teammates, allowed his team to become the champions they were. Seeing Kagami’s love for basketball and positive attitude, reminds Kuroko of his previous teammates. Now bitter rivals, he is determined that Kagami won’t turn into his old teammates, deciding to become the young star’s shadow to help his team defeat the old members of the “Generation of Miracles”  
Nutcracking Time!
Kuroko no Basket presents a fresh approach to manga. Instead of the protagonist taking centre stage, this intriguing sports manga positions Kuroko in the shadows, yet firmly pulling the strings. At first glance, Kagami is the archetype “Shonen hero”. Full of energy, skillful and the enviable star of each match, we can be forgiven for thinking this enigmatic hero is the lead character. However, it’s Kuroko who keeps the narrative flowing, teaching everyone the true meaning of basketball. His devotion to the sport, coupled with the affection he shows for his old teammates is a major driving force for Kuroko. Even though his beloved teammates eventually became rivals, thereby loosing their way, Kuroko believes that to put them back on the right track, his new team must defeat them at every opportunity. This is definitely a radical, yet effective structure for traditional Shonen Manga!     ***Fun fact!*** Kuroko in japanese (黒子) is the name given to people who support the Kabuki, Noh, etc. actors on stage. The viewer is not supposed to see them on stage, usually wearing black to conceal their presence.      

 “True! Kuroko are like Ninjas on stage!  Just like me! Secretly supporting manga artists !”

      Do you know any other indirect protagonist ? Would love to hear your thoughts so follow me on Twitter – @SmacViVi Facebook – Vivi Fabbri Smac Don’t forget to use the #manganutcracker