I’m a big fan of Kuroko no Basuke, but by this point, I feel that it’s been dismissed as nothing more than fujoshi eye candy by the mainstream fandom and that’s really disappointing for me to see. Fanbase is no determinant of the content at all, and anyone who would say KuroBasu is a BL series with a straight face has probably not even watched the anime. It’s just a regular shonen anime, people.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m personally really happy that KuroBasu gained the fanbase that it did. The female fans pretty much single-handedly saved the manga from being cancelled, and I think these fans have greater insight into the story’s subtleties than I do. The character designs alone are not what won them over – it’s the surprising depth and maturity in the characters themselves. Besides, female fans who like shonen anime tend to like that genre because of the macho aspects.
Most of all, I think KuroBasu filled a market niche that’s been present since the Prince of Tennis manga stopped being serialised in Weekly Shonen Jump. Kuroko no Basuke is more of a new Prince of Tennis than the actual New Prince of Tennis. I’ve always liked the sheer audacity of Prince of Tennis, often in spite of itself, but Kuroko no Basuke took the essential formula that made PoT such a huge commercial hit and polished it in almost every possible aspect. KuroBasu’s popularity took me by surprise too, but on retrospect, I feel as if the fandom needed this series to happen.
Yes, but why do you like KuroBasu, Froggy?
Good question. Both seasons are currently rated a 10 on my MAL, just so you know, and yes, I actually like this series better than Infinite Stratos, High School DxD, etc. You might think of me as an ecchi blogger who only watches anime for the cute girls, but HA, I am most certainly not that shallow.
Kuroko no Basuke is just a really fun show. The actual animation of the basketball scenes are surprisingly subpar, but this is really made up for in spades with the fistpumping soundtrack. Nakanishi Ryosuke composed the OST, and while he’s fairly obscure as far as anime composers go, I’ve also immensely enjoyed his work on Hataraku Maou-sama! and High School DxD. The hard rock and occasionally techno soundtrack fit the atmosphere of KuroBasu to a T, and it does a great job fuelling the action with a sense of intensity that the animation and dialogue sometimes lack.
I’m also pretty taken in by some of the larger themes of the story and how the character interactions all slot in so neatly into that bigger picture. The idea of talented people losing sight of what had initially driven them works on multiple levels. It’s not just something that happens to the series’ antagonists – it affects everyone in some way or another. Doing something just for the sake of doing it doesn’t just destroy you on the inside, it brings out the worst in everyone around you – and this is why the Generation of Miracles is also considered a team of monsters. The GoM members are some of the quirkiest and most likable characters in the series, but the story never lets you forget that their philosophy is deeply and fundamentally wrong.
Kuroko himself is a really enigmatic and inscrutable character, especially as far as shonen lead characters go. I think pretty much anyone who’s ever felt they were only good for passing in a team sport will find a lot to like in Kuroko’s character. His blue hair and DBZ-tier attacks stretch his credibility as a character, but I find his actual personality to be humble, unassuming and altogether nondescript. Perhaps it’s the fact that he’s so seemingly hard to notice that leads me to pay extra attention to him. His character strikes me as a fascinating dichotomy: it’s a shonen anime’s only half-successful attempt to portray a supporting character type as a lead protagonist, but the result is somehow still so single-mindedly unique and compelling that I can’t help but find Kuroko to be utterly endearing.
tldr; Kuroko no Basuke is not a fujoshi series. I watch it for the basketball.