Teikou Middle School Basketball Club. A super strong school with more than 100 club members, boasting several successive championship wins. But even within that glorious history, there is still a team that can without fail be called the "strongest"—a generation of five players with talents that you would see once every ten years called the "Generation of Miracles." But there was a strange rumor that there was still one person the five geniuses acknowledged as superior...
Kuroko no Basuke (Kuroko's Basketball) is a sports manga by Fujimaki Tadatoshi which chronicles the high school adventures of Kuroko Tetsuya who, despite having been a regular player on the famed Generation of Miracles team, cannot dribble, fails at shooting, has low stamina, and often goes completely unnoticed while on the basketball court. Needless to say, when Kagami Taiga, the other protagonist of the story who has come back bored from American basketball standards, plays Kuroko, he easily wins. With that effortless victory, he advises the other to stop playing basketball forever, noting that talent and skill are more important than passion at times.Kuroko, in response, demonstrates to Kagami—and the rest of the Seirin High basketball team—that his unique talent from the Generation of Miracles is his ability to quickly relay passes based on his lack of presence on the court. He makes it onto the Seirin regulars as a result and gains an ounce of Kagami's respect in the process. Kuroko's goal in his high school years is to defeat all the members of the Generation of Miracles, using his limited presence (as a Shadow) to help Kagami (as a Light) achieve greatness.Of course, the Generation of Miracles (who have all gone their separate ways after middle school) do not take Kuroko and Kagami's challenge seriously—in fact, they do not take Seirin seriously, as its basketball club is only a year old and its team used to be comprised entirely of freshmen. Along the way in the manga, Kuroko and Kagami meet - and subsequently defeat (or are defeated by)—other members of the Generation of Miracles who, on a whole, have grown apathetic towards the sport as they believe themselves to be too good for defeat. Kuroko no Basuke is a good example of the shonen genre, especially for sports, in that there are extended training montages, ridiculous skills on-and-off-court (even by manga and anime standards), and a decent mix of humor, friendship, action, and drama. The romance, on that note, is minimal at best, and generally played for laughs.An anime adaptation by Production I.G aired in the Spring 2012 Anime season. A second season has been set for release on October 2013.Now has a character page that desperately Needs Wiki Magic Love.
Tropes associated with Kuroko no Basuke:
A-Cup Angst: Poor Aida in a one-piece, especially when Momoi introduces herself in a stylish bikini...
The Ace: All of the Generation of Miracles, but especially Aomine, who was their ace.
Kagami for Seirin.
Action Girl: Aida Riko, a second-year student at Seirin who is the coach of the boys' basketball team and managed to lead the team of first-year to regionals.
Although they're far from girls now, in her early heyday years both Alex and Araki could have easily qualified.
A Day in the Limelight: Furihata, one of the freshmen benchwarmers, finally gets some serious match time during the Seirin vs. Kaijou game. He also gets some focus in the first quarter of the Rakuzan match, where he figures out, before anybody else, that Kuroko has lost his ability of not being noticed. And finally, later on he gets to mark FREAKIN' Akashiof all people!!!. And of course, poor Furihata is literally crapping his pants just facing him
Always Someone Better: The Generation of Miracles were this for the entire middle school basketball circuit. Kagami is this for Himuro. And Haizaki was this for Kise from when the latter joined the first string, up until Kise's Perfect Copy, after which the roles get reversed.
Ogiwara gives one to Akashi, of all people, in Quarter 226.
Ogiwara: "Do you... enjoy playing basketball?"
Art Evolution: Substantially. Comparing the first and latest appearances of any character introduced early into the series will show drastic leaps in style and ability, as with Kise or Midorima. Even Akashi, who appears last of the Generation of Miracles, Fukimaki becomes visibly more comfortable drawing.
Awesome, but Impractical: Kuroko's Misdirection Overflow. Sure it gives Seirin a big advantage on court, but it can only be used at the very end of a game and can only be used once on any team. This is especially problematic when facing teams that Seirin are sure to go up against again, such as Touou.
Backstory: TONS. TONS. TONS. For pretty much every main character, from Kuroko to Kagami to Kise to Midorima to Aomine to Kiyoshi to Hyuuga to Aida to Momoi to... you get the point.
Subverted in Kuroko's case actually. The few details we know about his time in Teikou comes from the backstories of other people, and the story behind his quitting the Teikou basketball team after they won their 3rd national championship hasn't been revealed yet. The last page of Quarter 203 finally has him about to reveal it.
Bag of Kidnapping: How Touou get Aomine to watch the Winter Cup qualifiers in Quarter 100.
The clock in Episode 10 of the anime, "Citizon" instead of Citizen.
Boring, but Practical: Furihata's entire playstyle. While he doesn't have the raw skill and special shots of most of the other players, his presence on the court slows down Seirin's pace, which prevents them from making silly mistakes while caught in the pressures of the match.
Break the Cutie: The Teikou arc is essentially this for the entire Generation of Miracles, but particularly Kuroko and Aomine.
Breather Episode: Quarter 94, which follows the Seirin team as they attempt clean up their club room, happens directly after the climax of the second Seirin and Shuutoku match and the revelation about Kiyoshi's injury. It's even mentioned to be one in universe, as the team is supposed to use the day for relaxing before resuming training.
Can't Catch Up: Though he looks to be on par with the Generation of Miracles, the truth is that Himuro will never be able to catch up to players like Kagami and reach the level of a prodigy. It's something of a complex for him.
Career-Ending Injury: Kiyoshi's knee. It's so bad that the Winter Cup is the last tournament he'll ever be able to play in.
Alex's eyesight deteriorated bad enough to cut her WNBA career short.
Colour Coded Characters: And to what a degree! All the members of the Generation of Miracles have a color as part of their names and - with the exception of Kuroko and his blue hair (Kuro = black) - their names all match the color of their hair (and eyes). Aomine (Ao = blue) has blue hair, Midorima (Midori = green) has green hair, Momoi (Momo = peach/pink) has pink hair, Murasakibara (Murasaki = purple) has purple hair, Akashi (Aka = red) has red hair, and Kise (Ki = yellow) has yellow hair. Also Haizaki (Hai = grey), before Akashi kicked him out of the team and Kise replaced him, though Haizaki's hair was actually blonde in his middle school years. The newly revealed Nijimura, captain of Teikou before Akashi, even follows it (Niji = rainbow) despite his hair being the least colorful of the lot (black). Though he does, apparently, have rainbow-colored wristbands.
Color Failure: The Seirin regulars suffer from this after they see the picture of Shinkyou's ace.
Happens after the rest of the team see Kagami's grades.
The default reaction after tasting Riko's cooking.
Combat Commentator: Though the series has no set commentator, this duty often falls to the coaches, managers and players watching in the stands.
Comic Book Time: The anime manages to stretch the first Yousen game over five and a half episodes, which is more than twice the actual match duration.
Crippling Overspecialization: Both Kuroko and Kagami have this in the beginning. For Kagami, it's his tendency to always go for dunks, as they can be easily blocked if his opponent is skilled enough. And Kuroko's whole Misdirection skill is pretty useless if the player he's shadowing isn't on court.
Crowd Surfing: Kagami tosses Fukuda on top of the lunch crowd and tries to demonstrate his American surfing skills.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Generation of Miracles as a team versus pretty much anyone. After they split up, a GOM player versus pretty much any team without another GOM player is also this. Aomine, who doesn't usually bother with showing up on time to matches, actually came on time for his match against Kise.
The Touou versus Seirin match definitely counts, as Aomine nets them the win by practically double the points, despite showing up at the halftime mark.
Dope Slap: Kise is often on the receiving end of dope kicks from Kasamatsu.
Kuroko's inflicted a few hits on Kagami, ostensibly to reign in his temper.
Does Not Know His Own Strength: At the start of the manga, Kagami doesn't know how to regulate the strength of his jumps, and thus unknowingly puts a lot of pressure on the body when he does so. He spends most of the first training arc trying get some control over this.
Embarrassing Slide: After Riko scouts out Shinkyou, she comes back armed with pictures of their star player. However the first picture she accidentally shows Seirin is that of a cute kitten.
Epic Fail: Whenever Kuroko attempts a basketball move that's not Misdirection. Though he's getting better as the manga progresses.
Kagami has a few in Quarter 83. First he jumps too high when going for a dunk and hits his head on the basket, and then, after scoring the winning shot with an epic dunk, he loses his grip on the basket and falls.
The NG gag reels at the end of just about every chapter spoof this mercilessly. For example, in the NG for Quarter 90, Kuroko fails his Vanishing Drive during a dramatic one-on-one with Midorima.
Expository Hairstyle Change: Hyuuga goes through two in quick succession during his first year at Seirin. The first was him gaining Delinquent Hair after losing his passion for basketball and the second was him going back to his original style after regaining it.
Riko cuts her hair short after Seirin reaches the finals of the Winter Cup.
Foregone Conclusion: Runs rampant in Quarter 128, where everyone is absolutely convinced that Seirin will be defeated by Touou. However, Seirin has a fewtricks up their sleeve...
Opposing teams generally didn't even bother to put up fight when they played against the Miracles post-bloom, as to according to them every match would turn out the same way. This type of behavior from their opponents caused most of the Miracles (especially Murasakibara) to lose their passion for basketball, which resulted in them seeing each game as something of a chore.
Funny Background Event: In Quarter 36, Kise's monologue is littered with fun shots of the rest of Seirin's attempts at okonomiyaki flipping.
Game-Breaking Injury: The leg injury that Kagami receives during the the first Shuutoku game, which causes him to be benched during the most important part of the Seirin vs. Touou match.
Kiyoshi's knee injury, which he got the year previous during the match against Kirisaki Daiichi starts acting up in the climax of the second Shuutoku match, which causes him to miss the free throw that would have won the game.
Gratuitous English: Quarter 76, where Kagami and Himuro have an entire conversation in English. It's justified though, as the two knew each other in the States and are probably more used to chatting to each other in English.
Done as well in the anime, sounding far more natural than most examples of this trope.
Hyuuga tends to lapse into English if he's angry enough.
Hard Work Hardly Works: Murasakibara is a firm believer of this. It's averted for Kuroko, who gained this Misdirection skills through lots of hard training. This is the main reason why the two are foils for each other.
Have We Met?: Midorima asks this when Kagami introduces himself to him. The fact that he clearly does know (having attended every Seirin game to that point) is promptly lampshaded by Takao.
Something similar happens with Murasakibara and Kiyoshi; they played against each other in middle school, but the former initially doesn’t remember.
The Heart: Kuroko tried to be this in the end of his time at the Teiko basketball team, but failed. He is getting to his old teammates now about the importance of team spirit, especially Kise.
Heroic BSOD: Kuroko suffers from a short-lived one halfway through the second Seirin vs. Touou game.
Kiyoshi gets hit with this hard during the Seirin vs. Yousen match.
Kasamatsu and Kise. (Especially with their bickering.)
Kagami and Kuroko are probably the crowning example.
Kuroko and Aomine while in middle school, before Aomine's change in attitude.
Hot-Blooded: Seeing as it's a sports manga, lots of characters qualify as this, but especially Kagami.
Hot Springs Episode: the training session between Touou and Seirin which culminated with Momoi and Aida pressed chest-to-chest.
Hour of Power: Kise's Perfect Copy, which allows him to copy moves from the Generation of Miracles, can only be sustained for five minutes. That is, until the Seirin vs Kaijou rematch where his sheer determination to win allows him to make it last for two extra minutes.
I Let You Win: It is hinted that Kiyoshi let Kagami win during their faceoff in Quarter 55, due to the fact that he was wearing his indoor shoes at the time.
During their final one-on-one in America, Kagami deliberately allowed Himuro to win. Contrary to his expectations, this did more harm than good, as he failed to realize that Himuro has a hugeCan't Catch Up complex concerning him.
Ironic Echo: "I believe you could jump". During the final minutes of the first Seirin vs. Shuutoku match, it's first said by Midorima, after he successfully predicts that Kagami could find the strength to pull off a third jump and moves to counter it. Then, seconds later, it's repeated by Kuroko, who has predicted both Kagami's and Midorima's actions, and thus ends Midorima's counter before it could even start.
Limit Break: Zone, a state of concentration which lets a player play with the full 100% of their potential. So far, Aomine, Kagami, Murasakibara and Akashi have unlocked this.
Truth in Television: The Zone itself has been proven scientifically as an extremely mentally focused state where one's physical and mental abilities are dramatically increased. Here
Loads and Loads of Characters: Well, there's the original 7 from Teikou and 7 from Seirin (not to mention Kiyoshi), and then the various teams and teammates that get a ton of development time. There are 4 from Kaijou, 4 from Touou, 3 from Shuutoku, and that's not even counting the random opponents that Seirin fights really hard against and wins... only to appear as spectators (with dialogue!) some 50-odd chapters later—still wanting a rematch!
Also, Kuroko's single wristband, which originally belonged to Ogiwara. This definitely doubles as as Tragic Keepsake, seeing as he only got it after Ogiwara quit basketball.
Mr. Fanservice: Kagami. He gets tons of shirtless scenes, especially in the anime. There's even a scene where he only uses a small towel to cover his lower body.
Ms. Fanservice: Momoi generally, especially with her F-cup breasts (as analyzed by a very jealous Aida Riko) and bikini/bath/shower scenes.
Alex, the woman who taught Kagami basketball in America, enjoys walking around naked or in her underwear, greets everyone by kissing them on the mouth (including Riko), and has by far the biggest bust in the series.
My Greatest Failure: Kasamatsu has never forgiven himself for making the mispass that caused Kaijou to be eliminated from the Inter-High preliminaries the previous year.
Though it's never stated outright, it's heavily implied that failing to fulfill his promise with Ogiwara and indirectly being the reason why he quite basketball are this for Kuroko.
New Powers as the Plot Demands: Kuroko is the most blatant offender, seemingly unveiling a new skill in every important match. To date we have Cyclone Pass, Ignite Pass, Vanishing Drive, Ignite Pass Kai, Misdirection Overflow and Phantom Shot. It's slightly justified though, as the moves are picked to pieces by opposing teams almost as soon as they're shown, or if not, in the match right after.
The Nicknamer: Riko's dad. Kise and Murasakibara may count to a lesser extent, as Kise adds "cchi" to the end of the names of people he's acknowledged, whether they want him to or not, while Murasakibara adds a "-chin" to a shortened version of the name.
No Sell: At first, Kuroko's Misdirection has no effect on Takao, due to his 'Hawk's Eye' ability.
This happens again during the second Seirin vs Touou match, due to Imayoshi marking him and Aomine's ability to read his playstyle.
Not So Stoic: Kuroko suffers from a major Heroic BSOD and then utterlyshatters in the aftermath of Teikou's third national victory. The chapter after that, it's clear that he's close to tears after discovering that he has no chance to fulfill his promise to Ogiwara, due to him transferring out of the area, and quitting basketball.
Not What It Looks Like: Quarter 140. Koganei finds a naked woman in Kagami's bed. And then said naked woman passionately kisses Kagami on the lips while proclaiming that she's missed him. The woman is Kagami's old coach. Why she's naked is another matter entirely.
Obfuscating Stupidity: A few characters have been noted to be much sharper than their usual attitudes would suggest, like Kiyoshi and Kise.
Only Sane Man: A duty which, sadly, falls upon Midorima more often than not, especially with Kise's antics and Kuroko's indifference towards said antics.
It's getting hilarious when this duty in Seirin team falls upon Izuki of all people. Especially noted in hot spring chapter when Seirin boys tried to peek on woman's bath. That he pointed out that his and Kuroko's skill is not for peeking.
The Rival: It's a basketball manga so this pops up pretty often. The Generation of Miracles are all rivals to each other now that they've separated into different schools, the Crownless Generals were the rivals for the Generation of Miracles, and Kagami aims to defeat all five members of the Generation of Miracles.
Crosses a little into Unknown Rival territory for Kagami since the Generation of Miracles didn't know he existed initially. The situation's changing now, though.
Rousing Speech: Hyuuga's one in Quarter 19 almost falls flat, as him bringing up their loss the previous year depresses all the second years. He quickly turns it around, though.
Though they lost, Kasamatsu gives an epic one to Kaijou in order to snap them out of their funk in Quarter 73.
Kasamatsu: "Buck up everybody! You've tried your best! We're among the best eight teams in the entire nation! Go back with pride!"
Running Gag: Kuroko seemingly appearing out of nowhere, only to reveal that he's been there the whole time.
Invoked by Kuroko at one point. At a team gathering, he claims he's been there the whole time, when that time, he actually was late.
Say My Name: Midorima is a common offender, particularly in the first Seirin vs. Shuutoku match.
Aomine and Kise exchange this trope constantly during the match between their teams. Quickly reaches Narm levels, especially with Kise, who is executing this trope while calling Aomine "Aominecchi".
Quarter 58: Hyuuga? HYUUGAAAAA!!
Kagami and Himuro's one-on-one clash in Quarter 162. KAAAGAMIII! HIIMUROOO!
Serial Escalation: There are plenty of examples - the amount of time Kagami manages to stay in the air, many of Aomine's shots (notably the one against the backboard), and, of course, Kuroko's ability to stay below the radar despite the fact that he has blue hair in a world where the vast majority of other people have normal hair colors.
It does apply to Riko (who scored the second best grades out of the entire school) and Midorima.
Split Personality: Akashi as first noted by Midorima Shintarou and later, when "the other Akashi" takes over everyone else notices as well.
The Smurfette Principle: Momoi with the Generation of Miracles with Akashi joking about how unfair it was that Aomine got the only girl and later Touou High. Aida with Seirin High. Somewhat justified as it's a shonen manga about boy's basketball.
Team Dad: Kiyoshi is occasionally this for the Seirin team, with definite overtones of Papa Wolf.
Team Pet: In the 74th Quarter, Kuroko picks up an adorable black puppy that Aida immediately falls in love with and the rest of the team decides to name Tetsuya #2 because the dog's eyes (and expression or lack thereof) look just like Kuroko's.
Team Spirit: A running theme throughout the series. It's especially important to Kuroko.
Teen Genius: Both Hanamiya Maktoto and Seto Kentaro of Kirisaki Daiichi, with Seto having an IQ of 160.
Those Three Guys: Furihata, Kawahara, and Fukuda—the other three Seirin freshman besides Kuroko and Kagami.
Title Drop: In every single chapter. You just have to look for it.
The last page of Quarter 227 gets a special mention though; not only does it drop the chapter's title (which is itself a Call Back to Quarter 1), Akashi drops the title of the series itself. Especially notable in that the Akashi at that point was on a First Name Basis with Kuroko and yet still used his last name then.
Tournament Arc: The Inter-High, Winter Cup and Nationals make up the three big ones in the basketball calendar.
Used to Be a Sweet Kid: The last years of Teikou really did a number on the Generation of Miracle's personalities. Standouts are Aomine and Akashi.
Weak, but Skilled: Kuroko. He doesn't have the talent or the build for basketball, but because of his highly refined and practiced skill at Misdirection, he was able to achieve the status of the "Phantom Sixth Player" of the legendary Generation of Miracles, and is respected by the rest for his skill of Misdirection.
What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Or rather, what is this thing you call enjoyment? Turns out, by the end of their Teikou days, some of the Miracles, such as Akashi, can't even answer the question of whether they enjoy basketball or not.
When It All Began: Not a direct example, but throughout the series, other members of the Generation of Miracles constantly ask Kuroko why he left after they won the third championship at Teikou, a backstory which has yet to be revealed, except being implied in conversation. It's finally going to be revealed by Kuroko.
Quarters 204 to 227 chronicle the forming, blooming and breaking of the Generation of Miracles. Apart from clearing up a bunch of lingering plot points (such as the whole debacle between Kise and Hanzaki and what exactly is going on with Akashi), it also introduces a bunch of new characters, like their old captain and, more importantly, Kuroko's childhood friend, who has a central part in the chain of events that lead to Kuroko quitting the team.
The Worf Effect: Many new opponents get introduced with no other badge of honor than 'better than/able to defeat Kise'.
Though to be fair, Kise did state that he was the weakest player in the Generation of Miracles. It would be expected that the others could beat him. Until he unlocks Perfect Copy and becomes unstoppable... and then gets defeated by Seirin while still being unstoppable.
Worthy Opponent: Over the course of the manga, Kagami evolves from Unknown Rival to this in the eyes of the Miracles. Before he arrived on the scene, the Miracles considered each other as their only worthwhile opponents. The lack of these during their Teikou days is a huge part of the reason why the Miracles are what they are today.
You All Meet in an Inn: A variant happens in Quarter 36, in that everyone meets in a restaurant after all the adventure has been had.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Pretty much all of the Generation of Miracles (and Kagami!) but most notably Kuroko, who has this weird mix between teal and light blue and somehow still manages to blend into the background.
You Must Be Cold: Kagami brings Kuroko his jacket in Quarter 124, after the latter goes to brood outside in the cold.