Kuroko no basuke – Extra Game first impressions + a small shounen manga/anime rant

When the all-star American basketball team, Team Jabberwock, have their first international game against Team Strky of Japan, they absolutely demolish them before trash-talking the entire country about its basketball players in an incredibly offensive and racist tirade – to the audience’s own faces. Kuroko, Kagami and the generation of miracles decide to show Team Jabberwock what Japanese basketball players are really about.

First off, I’d like to point out that I never read the manga. When a friend of mine recommended it to me, I was already watching the anime, so I just stuck with that, because at the end of the day, a sports anime is generally more entertaining than a sports manga seeing as you can see them move and what not. However when I heard that a side story was coming out, I decided I’d read that, because there was no guarantee it’d be coming out as an anime any time soon.

This series is good. Not perfect, but its pretty thrilling. Team Jabberwock are a bunch of arseholes and I can’t wait to see the freaking new-and-improved Generation of Miracles with Kagami and Kuroko team up and beat them senseless (with basketball, of course).

However, there are a couple of things thing that bug me about this manga. The first one is pretty minor: I can’t really tell who’s who sometimes – it was a lot more obvious in the anime.

The second thing bugs me quite a lot, and relates more to a style of storytelling often used in shounen manga. The writer seems utterly incapable of avoiding using the repetitive ‘underdog’ style story arc often used in Shounen manga and anime. And by this I mean the basic ‘good guys get destroyed, pick them selves up and fight back to win in the nick of time’ storyline.

Stuff like this is why I stopped reading Bleach.

Because it’s too damn repetitive and predictable. When the writer uses this tactic every single time, it takes away all sense of anxiety and tension about whether or not the protagonists will win in the end. Because they nearly ALWAYS DO. And then what happens is the first part of the story where our protagonists get beaten down just feels like a drag to read through because I already know by that point what the story is going to  be like. I feel like just saying “Yeah, yeah, we get it; just move on to the part where things get interesting.”

And yes, they do do this in the anime, or main story, as well but it’s more understandable because the skill level and balance of the teams are clear from the very start. But having the generation of miracles suddenly be dominated for the start of the game just feels a bit forced, and unnecessary, even unrealistic considering how they are supposed to be absolute prodigies. I mean even Akashi is getting dominated. Again, it just feels a little bizarre. I don’t think I would have been this worked up if the writer hadn’t gotten so into it.

Despite this, Extra Game is still a lot of fun so far. The only other thing that annoys me is that the release schedule is three-monthly or something. It’s interesting to see the generation of miracles work together and I can’t wait to see them get into the swing of things.

Anyway, thanks for reading, even if it did spiral out of control a bit there. I’m gonna be bringing out a couple of anime reviews in the coming week so make sure to give those a read too 🙂 .

I don’t own the pictures used in this post. All rights go to their respective owners. Please help support the official release.

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