Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Review: KUROKO'S BASKETBALL 2-in-1 Edition Volume 1
VIZ MEDIA – @VIZMedia
[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]
MANGAKA: Tadatoshi Fujimaki
TRANSLATION: Caleb Cook
LETTERS: Mark McMurray
ISBN: 978-1-4215-8771-4; paperback (August 2016); Rated “T” for “Teen”
400pp, B&W, $16.99 U.S., $19.99 CAN, £10.99 U.K.
VIZ Media is currently publishing the basketball shonen sports manga from creator Tadatoshi Fujimaki, Kuroko's Basketball, in its 2-in-1 editions, which reprint two graphic novels in one paperback volume. Kuroko's Basketball focuses on the title character and the new teammate that will help him beat his old teammates.
Tetsuya Kuroko is a great basketball player – for reals, y'all! He was a member of the “Miracle Generation” at Teiko Middle School. He was known as “the Phantom Sixth Man,” because opponents never noticed him on the court until he did something amazing. Now, Kuroko is at Seirin Private High School. One of his new teammates has just returned to Japan from America. He is Taiga Kagami, and Kuroko wants Kagami to help him take down his old “Miracle Generation” teammates
Kuroko's Basketball 2-in-1 Edition, Vol. 1 (Chapters 1 to 16) collects Kuroko's Basketball Volume 1 (entitled I'm Kuroko; Chapters 1 to 7) and Volume 2 (entitled Your Basketball; Chapters 8 to 16). Vol. 1 opens at Seirin High where the basketball team meets its two new phenoms. The first is the diminutive Tetsuya Kuroko, whose plainness hides the fact that on the basketball court he can execute awesome moves without others noticing. The second newcomer is Taiga Kagami who thinks that he has learned enough basketball in America to put him above his new teammates... until he meets that “invisible guy” from the Miracle Generation.
As Vol. 2 opens, Seirin is in the middle of a tough practice game against Kaijo High. Kuroko is determined to beat Kaijo because one of its players is his former Miracle Generation teammate, Ryota Kise. However, it is after the game when Kise really makes his move on his old teammate. Plus, Seirin gets ready for Inter-High.
[This volume includes the bonus manga, “Kuroko's Basketball – Side Story.”]
I have to be honest about my feelings concerning the Kuroko's Basketball manga. When I think of basketball manga, I think of the legendary Slam Dunk from creator Takehiko Inoue, which I think is one of the best comic books every published... anywhere. Kuroko's Basketball lacks the high drama and virtuoso graphical storytelling of Slam Dunk, and the depictions of basketball games in Kuroko's Basketball lack the punch of the legend.
That said, I enjoyed Kuroko's Basketball, and I think that it will improve, as for as drama goes, with each volume (which is about a seven or eight chapter story grouping). I think the drama will come as Kuroko and his partner Kagami face off against more members of the Miracle Generation and other tougher opponents. Also, just as an aside, Kuroko's Basketball is the second manga I am currently reading that involves a team participating in the Japanese National High School Sports Tournament, also known as “Inter-High.” The other is the volleyball manga, Haikyu!!
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"
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