[Sports Fall 2016] Like Kuroko no Basuke? Watch This!

Attention, sports fans! We bring you a special section to those of you who love sports anime. The last two seasons of this year have brought us some very interesting and varied sports shows. Among them we can count shows like Yuri on Ice, Keijo, All Out, Days, Long Riders, Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume (or Scorching Ping Pong Girls) and Cheer Danshi. That’s right, we have sports for all tastes, but this time we are going to focus on two particular shows that share many things in common with an all-time classic, Kuroko no Basuke. We are talking about All Out and Days, and if you have watched and enjoyed Kuroko no Basuke, then you should definitely check these out!

About Kuroko no Basuke

  • Episodes: 75 (3 seasons of 25 episodes each)
  • Aired: April 2012 – June 2015

If you’re here then you probably know what Kuroko no Basuke is all about. This is by far one of the best sports anime of the last few years (alongside Haikyuu!!) and a must-watch for anyone, whether they’re sports fans or not. As you may know Kuroko no Basuke is about freshmen Kuroko and Kagami who join Seirin High basketball team and have to compete against Kuroko’s former teammates, who are the most fearsome players in the league. The story is delightful, the characters are awesome and the animation is brilliant. We’re also getting a movie on March 2017, so we’re really excited.

Liked Kuroko no Basuke? Watch All Out!!

  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: October 2016 – March 2017
  • Read More

All Out!! has been one of the most expected shows of 2016. This is the most recent Madhouse production and it definitely shows in its flawless animation. All Out!! tells the story of Gion, a short but bold high school student who joins the Rugby school team after being introduced to the sport by his new friend Iwashimizu. Gion has to learn the basics of Rugby to be of any help to his team, but surely that won’t be a problem for this strong-willed hardhead. All Out!! presents us a set of really interesting characters with very different personalities playing side by side on the most exciting Rugby matches.

3 Major similarities Kuroko no Basuke and All Out!!

1. The Characters

One of the coolest things about Kuroko no Basuke is its set of awesome characters. From the lovable Kuroko and the fierce Kagami to all five badass members of the Generation of Miracles, this show’s characters are the reason why we kept watching. The characters in All Out!! are also one of this show’s best features, and what’s more interesting is that they have many things in common with Kuroko no Basuke’s characters.

For instance, the main characters in All Out!!, Gion, and Iwashimizu, are small guys with strong hearts but no real talent and a giant with a natural ability to play the sport, much like Kuroko and Kagami. Some would argue that Gion is just a rookie while Kuroko is a member of the Generation of Miracles, but Kuroko is not actually a good basketball player, he just happens to have an ability that makes him extremely useful. In a similar way, Gion has a lot of potential since he’s very strong for his size and he has the unnatural ability of tackling lower than most players. Gion’s and Kuroko’s uniqueness and unrelenting hearts make them vital parts of their respective teams.

There’s also the female figure of Umeno Hoakari, the rugby team’s manager who reminds us a lot of Seirin’s coach Riko Aida on Kuroko no Basuke. Riko gets more screen time than Umeno, but they’re both lovely and they add the female touch in these two shows crowded with big boys.

Then there’s obviously the serious and very committed team captain, Sekizan, who dreams of making it to the national tournament and he places his dreams on the promising freshmen, just like Seirin’s captain Junpei Hyuuga. These may be all common archetypes on sports anime, but they definitely make the story really enticing. It worked in Kuroko no Basuke and it seems to be working just fine in All Out!!

2. Personal Stories

Of course, one of the things that makes all these characters so cool and interesting is depth. The characters on Kuroko no Basuke are awesome not only for displaying solid personalities but also for having intriguing background stories. Kuroko no Basuke puts so much emphasis on this aspect that there are many flashback episodes telling us about Kuroko’s past relationships with the other members of the Generation of Miracles.

This is a feature also present in All Out!! In each episode we get to know a little more about these characters’ backgrounds and their reasons for playing or behaving the way they do. Such is the case of the main character, Gion, who is mostly excited to play Rugby and tackle people because that’s his way of venting his frustrations after years of being called a midget.

Iwashimizu also has an interesting story that accounts for his shy and hesitant personality. A few episodes in the show we find that he injured his middle-school team’s captain during practice for playing too hard. Ooharano and Sekizan also have compelling background stories that serve as their motivation to play Rugby, but we’ll let you find out more about that for yourselves. Just like Kuroko no Basuke, All Out!! manages to draw us into the story with its compelling and alluring background stories.

3. Small Team, Big Dreams

There is a human tendency in the world of sports to love underdogs. We all just love when a player or a team that doesn’t stand a chance somehow manages to achieve the impossible. If you’ve watched Kuroko no Basuke, then you know what we’re talking about, especially after seeing Seirin’s first match against Touou, where we realize the full potential of Aomine Daiki and how fearsome the Generation of Miracles really is. After all, Seirin High only counts on freshmen and sophomore players, so it’s a huge thing that they make it to the nationals and that they’re able to compete toe to toe against the Generation of Miracles.

Something very similar happens in All Out!!, where the Kanagawa rugby team is not really considered one of the best in the league. Their team doesn’t really have a head coach, so Sekizan has to do all the coaching and, even though he has the heart, he lacks the mind of a coach. Besides, some of the most talented players in the team are freshmen, which doesn’t speak very well of their senpais.

Kanagawa’s first practice match against another school ended in overwhelming defeat. This gives us an idea of how much improvement and teamwork this team needs in order to have a chance at nationals. Of course, things start looking better once Kanagawa finds a head coach. These players dream of making it to the nationals might come true after all, even if they have to play against all odds.


Liked Kuroko no Basuke? Watch Days!

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: July 2016 – December 2016
  • Read More

Days is the sports anime we’ve been waiting for years. We finally have a football/soccer Anime with decent animation that makes soccer games look more fluid, dynamic and realistic. Days is the story of soccer enthusiast Tsukushi who befriends natural born soccer player Jin and decides to join the high school team. Tsukushi has no talent and no physical aptitude but his doggedness and love for the sport inspires everyone around him to bring their A-game and drives him to overcome every obstacle. Days combines an inspirational story with exciting matches of the most popular sport in the world.

3 Major similarities Kuroko no Basuke and Days

1. Unskilled Main Character

As we mentioned earlier, what makes Kuroko no Basuke’s main character, Kuroko, so special is the fact that he’s not really a good basketball player (in the sense that he wouldn’t beat anyone 1-on-1). Kuroko is not the player who gets credit for the big plays but he is indeed responsible for making his teammates play better than usual. That’s exactly why Kuroko is often referred to as a shadow. He just makes his teammates shine brighter (especially Kagami).

Pretty much the same thing happens with Days’ main character, Tsukushi. Just like Kuroko, Tsukushi doesn’t have a natural talent or any remarkable physical attributes that make him a good player. However, Tsukushi loves soccer so much that he inspires his teammates to give their 110%. A lot of commitment and hard work end up making Tsukushi the moral leader of Seiseki soccer team. Days is yet another sports show like Kuroko no Basuke in which the lesser player makes his talented teammate play even better than usual.

2. Personal Growth

The main characters in these two shows go through a lot of ups and downs and learning experiences that contribute to their character development and their growth as players. We can see this in Kuroko no Basuke as both Kuroko and Kagami improve their skills, learn new moves and begin to rely more on each other after every single game. At the beginning of the show, Kuroko doesn’t have more than two special moves, while by the end, we can count at least nine different skills! That’s some serious improvement indeed.

The same thing happens with Days’ main character, Tsukushi. Despite having no talent whatsoever, Tsukushi has such a strong will that he refuses to give up. In his first soccer match for instance, Tsukushi managed to score a goal at the end, even when he was nothing but a liability to his team on the first half. Tsukushi’s physical condition also holds him back, but his desire to play for Seiseki’s team drives him to stay after training to do some extra running. As a result, Tsukushi quickly becomes one of the best runners on Seiseki and he earns his spot in the team’s starting lineup.

Tsukushi may look a bit dull or lame at the beginning, but his experience with soccer makes him grow into a remarkable player and a very appealing main character. We just hope this show gets a few more seasons so we can see Tsukushi grow into the next Cristiano Ronaldo.

3. Great Animation

Last but definitely not least we have the animation. Both Kuroko no Basuke and Days have come to redefine the animation of sports anime. In the past, anime about such dynamic sports like basketball and soccer did not have fluid animations. Shows like Slam Dunk and Captain Tsubasa (even though they’re still all-time classics) relied more on building up a tense atmosphere through their plot than on displaying awesome moves with exciting camera effects.

Kuroko no Basuke completely changed this with flawless animation, sick plays, slow and fast motions and Blake Griffin style dunks. To our delight, Days is following the same path. From the very first episode we realize that this is not the typical soccer anime where a player carries the ball for 500 yards (while giving a speech) before getting anywhere near the goal area.

No sir, Days is better than that. Days gives us real-like plays (only as real as anime gets, of course) and overhead shots that help us get a clear idea of where the players and the ball are. Days is as good as animation gets in soccer anime.

Final Thoughts

That’s it for our recommendations on this fall’s sports anime. We hope you’ve found this section useful to decide whether you’ll watch any of these shows. We’d also like to know if you guys have any further comments on All Out!! or Days. If you’re watching them maybe you can tell us why others should (or not) watch these shows as well. Let us know what you think in the comment section below and thanks for stopping by! ˆ-ˆ
Chanty

Translator/Writer

Author: Chanty

My name is Santiago and I'm an aspiring writer and full-time dreamer. I am currently studying English at college to become a teacher. I like playing Heavy Metal on my guitar as much as I like dancing to Trance music, and I love playing Basketball with my friends as much as I love staying home alone watching Anime. Opposite forces are complementary and interdependent; that is the Yin Yang.

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