These two anime although different have such a rivalry and so many comparisons it is really amusing to watch both the fan bases argue their points. This might even be on par with the infamous Naruto vs Bleach rivalry. It also seems to be one of those where the one you watch first will most likely be your preferred of the two. Both Haikyuu!! and Kuroko no Basket are popular sports anime. Haikyuu!! is about volleyball and Kuroko no Basket is about basketball. So how can they be compared since they are vastly different sports? Let us get started.
First Year Duo
Just from physical appearances that can be seen, each pair has one short and one tall character. I can not believe that this is one of the focal points for the comparisons but there is nothing that can really be done about that. Since the shorties heights are a focal point for each of their stories since both sports are usually plaid by taller people, their short heights add to the ‘amazingness’ of what they do. The relationships for both pairs start off kind of rocky with one having more potential than expected and one being naturally over powerful looking down on the other for their ‘lack of skill’.
– However –
Haikyuu!! ‘s duo is made up of Kageyama and Hinita. Kageyama is known as a ‘genius’ who just has a natural grasp and understanding of what needs to be done and how and when a natural setter. Yet he does have his flaws, being self-centred and not trusting his team and thinking that he needs to win over they need to win. Hinata fell in love with the sport and starts his own team in junior high and only gets to play in a single match. Due to the fact he never actually got to play in junior high and his team did not really exist he spent a lot of time practising alone so he is unrefined and he too needs to learn about how a team focuses. Since his desire to hit any ball thrown and his insane reflexes and speed, he managed to match Kageyama’s fast pace and high demands.
Kuroko no Basket’s duo is made up of two guys who have been playing basketball for a really long time. Surprisingly Kuroko had been a member of the ‘Generation of Miracles’ and is amazingly talented at redirecting the ball on the court. However, he is aware that he alone can not play and that he needs to partner up. So he partners up with Kagami who reminded him of a former teammate. Kagami is a naturally talented player who spent most of his middle school years in the US playing ‘street basketball’. Kagami originally looks down on Kuroku due to his lack of skill for most things need for playing basketball such as getting the ball in the net. However, Kuroku’s unique ability changes his mind and they form a partnership and aim to beat the other 5 members of the ‘Generation of Miracles’.
Both of these anime show a school sport based anime where both sports include a ball, an indoor court (the gymnasium), as mentioned before an over-powerful first-year duo, and the said duo influence the team overall making it stronger as they go head to head with other schools.
– However –
Haikyuu!!’s duo takes a while to pull together and shape up. The duo take a long time to work together and work hard to polish off their teamwork often still messing up. Their main focus is to win their tournaments for their senpais and to prove their strength and growth to their personal rivals. This anime focuses more on the unity of a team and when they play other teams, the rival team is given a lot of attention as well.
Kuroko no Basket’s story is more focused on beating the ‘generation of miracles’ than the actual tournaments. Of course, winning their matches is how they defeat each member of the ‘generation of miracles’ but it becomes a battle against single players rather than a whole team as it seems each member of the ‘generation of miracles’ seems to have a slight issue with teamwork.
Haikyuu!!’s team was once known as a powerhouse team but over the years the team has fallen and now must work it’s way back up from the bottom. It is comprised of mostly normal athletic high-schoolers who play for the love of volleyball and have the dream to win. The appearance of the duo -as well as some other first years – brings the possibility of reclaiming their powerhouse title.
Kuroko no Basket’s team Seirin is a newly formed team with members that are really strong. As it stands even without the new year duo the team could have been one of the top performing teams right from the start. The appearance of the duo just amped up their game and changed the goal from winning to defeating the ‘generation of miracles’.
In Haikyuu!! they play volleyball. So this means that each team are on opposite sides of the net, and each player is mostly surrounded by their own teammates. So there is very little physical contact with the other team other than at the net where some conflicts occur, making height a focal point. The focal is on the skills of each member of the team being able to work together to make plays work and defend from the opposite team’s attacks.
In Kuroko no Basket they play basketball. Which is a lot more confrontational and directly physical, as the players spend most of their time squaring off directly against opponents one-on-one. The players frequently bump into one-another and knock the ball right out of someone’s hands, or to jump high enough to clear a shot right over their heads. This enables for personal play and domination of the court.
Overall the differences between the two shows are subtle, but it is those differences which change the whole dynamic of the show which in turn also effects how it is interpreted and told. Haikyuu is an underdog story, where the team needs to work from the bottom and work hard to defeat their opponents and overcome their own weaknesses and shortcomings. Kuroko no Basuke is a powerhouse story about a strong team taking on equally strong and stronger teams showing that strength is not the only thing needed for victory. Each has their pro’s and con’s and should be enjoyed for what they are rather than criticized for what they are not.
If you made it to this point, great! This turned out to be a lot longer than I had anticipated. I would love to know what you think of these similarities and differences!
Are you a fan of Haikyuu!! or Kuroko no Basket or both?