Tadatoshi Fujimaki’s manga, Kuroko’s Basketball, ended in 2014 with the conclusion of the Winter Cup and Seirin’s victory over Rakuzan. While the anime adaptation ended in 2015, fans of the series were also reading the series’ epilogue, waiting for the release of the film. The film was released in theaters in 2017.
The film is set during Tetsuya Kuroko and Taiga Kagami’s second year at Seirin High School, so a few minor characters have graduated. However, the entire cast makes an appearance at some point. This final epilogue film gives fans the game of a lifetime with the ultimate dream team coming together for one last match.
At the beginning of the film, the basketball teams of each of the schools gather around to watch their friends’ team, Strky, play in a street basketball exhibition match against a powerhouse team from America, Jabberwock.
What was supposed to be a fun, friendly game quickly turns into a grueling match that ends with Jabberwock saying Japanese people have no right to play basketball. This doesn’t sit well with anyone, and the Generation of Miracles (GoM), Japan’s strongest players, are brought in to avenge their friends and put Jabberwock in their place by becoming the Vorpal Sword.
Kuroko Tetsuya is one of the main characters, and he’s the phantom sixth member of the Generation of Miracles and is known for his incredible ability to go unnoticed. This makes him a valuable asset to any team, especially when they need to get the ball without drawing much attention. Personality wise, he’s rather straightforward and deadpan, but he’s extremely passionate about basketball and will become furious when others use underhanded plays.
Kagami Taiga is the other main character, and he is known for his incredible jumping ability and overall skill. Like Kuroko, he is extremely passionate about basketball and enjoys playing against people stronger than him. He’s determined and passionate, but he’s also stubborn, which leads him to some issues on the court.
Aomine is a member of the GoM who specializes in street basketball and also has great speed and agility. At the beginning of the series, Aomine was disillusioned with basketball and forgot how fun it could be. After Kuroko and Kagami broke through to him, his love for the sport reignited, and he found a rival in Kagami.
Kise is a member of the GoM, and he can perfectly copy anyone which allows him to quickly master whatever he wants. However, he quickly grew bored of everything because he wasn’t challenged by anyone besides the other miracles. After the events of the series, Kise’s love for the game comes back.
Midorima is a member of the GoM who can shoot three pointers from the other side of the court. While all of the other members are naturally inclined, Midorima got to be a miracle through hard work alone. While he can be a bit pompous, he is the only miracle who wasn’t afraid to voice his opinions about what he thought was right and wrong even if everyone else wasn’t on board.
He also takes his horoscope a little too seriously and can be seen carrying odd items for the sake of luck.
Murasakibara is the tallest member of the GoM who can block and overpower any player. However, due to his size and strength, he tends to hold back and play defensively in order to not hurt anyone. He can be extremely childish and will spend all his money on snacks.
Akashi is the final member and leader of the GoM who specializes in ankle-breaking and strategy. While he is intimidating, he is incredibly respectful towards everyone and motherly towards the team. However, when his other personality comes out, he can be condescending and domineering. After the main series, Akashi reverts back to his respectful self.
Nash Gold Jr.
Nash is the main antagonist and captain of Jabberwock. On the court, Nash is arrogant, disrespectful, and cruel. After humiliating Strky, he crassly stated that no one in Japan should play basketball and compared them to monkeys.
Jason is the second antagonist and Gold’s right hand man. Silver is arrogant and looks down on those he deems weaker than him. Due to his arrogance, he becomes blinded by rage when someone bests him.
Zack, Allen, and Nick
These characters appear in the film as members of Jabberwock, but they play very minor roles. Not much is known about them besides their positions on the court and their appearances. During the game, they have very little spotlight.
The film itself can be seen as an extra long episode. This film definitely serves as an after story and is something for fans to enjoy. While the film lacks the intensity the series had in terms of the dramatization of the player’s movements, it does capture the intensity of the game through the players’ internal monologues and open frustrations.
The film also gives fans what they’ve wanted to see: the GoM teaming up after Kuroko broke through to them. Watching Aomine, Kise, and Kagami work together to take down Silver and score is something out of a fanfiction. Watching Midorima and Akashi revert back to their friendly rival dynamic shows the levels of trust both players have towards each other, and it shows how easy it is to revert back to happier days when you’re around friends.
However, there are a few things that the film does that were not in the manga. Most of these are minor changes like instead of having the rematch on a street court, the film has it inside a stadium for the drama. However, the biggest change was the ending and Kagami’s journey.
At the beginning of the film, we see Kagami as a young child and his journey with basketball. He is then scouted to transfer to a high school in America that would allow him a shot into the NBA. Kagami keeps this a secret from everyone, except Kuroko who was there when it happened, but at the end of the film Kagami decides to leave for America, marking the end of the series.
This plotline is not in the manga, and Kagami continues at Seirin High in the original ending. While it’s understandable why the film would go in this direction, it does seem tacked on as a way to give the film a conclusive ending for the series. However, it didn’t take away from the main point of the film: watching the GoM play together one last time.
If you haven’t seen it yet or if you want to see what Kuroko’s Basketball is all about, the film is a good way to gauge if you’d be interested in watching the rest of the series. It is available on Crunchyroll for premium users and on Netflix for users outside of America. Ball is life.