While Kuroko’s Basketball ended with the Last Game movie, its potential for storytelling is far from over. A follow-up series chronicling the characters’ path into professional basketball could make for a very entertaining story, similar to what Haikyuu!! did in its final arc.
The original run of Kuroko recounts the dominance of the Generation of Miracles, the prodigious five starters of the Teiko Junior High basketball team, over their middle and high school counterparts. It would be worth watching how these young stars fare in comparison to NBA-level talent, who might match and even surpass them in size and skill. For once, they would not be the overwhelming favorites the moment they step on the court, and for most viewers of the series, that would be a dream come true.
Last Game ends with Kagami leaving for the US, where he plans to continue training to become an NBA player. His friends and rivals also express their desire to join the NBA and play against Kagami again. Despite not being the most realistic sports anime, with its characters often depicted as borderline inhuman, the movie and series repeatedly stress that the gap between the Generation of Miracles and real NBA players is significant. For instance, Kise, who is able to copy any of his peers’ abilities, dismisses the possibility of being able to copy NBA stars. Even for Team Jabberwock, with whom the protagonists struggle to compete one-on-one throughout the movie, their feat of having been able to outplay “some” NBA players is considered astounding.
Considering their age, it would be fairer to compare the players in Kuroko’s Basketball with other high school players being recruited by elite colleges. A brief look at the top American high school players of the same age reveals that they would be far taller than the Generation of Miracles in most positions. While there is no direct way to compare their skills, it is reasonable to expect that without superiority in physical attributes, it would be difficult for the Generation of Miracles to dominate these opponents. Growing up in the US and competing against NBA prospects from all over the world would give Kagami a great chance to hone his raw, unpolished talent.
The sequel could have all the major characters from Kuroko’s Basketball making their way to the US to join the NBA and then relate the story of their struggle to find their place in the league. Alternatively, they could have Kagami join the American national team and face off against his old friends in the Japanese national team, with the Generation of Miracles giving their individually superior American opponents a tough fight through their improved teamwork. Facing adversity unlike ever before would enable them to fully uncover their prodigious potential and make it on the biggest stage the basketball world has to offer.
Either path could lead to an exciting and natural addition to the story, fitting perfectly with the established storylines and themes. Each of the major characters would also get a chance to proceed along their own ongoing arcs. Aomine would finally be able to experience the excitement of facing a real challenge, and Murasakibara would get to play to the full extent of his ability. Kise could explore his newfound love for the game, and Midorima would have to question the limits he places on his role on the court. Akashi would be forced to lead with more humility in his struggle to find his place on the court, while Kuroko would learn how far his shadow can take him under the brightest lights in the world.
As shown in Haikyuu!!, there are many stories to be explored in shonen sports anime beyond just their time in high school, and a Kuroko sequel would make perfect sense. Of course, none of this has been confirmed by the creators of the series. The closest link that Kuroko’s Basketball ever had with the NBA was with the collaboration for the promotion of Last Game.
Nonetheless, with the way the story was left wide open, it’s only natural for die-hard Kuroko fans to keep wanting more. Besides, with the OG basketball anime Slam Dunk receiving a reboot — this in the form of a movie titled The First Slam Dunk, more than 25 years after the series ended — it’s too early for them to be giving up hope just yet.