When it comes to sports anime, Kuroko’s Basketball was the first to capture my undivided attention and eternal love. The mixture of high-school comedy, fantastical sport “battles”, and high tension rivalries was an exhilarating watch from start to finish. Alongside this was, quite frankly, one of the main reasons the series appeals towards its significant female fanbase – the boys. Boys like Aomine Daiki.
Be it the endearing bundle of joy that is Kise, or the supporting character of eagle eyed Shun Izuki — equipped with his playful and unique quirk of humorous puns — or even the bad boy Makoto you hate to love, Kuroko’s Basketball never put a wrong step forward with its conception of its entertaining characters.
From their designs, to the many dynamics between them and their ongoing development, there’s a wealth of material to pull away from the show and enjoy in our own time — and there are few places where this is more appealing than with its other main star of Aomine Daiki. He stole the spotlight whenever he made an appearance after all.
Who is Aomine Daiki?
Aomine Daiki can be summed up as the arrogant ace of both the Generation of Miracles, and Too Academy. At least initially. As Kuroko’s “light” before Kagami during their time at Teiko Junior High, Aomine had always been regarded as a formidable opponent on the basketball court, and brought his talent to the team as inspiration to others.
Not only did he help Kuroko feel impactful playing as part of a basketball team and fulfilling his passion, but he introduced Kise to the sport and became his mentor. From his humble begins to his eventual decline, his backstory made for one of the most engrossing characters in the series. But let’s first talk about Aomine’s instant appeal: his overwhelming skills.
It’s no surprise as to why Aomine is regarded so highly as a competitor. His style of basketball plays around with the established form of streetball, and has done since a young age. His skills on the court made for some of the most jaw-dropping panels in the original manga, with his ability to score from any position — even if it’s from behind the board — being especially notable. His specific skills make him a stand-out character thanks to his unpredictable and creative play-style; his ever-changing formless shots, the moment he stops Kuroko’s special Ignite Pass Kai… he’s always a thrill to watch.
Why we love him
There are a lot of interpersonal dynamics in Kuroko’s Basketball, from partnership between key players — take Murasakibara and Tatsuya Himuro for example — and plenty of rivalries. One such example established early on of the latter is between Aomine and Kagami, securing Aomine into the position of being the first major antagonist. He was the most formidable opponent seen other than Akashi in the latter section of the show, but what makes Aomine more than just one of the series’ most impressive players is his character arc being extremely memorable.
During his time as part of the Generation of Miracles, Aomine’s skills and strength in basketball became so impressive that he would effectively shut down and destroy opponents’ wills to play. His pursuit of improvement had left him with little to no options for playing against anyone who could give him a run for his money.
This in turn had left the once friendly joker cold towards everyone around him, disregarding everything from their feelings to their sporting skills. The worst of his actions in this regard are towards his own teammates in Too Academy; he would physically lash out at them and skip out on their practice together because he had become bored of the sport. He felt he did not need any further practice since “the only one who can beat me, is me”, in his words
Aomine sees the most development after his defeat against Seirin. Each Generation of Miracles member needed a defeat to reignite their passion in the sport, and nowhere is this more important than in Aomine’s case.
While Murasakibara discovered how much he truly loved basketball, Akashi learnt that winning is not everything, and Kise saw the importance in playing alongside his teammates for their support and joint enjoyment in the sport. Such examples show how each affected Generation of Miracles member was taught a lesson and grew from their first, much needed defeat. Aomine not only regained a passion for the sport, but it rekindled arguably the most important bond in the Generation of Miracles — the one between Aomine and Kuroko — and restored the quiet kindness of his past self.
Why you’ll love him
It’s not all cockiness when it comes to Aomine. Even before his change and despite his skills exceeding mostly everyone, he acknowledges those who have promise such as Taiga. He’s also respectful of particular players such as Akashi, and even admires and is grateful for Kuroko.
The very best version of Aomine is when he has been set free from consistent victories and loves basketball once more. The often termed “sweet side” he has, as noted by his teammates, is quick to appear after he is graced with a thankful defeat. He is protective of his friends, as shown when he threatens physical violence onto a player for badmouthing Kuroko, and confronts Shogo Haizaki to not only protect Kise, but stop the assault of Alexandra as well.
And despite him being less than willing to voice out his affection or care for others, his actions speak louder than words at times; he trains Kuroko to learn how to score on his own, and gives Kagami a spare pair of basketball shoes. He even goes onto cheering for Seirin during their match against Rakuzan, and is shown in tears after realising the importance of friendship and teamwork to surpass our limits in our passions and get the most enjoyment out of them through camaraderie. The overall message tied to Aomine’s journey, alongside his personality shift, is wholesome indeed.
Aomine is a thoroughly entertaining character to watch on the basketball court, as well as witnessing him develop off of it. And once more, it always helps an already alluring character be voiced by the one and only Junichi Suwabe. Give us any reason to hear him sing as many character songs as possible and we will forever be happy.
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