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|“||I am a supporting actor, a shadow. But a shadow will become darker if the light is stronger and it will make the white of the light stand out. As the shadow of the main actor, I will make you, the light, the number one in Japan.||”|
—Tetsuya Kuroko, to Taiga Kagami
|Height||168 cm (5' 6")|
|Weight||57 kg (126 lbs)|
|Birthday||January 31st, Aquarius|
|Team|| Teikō (former) |
Tetsuya Kuroko (黒子 テツヤ Kuroko Tetsuya) is the main protagonist of the manga, Kuroko no Basuke. He was one of the Generation of Miracles and titled as The Sixth Phantom Player. He specializes in misdirection and passes. He now plays as a regular with Seirin with the goal of bringing the team and Kagami to the top of Japan.
Kuroko has a very small build for a basketball player. He has light blue hair that he styles to his left. His eyes are blue, and he has a blank gaze. His skin is fairly pale. He wears the number 11 jersey. He also sometimes wears black sweatbands. His basketball shoes are white with a blue streak.
When out of training or matches, he wears his school uniform: the standard Japanese gakuran. The top piece of a gakuran is black, long-sleeved and has a standing collar which buttons from the bottom up to his chin. It has blue trimming on the sleeves and vertically in the middle. He also wears regular black pants. It has been noted that his bedhead is especially atrocious.
Kuroko has a deadpan and straight forward personality. He is very hard working and always tries to satisfy the needs of the team above his own. He is quite gloomy and unnoticeable, a trait that goes well with his misdirection. He has also displayed much respect towards fellow passionate basketball player and thinks that while senpais have pride, kōhais have respect. Despite his initial kind personality, Kuroko gets extremely furious at dirty play, when his teammates are threatened and already injured by foul methods in the Kirisaki Daīchi game. His aura changes so drastically, that Kagami even gets scared when he sees him like that. When Kuroko gets angry, it gets very hard to beat him, as he is fueled up with fighting spirit. Also when the situation worsens, he seems to turn talkative.
He has metaphorically referred to himself as a "shadow". With this he means that he is playing for someone else, and that he becomes stronger when the "light" is stronger. With the "light", he means the player he supports during a basketball game. During his Junior High school basketball carrer, his "light" was Aomine, and now it is Kagami.
Outside the court, despite his unnoticeable personality, Kuroko is very gentlemanly when dealing with women. Amongst his friends, Kagami, Aomine and Kise are really shocked to see how easily Kuroko can cheer up Momoi and even knows what to do on a date. Kuroko also lectures Kagami that he should deal with women more delicately.
Overall, he is a very calm, rational person, but it is shown that he also has his silly moments. In one omake he says that he can also become noticeable and does so by pulling his jacket over his head, making people automatically see him and laugh. There are times where he uses his misdirection ability to run away, and also a time where he was late for a game but pretends to have always been there from the start (until Kagami pointed out the sweat on his brow, indicating that he was actually late and had run all the way to school). While initially cool towards his teammates, he gradually warms up and starts to openly express himself more. It has been shown that he has a soft spot for cute animals, like kittens and dogs (Tetsuya #2).
In 5th grade, Kuroko saw a basketball match on tv, got interested in it and started playing basketball on a nearby court, since there weren't any teams he could join. There, he befriended a neighborhood boy, who taught him basketball. When they split up, they promised that they would meet again in Junior High.The first day of Junior High, in April, Kuroko is walking in the crowd, with few people noticing him, as usual. He seems determined to join the basketball club. At the gym, Kuroko is surprised to see so many people trying out for the club and he is told that Teikō's basketball team is famous. The coach explains the club's system, with the first to third strings. Kuroko is aiming for first string but is perplexed when he is divided into the third string, because of his weak overall abilities.
Kuroko kept training hard on the club and even stayed late after practices. Because of his weak presence, he wasn't noticed by those who came to watch and the sounds of basketball in the gym were credited to a ghost. This lasted until Daiki Aomine came to watch and Kuroko introduced himself. They quickly became friends, even though Aomine was in the first string and a regular. They practiced together and gained respect for another, with Aomine wanting to play with him on the same court one day.
When Kuroko went to say Aomine that he wanted to quit the basketball team one day, Aomine motivated him to stay, saying that he admires Kuroko's love of basketball. The players of the first string then enter, Akashi, Midorima and Murasakibara (Kise wasn't part of the team yet). While Murasakibara didn't pay much attention to Kuroko, Akashi noticed his lack of presence and said that Kuroko might hide an ability completely different from theirs. Kuroko was eventually given a chance and in one match, he was seen to be completely adaptable with Aomine in terms of passing. It was then that he first discovered and developed his misdirection and invisible pass.
He was part of the team that later would be called the Generation of Miracles. In his second year, he became the personal instructor of Kise, who still was a rookie. They became friends when they both had to help with a match of the second string. While playing, he had the number 15. In Teikō, he also first met Momoi. By giving her free ice-cream, she instantly fell in love with him.
Also in his second year, he witnessed Aomine awakening. While the rest of the GoM were still above average, Aomine's growth progressed aggressively. As a consequence, Aomine towered high above anyone else and couldn't find a decent rival. He became too good for his own good and started slacking off. It was then that Kuroko tried to motivate Aomine in still trying his best, as it isn't fun at all when the opponent is holding back. Aomine agreed, but quickly discovered that he destroyed everyone's morale when he started playing serious. He approached Kuroko and told him that he gives up in trying to find a rival, that he is his only rival. He also denied Kuroko fist bump, the signature move that marked their friendship.
In Kuroko's third year in Teikō, he began to doubt Teikō's motives and morals and after the finals of a last tournament, he disappeared and quit the team. He even hated basketball one moment, but this hasn't been fully explained yet.
Kuroko first appears on his first day in Seirin High. He walks through the mass of people who are being pursued by the clubs to join their club, but Kuroko isn't spoken to, because he makes himself invisible. He searches for the school's basketball club and fills in an application form, without Riko noticing him. Koganei sees the paper later and Riko is surprised that she didn't notice one of the Generation of Miracles.
Later, on the first training, Riko uses her scanning ability on everyone on the team. She didn't see Kuroko and wonders where he is, while the rest of the team haven't seen him either. Riko decides that he's not here and shouts that they'll begin the training without him. However, Kuroko was standing in front of her and he tells her that he's right here. Riko and all the others are shocked to see him standing there, because they haven't noticed him at all. Riko orders him to take of his shirt so that she can see his stats again, but concludes that he's fairly weak compared to the rest of the team.
Later, after training, Kagami goes to a fast-food restaurant, orders a lot of burgers and has a seat at a random table. Coincidentally, Kuroko is sitting at the same table. He notices Kagami's amount of food and comments that he is still growing. Kagami didn't notice Kuroko yet and is surprised to see him. Kagami asks what he is doing and Kuroko replies that he has simply been watching people. Kagami tells him to come with him for a bit.
They arrive at a small basketball court and Kagami asks what Kuroko is hiding. He tells Kuroko that he has been basketballing in America and that Japan is much weaker than America. He goes on by saying that he plays basketball for the thrill and that he has heard about the Generation of Miracles. He explains Kuroko that can smell an opponents smell to some extent. He says that Kuroko should smell weak, but he can't smell anything. It's like Kuroko is odorless. He passes Kuroko the ball and challenges him to a match, to see how Kuroko is like for himself. Kuroko says that he has been planning on playing a one-on-one as well. He takes off his jacket and throws it to the side.
They begin playing one-on-one. The match is quickly decided, as Kuroko is so weak in comparison to Kagami. Kuroko tries to shoot, but misses or gets blocked, fumbles the ball and is much slower the Kagami. Kagami thinks by himself that Kuroko's movements are that of an amateur. He yells at Kuroko, saying that he's overestimating himself when he thinks he can win like that. Kuroko denies, saying that Kagami is obviously the stronger one. Kuroko says that he just wanted to see Kagami's strength. Kagami prepares to leave, while telling Kuroko that he's weak and that he should just stop playing basketball. Kuroko replies that he's different from Kagami and mysteriously says that he's a shadow.
The next day, the Seirin freshmen play against the second years in a practice match. While Kagami is hogging all the points, Kuroko is again proven to be weak and gets the ball stolen multiple times. When the second years het serious and build up a 16 point lead, Kagami gets angry, only for Kuroko to calm him down. Riko thinks by herself that she has totally forgot about Kuroko even being there. The game restarts and Kuroko asks the ball from Fukuda. Fukuda passes the ball and Kuroko immediately redirects the ball to Furihata, who was under the basket and scores a simple lay-up.
Kuroko goes on with his invisible passes, leading to the freshmen scoring a lot and coming back into the game. The other Seirin players amaze themselves over Kuroko's ability and Riko is able to analyze it. Kuroko gains Kagami's attention and somewhat respect and the mini-game is almost over. The first-years were still one point behind and when Kuroko steals a second-years ball, he drives to the basket, makes a lay-up... But misses. All of sudden, an angered Kagami appears behind Kuroko and he dunks the ball in, marking their first victory.
That evening, Kuroko and Kagami meet again at the Maji Burger, with Kagami getting annoyed because they encounter each other yet again. Kagami gives Kuroko one of his burgers, telling him he acknowledges him. moving out of the restaurant, Kagami asks Kuroko how strong the Generation actually is. Kuroko replies that when Kagami would go up against them now, he would be instantly killed. He says that they have all gone to different schools and that one of these will be standing at the top. Kagami shouts his resolve, defeating the Generation of Miracles and Kuroko says that's unlikely. Yet, Kuroko says he found his resolve as well. He says that he will make Kagami the strongest of Japan, to be his supporting shadow.
The next day, Kuroko asks Riko if he can become an actual member of the club and then play in matches. Just like Kagami, who went to ask the same thing some moments later, Kuroko gets an application form and an invite for the rooftop test. Kuroko meets with Kagami not soon after, when they are both looking at Seirin's newspaper article form last year. Invisible as usual, Kuroko scares the crap out of Kagami. Kagami threatens Kuroko to death if he ever does that again. Kagami recalled Kuroko's former teammates went to veteran school and yet Kuroko went to a new school like Seirin. When Kagami is about to ask him about it, Kuroko disappears again.
That Monday, Kuroko and the other freshmen go to the roof, where they are awaited by Riko. She tells them that they have to be ready for the Nationals in order to join and that they have to shout their name, class and resolve in front of the entire student body below. Kagami does so without any problems. Kuroko moves towards the railing and brings out a megaphone, because he finds it difficult to speak to such a large group without electronic aid. Just when he is about the speak, the club is busted by a teacher and Kuroko can't fulfill the assignment.
That evening, Kuroko sees Kagami again at Maji Burger. He tells him that it's a problem that he hasn't met the requirements yet to join the team, since the rooftop's guarded since then. Kagami says that he'll be able to join the team anyway. Kagami moves on by asking why exactly he went to Seirin when the other GoM joined elite schools. Kuroko tells him the extreme winning philosophy of Teikō and that that was the end of teamwork. He tells Kagami that he was moved by his and the entire Seirin team's motives and resolutions and concludes by saying that he's only playing basketball in order to make him and the team the best in Japan. Kagami leaves by saying that it'll really happen. Between then and the next morning, Kuroko wrote "I will make you the number one in Japan" with chalk on the school's courtyard, for everyone to see. With this, he officially joins the Seirin basketball team.
One of the next trainings, Riko announces a practice match against Kaijō High and says that they have one of the Generation of Miracles, this being Ryōta Kise. When Kise enters the scene, they greet each other and say they haven't seen each other in a while. Kise says that he went to Seirin because he remembered that it was the school Kuroko joined. He claims that he and Kuroko got along in Junior High school, but Kuroko denies. When the other players are amazed by Kise's history as one of the GoM, Kise again identifies with Kuroko as the weakest of the bunch, being picked on, but Kuroko denies yet again. Kise is challenged by Kagami and when Kise shows his copy of Kagami's earlier move, Kuroko explains his ability further. He is perplexed to see Kise's growth, even going as far as saying that he's a totally different person. Out of the blue, Kise asks Kuroko to join his team, but Kuroko bluntly refuses. He says that he has already vowed to defeat the Generation of Miracles, but Kise isn't taking him serious. Kuroko presses the fact that he is very serious.
Seirin vs KaijōEditThe day of the match, Kaijō seems to underestimate Seirin High since they're only using half a court. The other half is for the other members who won't be playing to continue their practice, since Kaijō's coach, Coach Takeuchi, assume they won't learn anything from the game. Everyone in Seirin is pissed off, although Kuruko masks it. Coach Takeuchi also won't let Kise play since he thinks its already unfair for Seirin playing their regulars. Kise asks Seirin to agitate the coach for him to let him play, also agitating them that if they can't let him in the game, they certainly won't beat "The Generation of Miracles". To this, Kuroko says to Kise that he should warm up since it won't long for him to be in the game. At the start of the game, Kagami breaks the goal after a steal from Kuroko and Kuroko asks Coach Takeuchi to use the full court.
It's only been three minutes after the start of the game but everyone is fired up, resulting in a high-paced play and takes a toll on Kuroko's weak body. When Riko calls a time-out, Kuroko tells the team about his technique's weakness. He won't be able to use Misdirection after 40 minutes. The more he uses it, the more their opponents get used to it and its effect gradually decreases. Riko is enraged the Kuroko didn't say something that important sooner while putting him in a headlock. He apologizes and that they didn't ask he didn't tell.
After the time-out, Kaijō puts an 8-point gap between Seirin. But during the second half, Kuroko coordinates with Kagami, passing the ball between the two of them. In defense, Kuroko suddenly faces Kise. Short on speed, Kuroko is easily passed by Kise but when he is stalled by Kagami, Kuroko lunges backwards and taps Kise's ball, stealing it. Later, Kise tries to shoot over Kuroko, but is blocked by Kagami. Then, Kise accidentally hit Kuroko in the head, resulting in an injury. Kise is stunned by what happened, and could only stare at Kuroko's face. With Kuroko resting, the original Seirin team show their skills. Even though he is injured, Kuroko manages to convince Riko to let him play sometime during the third quarter.
With Kuroko back in the game at his full Misdirection level, Seirin manages to close in on Kaijō with a tie. However, Kise powers up again, gets around Kuroko's steal and scores points for Kaijō. The struggle for points begins again and with mere seconds remaining, Kagami blocks Kasamatsu's shot and goes for a fast-break with Kuroko. They are awaited by Kise under the basket. Kagami passes to Kuroko and he throws it up for the alley-oop, winning the match.
After the game, since they have no money and the team wanted to go eat something as a celebration, Riko takes them all to a restaurant that serves 4kg steak for free which has to be finished in 30 minutes or else they'll pay 10,000 yen each if they fail, the Steak Bomber. Everyone except Kuroko and Kagami thought that this is too much, though it seems that Kuroko is just expressionless as always since he is the first one to give up while Kagami saved them all from paying by eating all of the member's half-eaten steaks.
While everyone was still inside, Kuroko went out and met Kise. They both go to a playground to talk, leaving behind the team. They talk about Midorima, who is also a member of the "Generation of Miracles", with Kise saying that he went to see the practice match. But what Kise wanted to talk about was why Kuroko disappeared during last year's middle school championship game. To which Kuroko answers that he doesn't know either, but what he does know is that he hated basketball during that time and that he highly respects Kagami's attitude towards basketball. Kise doesn't get it and says that someday, when Kagami reaches the level of the "Generation of Miracles", he will drift apart from the team. When Kagami finds them he argues with Kise. They then notice that Kuroko is protecting some highschoolers from some thugs in a basketball court.
Return of KiyoshiEditKuroko first meets Kiyoshi while training in the gym. He shoots, misses and Kiyoshi picks up his ball. He tells Kuroko that he has seen that all he can do is pass, but that he likes that style of playing and that he just lacks experience. Kuroko asks who he is and Kiyoshi gives his name and offers him candy, to which Kuroko declines. He further introduces himself as the founder of the Seirin High School basketball club. He spells out his name in separate kanji's, but Kuroko reacts bluntly and uninterested.
As Kuroko asks what he is doing here, Kiyoshi explains that he will be discharged from the hospital in a week and that he came to take a look. He then saw a worried Kuroko and says to Kuroko that he has expectations from him and that he's interesting. He explains why basketball has different positions and says that the sixth player is a specialist. He continues by saying that he has never seen such an extreme specialist as Kuroko, but that the only thing Kuroko has accomplished so far is intimidation. He asks the ball from Kuroko and takes a shot himself, while saying that the only one who decides his limit is Kuroko himself. He concludes that Kuroko should have more faith in his abilities and leaves after that.
Summer Training CampEdit
Kuroko arrives at Seirin's training a little late and announces that he brought a dog in a box. He tells them that he found the dog in the park of Seirin High School and couldn't bear leaving it, so he took it to practice. Meanwhile, the dog has crawled up Kuroko's head and shaking his tail. Izuki looks at the dog more closely and asks if the dog reminds them of someone and later they realise that the dog resembles Kuroko a lot, so Koga decides to call him Tetsuya #2.
When Kagami confesses his fear for dogs, Kuroko chases him with Tetsuya #2 on purpose. The club later votes to keep the dog, with only Kagami opposing. Kuroko sadly asks Kagami if he wants to abandon the doggie a second time. Riko tells Kuroko that it'll be difficult to keep him, but Kuroko proposes that if he can get Kagami to like Tetsuya #2, that they will keep him. Riko accepts and Kuroko takes Tetsuya #2 along with Seirin's jogging. Back in the gym, Seirin starts training and when Kuroko makes a successful invisible pass, Tetsuya #2 barks and seems happy. Kuroko plays further with Tetsuya #2, only annoying the hell out of Kagami.
Eventually, Tetsuya #2 poops into Kagami's sneakers and an enraged Kagami washes them outside. Kuroko approaches him and asks him why he doesn't simply accept Tetsuya #2. He tries to convince Kagami that #2 is a good dog and that he could just try to pet him. They are disturbed by Kawahara, who calls Kuroko inside. Kuroko leaves #2 with Kagami and they reconcile.
Winter Cup preliminariesEdit
Winter Training CampEdit
On the last day of the Winter Camp, Kuroko overhears a conversation between Kiyoshi and Hyūga. Kiyoshi tells Hyūga that the Winter Cup will be his final tournament and that they will have to be number 1 this year already. Kuroko decides that he will throw away their chances for the future in order to win this year's Winter Cup.
The training camp is supervised by Riko's father, Kagetora, who was used to be a national player. He tried to train and enhance every player individual skills, but told Riko that he give up on Kuroko, said that even he never meet such an extreme outline special sportman in his life, but already gave him some suggestions. It is known later that it is for Kuroko to develop his shooting for when he has the space after he passes his opponent with his Vanishing Drive.
Kuroko joins Seirin at the opening ceremony of the Winter Cup. When the ceremony was finished, Kuroko receives a text message on his cellphone. He tells Riko that he has to go, he has been summoned. He tells the team he is going to see his former captain, the leader of the Generation of Miracles, Akashi. Riko sends Furihata along.
Kuroko meets up with his fellow Generation of Miracles and while Aomine makes fun of him at having a chaperone, Kuroko greets them. They talk casually to each other but Furihata could feel the air is heavy, and recalled in spite of being former teammates Kuroko and other Generation of Miracle members are rivals now in court. Akashi arrives shortly and greets them all. He demands that Furihata leaves because he wants to speak with his comrades. Kagami finally arrives and like Furihata, Kuroko is surprised and happy to see him. Akashi attacks Kagami with Midorima's scissors and Kuroko is seen shocked like everyone else. Akashi leaves again and says to the rest that it seems they haven't forgotten their oath they made last year. He departs by saying that the next time they will meet, will be in battle.
Seirin's first match of the Winter Cup is about to begin and Kuroko fetches Kagami from the locker room. Kuroko looks worried, but Kagami sets him at ease, saying that he isn't thinking about Akashi, but about Aomine. When the match begins, Kuroko approaches Aomine. Recalling his past experiences with Aomine, from their last match, to their friendship and his promise with Momoi, he declares to Aomine that they will definitely win this time. Aomine agrees to settle it for good. Both teams line up and the match commences.
Seirin gets the ball at the tip off, but it gets stolen by Tōō's pressure defense. Sakurai passes to Aomine, who does an alley-oop and scores the first point. Following Riko's orders given before the match, Seirin quickly passes to Kuroko, who pulls up for his Ignite Pass Kai, intending to pass to Kiyoshi. Facing Aomine, Kuroko doesn't even activate his Misdirection on him, showing confidence in the strength of his new pass. He puts much power in his legs, rotates his arm and hits the ball with the palm of his hand, also spinning. The ball spirals besides Aomine, knocking his hand away, and eventually reaches Kiyoshi, who receives the ball with effort. Kiyoshi, after facing Wakamatsu, passes to Kagami and he dunks the ball.
In the audience, the Generation of Miracles amaze themselves over Kuroko's new pass. Aomine approaches him and says that he has gotten a bit more interesting. Kuroko responds that if Aomine thought they would be the same as before, then he would be dissapointed.
Back to the game, Imayoshi gives a high pass to Susa. Kuroko is guarding him but can't do anything because Susa is much bigger than Kuroko and because of the high pass, he also can't use his misdirection and steal it.
The match goes on with Hyūga's Barrier Jumper versus Sakurai's quick-release shot. Sakurai scores another three-pointer with the time of the first quarter running out. Kuroko ends up with the ball and shows his Invisible Drive for the first time in the Winter Cup. He is able to break through Susa's defense, but encounters Wakamatsu at the basket. He passes outside to Hyūga and he scores another three-pointer. Seirin goes out of the first quarter with a tie on the scoreboard.
During the pause, Kuroko tells Riko that he will do the Vanishing Drive one more time. Riko agrees and resumes that it's better if they use it now. Meanwhile at Tōō's side, Momoi figures out the system of the Vanishing Drive and tells the team to keep Kagami and Kuroko apart. The match restarts and Kagami screens out Susa and Kuroko runs free. He gets the ball and faces Aomine. They have a conversation how they both have a mutual understanding of basketball. Kuroko and Kagami do the Vanishing Drive together and Kuroko seemingly passes Aomine. But Aomine suddenly turns around and cuts Kuroko off, defeating his last resort move. He was able to do that by closing his eyes and trusting on his feeling to follow Kuroko. He steals Kuroko's ball and dunks. He approaches Kuroko and says that he can't defeat him, putting Kuroko even more in despair.
In hopelessness, Kuroko tries to defeat Aomine by launching his new Ignite Pass Kai right off the get-go. He fires the ball, but is stopped by Aomine. Aomine tells Kuroko that his effort is futile and over dribbles him. He scores and Tōō takes the lead. At a time-out called by Riko, she subs him out for Koga. He refuses Furihata's taping and stays alone with his grief. While thinking about his history with Aomine, he clenches his fist and is frustrated because he can't beat him. As Seirin is about to go back to the game, Kagami goes to Kuroko and motivates him by saying that everyone believes that he'll come back and defeat aomine. He tells Kuroko that his effort wasn't futile at all.
While Kuroko was on the bench defeated, Kagami became the one who had to help Kuroko and unleashed his nearly full potential. His true power came out and he was able to fight with Aomine on the same level. Eventually, half time is reached with Tōō's two point lead. In the half time break, Kuroko went outside to get some fresh air and was joined by Kagami, who brought him a jacket. He asks Kagami if he enjoys basketball and tells him his past in Teikō Junior High, how he befriended a totally different Aomine than in the present. He concludes that he wants to see Aomine play basketball with a smile again. Kagami says that they'll do that by playing as hard as they can and win the match.
During half-time, in the locker room, Kuroko tells the team his plan. This is to make his misdirection run out in order for him to use his Misdirection Overflow. He explains that by making the opponents' glances focus at him, the other players will have the chance to use Kuroko's Vanishing Drive.
They go back inside and enter the court for the second half. Kuroko is back in. Tōō starts with the offense and Aomine ends up with the ball. He drives past Kagami, but is forcefully stopped by Kuroko, who predicted his path and was able to make Aomine bump into him, making an offensive foul. He says that while Aomine knows him well in terms of basketball, the opposite is also true. He is helped up back on his feet by Kagami. In Seirin's offense, Kuroko gets the ball, but passes through to Kagami. It seems that Kuroko got back in to help Kagami is defense with his experience, but he gets the ball back from Kiyoshi and suddenly fires his Ignite Pass to Hyūga. Hyūga scores a three-pointer and gets Seirin the lead. He later complains about the pass being way too hard.
When Seirin is back in offense, everyone is shocked to find out that Imayoshi is now guarding Kuroko. Kuroko tries to get to the ball by using his usual misdirection, but for some reason it doesn't work and Kuroko is unable to shake off Imayoshi's defense. It was then revealed that Momoi discovered the trick behind Kuroko's misdirection, that his position is revealed by the eyefield of the passer. They made it so that Imayoshi switched with Susa and is now rendering Kuroko disabled. The ball is eventually passed to Kuroko, but Imayoshi manages to steal the ball.
The match progresses and Kuroko still can't manage to shake off Imayoshi. He has been trying to change Seirin's patterns by passing all over the place (like during the match with Kirisaki Daīchi), but Imayoshi reads his every move and seals him completely. After a few minutes, Susa changes back to guard Kuroko. This means that Kuroko's misdirection has worn off and that everyone can see him clearly now. Now that Kuroko's abilities are suppressed, Seirin is hopeless in the match.
Imayoshi tries to convince Seirin to give this match up and hope for next time, but Kuroko and the entire Seirin team disagree. They become fired up again and regain their fighting spirit to win now. It is around that moment that Kuroko's misdirection has completely run out and that his sudden appearance as the tenth man on court begins to dawn. Kuroko activates his Misdirection Overflow, actually amplifies his presence and makes it able for Izuki to use the Vanishing Drive. Izuki scores.
On Seirin's next offense, Kuroko does it again and Hyūga does the Vanishing Drive and makes the lay-up. Kuroko's explanation during half-time is seen and his technique is explained by Riko. But Misdirection Overflow also has two downsides, as clarified by Midorima. The first is the limited time of the technique and the second is throwing away every chance of winning against Tōō in the future. Kuroko fully realizes this, but puts winning here, for the team and for Kiyoshi over winning in the future. Seirin gains the ball yet again and even Aomine can be passes by Kagami's Vanishing Drive by Kuroko's Misdirection Overflow. Seirin's chances have turned.
In the time-out between the third and the last quarter, Kuroko seems drained. After Aomine gets his passion back and begins scoring, Kuroko agrees with Kagami and Kiyoshi to triple-team Aomine. Aomine still passes Kagami and Kiyoshi and when he's about to be blocked by Kagami, he falls and throws the ball to the ring in the fall. But before he can shoot, he is distracted, even for a moment, by Kuroko's Misdirection Overflow. This leads to the ball bouncing of the rim and missing. It turns out that Kuroko's new skill was specially designed for stopping Aomine's shots like this.
Aomine later realizes that he has finally found a competent opponent and thanks Kuroko. Aomine gets in the Zone.
|“||This guy's strength is completely different from the rest of us. It belongs in a different world.||”|
Though Kuroko is extremely fragile, fairly weak and distressingly slow, Kuroko's talents allow him to play a central role in any team. Possessing a superbly observant eye in addition to his ability to blend in invisibly to any environment, Kuroko can perform imperceptible passes and virtually unstoppable steals, getting the ball to and between his teammates faster than opponents can react. His near-invisibility makes him highly susceptible to on-court injuries however. Further, his talent is not effective indefinitely. If he is left in play too long, opponents grow used to his misdirection tactics; as such, he must be placed on the bench at varying points in any match to prevent this.
He mostly plays on the position of small forward, but in recent chapters his stats list his position as a questionmark. Why this, is as of yet unknown.
Accordingly to his gloomy and silent personality, he is pretty hard to notice. In addition to that, he has also developed a playing technique using that "invisibility". He simply behaves as if another player will get the ball and not him. He pushes the opponents to focuse their attention to someone else and then steps in unexpectedly. When the opponent can't see him, it is much easier to steal the ball. Misdirection is a technique that fools the opponent's senses. This is how he got his nickname, the "phantom player".
Kuroko uses his misdirection in function of his teammates. He must make eye-contact with the passer while doing his misdirection and so the eyefield of the other players becomes a "mirror" for Kuroko's position. This also marks the key to disabling Kuroko's misdirection. The player guarding him must simply stop looking at Kuroko, but look at the passer and derive Kuroko's position from him. So far, the only person capable of doing that is Imayoshi.
Following from his misdirection, Kuroko uses himself as a relay for passes and redirects the ball to another player by just gently touching it. He receives the ball from another player and immediatly changes its course to a free player. This pass is very hard to predict and almost always leads to a basket.
The true form of this pass, according to Midorima, is a tap pass, which allows Kuroko to change direction of the ball without touching the ball for a long period. This is the only type of pass that works well with his misdirection because of minimum contact with the ball.
As an extension of his regular pass, Kuroko can also move the ball even quicker. He only does this if his imperceptible pass can be intercepted at some point. When he receives the ball, he punches it directly to a free player. This way, the force behind the pass will increase greatly and the ball will move much faster. This pass is also called the Acceleration Pass.
But because this pass is very powerful, only some players can catch it succesfully, in Junior High school only Generation of Miracles were capable of receiving this pass. In Seirin, Kuroko only passes this way to Kagami and occasionally to Teppei Kiyoshi. After their harsh training in Summer, according to Aida Riko all second years now are capable to receive it however it's painful for them as Hyuga said. Teppei Kiyoshi also noted when the first time he receive this pass in street basketball tournament he could receive it but not continuously.
Ignite Pass KaiEdit
A new, upgraded version of the Ignite Pass. Instead of just punching the ball with the palm of his hand, he also puts a strong spin on it. He spins his arm and wrist round and round and creates a rotation around the ball. By doing this, like a gunshot, Kuroko puts more acceleration and power behind the pass by transferring the rotation of his arm to the ball. The ball is so strong that it can even pass the Generation's ace, Aomine. He learned this in the winter training camp, under leading of Kagetora.
When the opponents score, Kuroko takes the ball, spins very fast and releases the ball to fly across the whole court. The pass is very fast and powerful, and flies in a straight line from the start to the end of the course, which is perfect for fast-break. Someone remarks it as Ichiro's laser beam (Ichiro is a famous Japanese baseball outfielder). He first showed this in the game against Shūtoku High, in a fast-break with Kagami against Midorima. In their second match, Kuroko showed his full court pass without spinning first.
After being soundly defeated by Daiki Aomine, Kuroko trains himself to evolve his play style. Given the absolute presence and importance of the ball in play, it had been previously thought impossible for Kuroko to maintain his misdirection while in possession of the ball; as such the time he spends handling the ball on court is extremely minimal. He has overcome this previous limitation, and has developed the ability to imperceptibly move past players while dribbling the ball, creating his own 'vanishing' drive. The ability is effective enough to pass through the defenses of Shintarō Midorima, a members of the Generation of Miracles, and can also pass Takao's Hawk's Eye. Kazuya Hara has speculated that Kuroko uses blinking to get passed the defense, but this has been proven wrong.
The real explanation of this skill was given by Midorima, in Seirin's second match against Tōō. The skill is basically a cross-diagonal move (a duck-in) to where the opponent's eye field can't see. Kuroko bends over in a specific angle at drives following a specific route, that the opponent has it very difficult to follow. But the real Vanishing Drive is a collaboration with Kagami. Similar to Kuroko's misdirection, Kagami draws the attention of the opponent to him, just for a second, and that makes it possible for Kuroko to pass his opponent successfully.
The only one so far to have beaten the Vanishing Drive, is Aomine. He countered it and stole the ball by closing his eyes, making Kagami's misdirection ineffective. He just followed Kuroko's breath and because of their mutual understanding about basketball, Aomine was able to crush down the Vanishing Drive.
A skill Kuroko developed after completing his Vanishing Drive. He realized that if he can activate his regular misdirection and divert the attention away from him, that the opposite is also true. This is that when his misdirection has run out and his presence on the court is beginning to show. The sudden appearance of a tenth player will attract the attention of the other players. By deliberately running out of misdirection, he is giving his teammates the ability of the Vanishing Drive. The effects are clear: Kuroko has run out of his regular moves, but his teammates can now use the Vanishing Drive freely.
There is however, also a grave downside to the use of this technique. The first is that it must only be used at the very end of the match. It's the same with his regular misdirection, he can't keep fooling the opponents for too long. The second is that while he is using this ability, he is also showing the secret behind it. In a way, he is throwing away a very valuable trump card he cannot use against the same opponent twice. Against a very strong team like Tōō Academy, Seirin can't win again without a trump card, rendering a rematch against them as an inevitable loss.
Because Kuroko won't be such a threat anymore now that the data of his inability to shoot is known amongst the Yōsen High team. Because of this reason, Kuroko began training on his shot, but only with failing attempts to score. Kuroko brought Aomine in to train him and he told him that while normal players pass with the palm of their hands, Kuroko passes like a normal player shoots, with his wrist and fingertips. In his shot, he tries to do the same, but a pass and a shot are totally different, so Kuroko has trouble with gauging the distance to the hoop.
Because of this, Aomine pushed Kuroko to learn a new shot by himself, the Phantom Shot. The essence is to use the palm of his hand to thrust the ball forward, although that will mess up the shooting posture. Further more, because of the shooting position, the ball is lower than a usual shot. Instead of shooting the ball over one's head, the Phantom Shot releases from the chest. The opponent naturally looks lower because of the ball's position, so his view is limited. By a fast release, Kuroko can shoot the ball through the opponents field of vision. Using the Phantom Shot, Kuroko make the first basket in front of Murasakibara, the tallest player in all of Japan, thus score the first point against Yōsen in the whole tournament. Kuroko used his Phantom Shot in the whole Yōsen match, and Murasakibara could not block any of them, though Kuroko misses some himself.
The secret to stopping this shot however, is backing off and keeping distance to Kuroko. That way, the field of vision will not be limited downwards and the ball is visible. Kasamatsu is the first one to figure this out, after which he successfully closed in on Kuroko and blocked the shot.
Kuroko Kagami alley-oopEditA move that Kuroko and Kagami often execute. One of the opponents tries to pass, but Kuroko intercepts the ball. He smacks the ball onto the ground in the direction of the basket. Kagami jumps high in the sky, grabs the ball and dunks it in. They have first showed this in the match against Shinkyō Academy and did it again in the game against Seihō High.
Kuroko and Kagami are best friends. They met when they both joined the Seirin basketball team and when discovering that their different plays complement each other perfectly, they make the mutual promise to become the best in Japan. When playing together, they understand each other perfectly, which makes them a lethal rookie-duo. Kuroko has described his friendship to Kagami as shadow and light. With Kagami as the light, Kuroko will support him as a shadow, and when the light becomes stronger, the shadow grows as well. They have often won matches due to their cooperation plays.
Not only when playing basketball, but also off court, they are good friends (though they note that they don't talk to each other much outside of basketball). They often hang out together at school, with Kuroko acting his usual self, often with a comically enraged Kagami as a response. They understand each other and can motivate, calm down and share feelings with one another. Kagami is also one of the reasons Kuroko was able to turn his back to the GoM's way of playing.
|“||When it comes to basketball, we do think alike.||”|
—Tetsuya Kuroko, to Daiki Aomine
Aomine was Kuroko's best friend and "light" back at Teikō Junior High School. Aomine was starter at first, when Kuroko was still third stringer. That didn't matter to Aomine, because he saw the same amount of basketball passion in Kuroko that he has. They practiced together after training and quickly became friends to the point where Aomine calls Kuroko Tetsu. When Kuroko was promoted to playing with the starters, his play was very in sync with Aomine.
Aomine once stated that the two have very little in common but that basketball is what brings their friendship together. Midorima once said their way of play is so compatible to the point of annoyance. Outside of the court they would hangout and grab ice cream together after practices or games.
Over time Aomine changed: he became stronger and eventually lost his passion for basketball because he was too strong for his opponents and winning was no longer fun. Kuroko tried convince him that Aomine would eventually find a formidable opponent, but during the championships Aomine dominated the competition once again and deemed that he can beat himself as everyone else sucked. From then on the two grew more distance between them as they were no longer friends and Kuroko quit Teiko basketball.
When the two were first brought together, Aomine still showed the same attitude he had at the end of his Junior High school days. It was shown that Aomine expressed indifference when Midorima pointed out Kuroko would face him during the Inter-high championships. During the game Aomine overslept and didn't show up till the second quarter, though during the second half of the game Aomine completely destroyed Seirin stopping Kuroko including his ignite pass, misdirections among others. Aomine approches Kuroko at one point during the match and proclaim that he is disappointed in Kuroko because hasn't improved much since playing at Teiko and mentions that his current basketball abilities wouldn't beat him, also bringing up Akashi's prediction that Kuroko's style wouldn't bring winning basketball.
Kuroko and Aomine have met up a few times between the interhigh championships and Winter Cup, as each time their talks would heat up and challenges would be made. During their match in round 1 of the Winter Cup Touou still towered over Seirin, but Seirin gradually got better and better over the course of the match. At one point during the match, Kuroko used his Vanishing Drive against Aomine it first worked but Aomine was able to stop it after seeing it a few times. He also eventually stole his Ignite Pass Kai pass, crushing his will completely. The match would then turn into a matchup between Kagami and Aomine as the two now were pretty evenly matched. Unexpectedly, Kuroko comes back into the match and uses his Misdirection Overflow helping Seirin score a few points. Eventually Kuroko also forces Aomine to miss a basket. At the peak of his excitement and gratitude toward Kuroko, Aomine goes into "The Zone", the pinancle state of concentration that only few chosen athlete can achieve takes control of the match. Kagami then follows suit and enters "Zone" as well and during the last seconds, as he and Aomine are stuck in a stalemate until Kagami finally gains the upper hand and eventually win against Aomine. He and Kuroko bump fists once again and promise to compete again. Because of the tough match, Aomine regained his passion and enjoyment and sees Kuroko as his friend once again. Aomine even agreed to help Kuroko develop his Phantom Shot.
Back in Teikō, Kuroko was Kise's personal instructor before he made it to regulars of the first string. Kuroko, as personal instructor of Kise, didn't take his display of disrespect seriously, even when Kise challenged him for a spot as Teikō's regular. Kuroko respected Kise's enthusiasm and taught him that, "What's the most important for the team is that to think what you should do for the team."
Kise witnessed Kuroko's skill as phantom player afterward and respected him, in his opinion Kuroko's way of play is some sort of sacrifice for team's sake and yet Kuroko doesn't see it as a sacrifice which makes Kuroko even more amazing in his eyes. Kuroko became one of few people Kise acknowledged and since then he called Kuroko as Kurokocchi. Since then, whenever they meet, Kise acts overly friendly and sees him and Kuroko as best friends, a relation Kuroko denies. In the Character Bible, he even goes as far as to say that Kuroko was the person he was closest to in Junior High school (Kuroko said that he was closest to Aomine). Since their first match together, Kise has admired Kuroko to the point of obsession. He always tries to bring up Kuroko in conversations and tries to be together with him as much as possible, especially in the anime's ending omakes.
Kuroko always expresses apathy towards Kise's antics but will chide him if he is getting out of line. Kuroko respects Kise as basketball player and has faith in his skill, and even goes as far as telling Kise he wouldn't be surprised if either Aomine and Kise would come out as the winner in the match between Tōō and Kaijō. An encouragement Kise was grateful for. It was later revealed in the semi-finals of the Winter Cup that Kuroko had always felt a one-sided rivalry with Kise, because even though he was Kuroko's first trainee, he had quickly surpassed him. Kise was happy when he heard this, stating, "That isn't just a compliment... That kind of stuff really sets me on fire!"
Kuroko and Momoi are friends from Junior High school. Because of Momoi's naivety, she fell in love with him after Kuroko gave her free ice-cream. Being the manager of the basketball team, Momoi grew closer to an oblivious Kuroko and made advances; these have been as of yet unanswered by Kuroko.
Momoi actually sees Kuroko as her boyfriend, while Kuroko keeps denying this. They have gone on a date before, but while Momoi sees it romantically, Kuroko only precepts it as friendly. He is very kind to her, defends her, and at times grows angry on her behalf. In the -Replace- novel, it is revealed that he once challenged to take on five high schoolers in a basketball match by himself because they were harrassing Momoi, later causing her to fall more deeply in love with him. Due to his natural feeling of dealing with women, Kuroko can comfort Momoi and knows how to act on dates; this allows him to be able to cheer up Momoi quite easily.
Just like the other members of the Generation of Miracles, Kuroko and Midorima acknowledge and respect each other's skill respectively. Kuroko admitted that he has a hard time getting along with Midorima, a sentiment Midorima shared because their incompatibility according to blood type and also because Kuroko's chosen team. Midorima stated he couldn't stand Kuroko because he acknowledge Kuroko who in spite of his inability is skilled enough to stand as his equal and yet went to a no name team who couldn't bring his power to the fullest. Midorima has so far shown good understanding of theories behind Kuroko's skill, the opposite of Aomine whose understanding of Kuroko is by instinct and their former partnership.
Kuroko once bluntly stated Midorima is so smart but sometimes he is dumb when arguing over the best basketball technique with Kise. In Kuroko's opinion his 3 pointer is amazing but the worth of point only goes so far, Kagami's dunk that bring up team's morale can't be measured in comparison.
- Atsushi Murasakibara: Although Kuroko likes Murasakibara as a person, Kuroko and Murasakibara don't get along well because of Murasakibara's lack of passion for basketball. This is why, in spite of mutual respect to each other's skill, they couldn't get along when it comes to basketball. Outside of basketball, Kuroko describes Murasakibara as "a kid with a screw loose." As for Murasakibara, Kuroko's seriousness irritates him, but he does acknowledge him in some way like other Generation of Miracle members. Murasakibara also often makes fun of and teases Kuroko by petting him on the head, something that visibly annoys Kuroko. Aomine once pointed out that the way they view basketball is too different: Murasakibara has been winning with only talent and no passion, while Kuroko has struggled to get where he was with effort but no talent. Kuroko dislike Murasakibara's bad habit of discouraging who tried their best to play basketball, this repeatedly sparks argument between them back in Junior High school.
- Seijūrō Akashi: Kuroko and Akashi's relationship hasn't been fully revealed yet, though it was mentioned that Akashi was the one who discovered Kuroko's talent and the one who taught him basketball techniques and helped strengthen his misdirections. Akashi is also the one who promoted Kuroko from the third string to Teikō's regulars. Like his former teammates, Kuroko respects, but also fears Akashi. It was shown in the beginning of the Winter Cup that Kuroko obeyed Akashi's summon without question.
In novel replace Kuroko mentioned "if Akashi was a teacher, it would make lessons very easy to understand." This likely refers to their time back at Teiko when Akashi was Kuroko's personal instructor.
Kuroko is highly respectful (in his own deadpan way) of his seniors and friendly with the other first-years. He is quite close to Teppei Kiyoshi, who he sees as the big brother he never had. He does, however, slightly fear the coach Riko Aida, like the rest of the team for her deadly cooking skills and the constant wrestling moves she performs on him when angry.
- Kazunari Takao, during the Shutoku vs Seirin match at Interhigh, Takao expressed his dislike towards Kuroko due to how similar their playing styles are and sees him as a rival. Despite this, he is often paired with Kuroko and hides with him to spy on conversations between Kagami and Midorima.
- Makoto Hanamiya, Hanamiya has earned Kuroko's wrath due to his sadistic nature and joy of injuring players who play basketball with passion. Hanamiya enjoyed taunting Kuroko, but Kuroko's basketball passion eventually silenced Hanamiya.
- Papa Mbaye Siki, Kuroko was often irritated being called a kid by Papa. Papa had the impression that the Generation of Miracles weren't such a big deal and Kuroko proved him wrong.
- "I am a supporting actor, a shadow. But a shadow will become darker if the light is stronger and it will make the white of the light stand out. As the shadow of the main actor, I will make you, the light, the number one in Japan."
- "Then what is victory if you are not happy?"
- "… Stop messing around. I chose to fight because I believed the basketball of Generation of Miracles was wrong. But they would never do anything as dirty as what you've done… !! Using such methods, don't you dare ruin our- our senpai's- everyone's dreams!!" (to Makoto Hanamiya)
- "Not next time... We'll win now!!"
- In the original datebook, Characters Bible, an early character concept of Kuroko is seen. Not much of his appearance has changed, though he does seem less gloomy and invisible than the finished concept.
- On the first character poll, Kuroko ranked first, with 2625 votes. He won again on the second poll, this time with 2242 votes.
- His name, Kuroko, is an actual Japanese term. It stands for "stagehands" in Japanese theater. The stagehands are the roles of animals, puppets, objects,... fullfilled by the hands of a regular actor. But only his hands are seen, the actor himself is supposed to be "invisible". This is a clear reference to Kuroko's playing style.
- The kanji 黒 (Kuro) in his name means black, hinting to him being a "shadow".
- Punching the ball with your fist is a violation of the rules. Because Kuroko did this to accelerate the ball, when the volume 4 was published, this was changed to his palm instead of his fist. The second time he did a Ignite Pass, it was shown with the palm of his hand. His Ignite Pass Kai is also with the palm of his hand.
- In school, his best courses are humanities: history and geography.
- If following the Japanese school year (in which school begins and ends in April), then Kuroko would be the youngest of the Generation of Miracles (Kise would be the eldest).
- Most characters call him Kuroko, which is his surname, sometimes with suffix -kun. There are few exceptions: Kise (Kurokocchi), Murasakibara (Kuro-chin), Aomine (Tetsu), Momoi (Tetsu-kun) and Akashi (Tetsuya).
- Kuroko is a member of the school's Library Committee.
- According to the Character Bible, Kuroko's type of girl who is gentle. If Kuroko had an alternate job it would be a kindergarden teacher. His favourite food is vanilla shake and he is quite skilled in basic handicrafts. His motto is "Once-in-a-lifetime encounter".
- Kuroko can use his Misdirection for entertainment, for example disappearing during a magic trick.
- Kuroko's Student ID number is 102153.
- His bedhair has shocked a number of characters, often accompanied by a "Comb your hair!" from one of his teammates. There have also been Super Saiyan jokes about his bedhead.
- Kuroko lives with his father, his mother and his grandmother.
|2nd years||Teppei Kiyoshi • Junpei Hyūga • Shun Izuki • Shinji Koganei • Rinnosuke Mitobe • Satoshi Tsuchida|
|1st years||Tetsuya Kuroko • Taiga Kagami • Kōki Furihata • Hiroshi Fukuda • Kōichi Kawahara|
|Other||Tetsuya #2 • Kagetora Aida • Takeda-sensei|
|Teikō Junior High|
|Generation of Miracles||Tetsuya Kuroko • Ryōta Kise • Shintarō Midorima • Daiki Aomine • Atsushi Murasakibara • Seijūrō Akashi|
|Other players||Shōgo Haizaki • Shūzō Nijimura|
|Staff||Kōzō Shirogane (head coach) • Satsuki Momoi (manager)|