Welcome to Day 1 of the KnB Challenge here at Archi-Anime.
Disclaimer: heavy fangirling ahead (uh I mean, we are talking about my favorite here)
If you follow me on twitter, seen me on discord, talk to me on LINE, seen my iPhone lockscreen, or even my Apple Watch screen, this answer is fairly obvious.
Ryota Kise. Have you seen him? He’s about 6′ – 2″, has blonde locks that would put Goldilocks to shame and golden eyes that shimmer like honey. He plays as a Small Forward on Kaijo High’s team and wears the lucky number 7 on his back. He was also the last member to round-up what we now know as the Generation of Miracles. Oh, and did I mention? He’s also a model on top of all that. This high schooler is out of control!
Okay, I may have overdone it with the fangirling. I’ll try to reign it back. Keyword: Try. I guarantee nothing.
But seriously, Ryota Kise, is just such an adorable little puppy, what’s not to love? He’s probably one of the less serious characters on the show, but when he’s serious, boy does he get serious.
Okay, but no seriously. What I really, really, really loved about Kise’s character development was his reformed attitude when it came to sports in general, his growth in understanding what it means to be a team and last but not least his complete and utter respect for Kuroko Tetsuya. There’s so much more to Kise than just his blonde hair and good looks! There are a few things I’d like to believe about Kise.
The first, is that Kise is the most impressionable of the Generation of Miracles. Kise started off on the second-string and was assigned to Kuroko as a mentee before he was promoted to first string due to the team, or rather, Akashi recognized the potential in Kise and his ability “Perfect Copy”. As stated, Kise was the last to join the first string, therefore rounding out the complete Generation of Miracles.
I say that he’s impressionable because he joined basketball on a whim, after witnessing Aomine play basketball. He’s a natural when it comes to sports but gets bored easily as he reaches the peak form of said sport. Although we have Aomine to thank for awakening Kise to basketball, it is thanks to Kuroko for impressing upon Kise the importance of “team”. Kise had started off arrogant due to his natural talent, but after trying to bet Kuroko for his jersey to which Kuroko simply responded,”The important part of being on a team is thinking about what you should be doing.” I think this resonates and sparks the idea in Kise the idea of team play, as later on we will see that as Teiko starts to unravel due to Aomine’s departure from team practices, Kise will make note of it and say, ” I’m not sure Aominecchi should be playing games whether he comes to practice or not,” and most importantly:
“Things have changed. It seems so inhuman now.
We’ve lost our sense of companionship.”
Further making me believe that Kise did embrace the word “team” exactly the same way as Kuroko did, but was led astray due to the breakdown of Teiko and Kuroko’s brief departure from the team.
The Potential to be the Strongest of the Generation of Miracles
I also like to believe that Kise would be the strongest of the Generation of Miracles when he “unlocks the achievement” of being able to copy his past teammates. He could be unstoppable as Aomine. To further back my theory, Kuroko did admit that they were not able to stop Kise in their last match-up, stating:
“You were really strong. We won the game, but we couldn’t stop you.”
However, Kise had become readable and almost predictable in their last match. If he had a better handle on his control over all the other players abilities, I have no doubt that Kise would’ve been an even greater player than he was portrayed to be. He’s a small forward, a position just calls for a player to be an all-arounder on both offense and defense, while the other Generation of Miracles specialized in only one aspect of something. Kuroko even said it best:
“Kaijo’s Kise-kun is the greatest player”
Think about it for a second. Let that sink in. Kise has “Perfect Copy” and can copy any of the Generation of Miracles, including the passes of Kuroko. In Last Game we get to see Kise use “perfect copy” while in “the zone” (where he utilizes his maximum potential), against Team Jabberwock and he’s such an electric player. Add the ability to play unselfishly as part of a team to his repertoire and he could be an unstoppable force on court. Could you imagine how incredible he’d actually be if he were to tap into “direct drive zone” and sync with his teammates while using perfect copy? Unstoppable.
When Respect & Loyalty Become an Obsession
Last but not least, the whole reason why I love Kise so much, is his relationship with Kuroko. Not just in a “I ‘ship them” type of way, but moreso what Kuroko means to Kise in terms of a comrade, a friend, and most notably, a rival.
I mentioned earlier that Kise was mentored by Kuroko. At first, Kise really didn’t want to accept that someone with such a weak personality and presence could be considered a regular on the first string. He doubts it so much that he tries to bet with Kuroko to see who the better player was. Kuroko points out that it’s useless because of course Kise would be the better between the two. And to reiterate, Kuroko told him that he should be thinking about what he could do for the team.
It wasn’t till their first match together that Kise realizes what Kuroko was referring to, and as much as he wants to think it’s self-sacrifice, he truly understands it’s not about wanting to win individually, but to win as a team. It’s Kuroko’s pure drive for victory that pushes him to play the way he does, not for personal accomplishments, who wants to win alone? In this moment, Kise realizes how amazing Kuroko really is and respects Kuroko to the point he gives him the ultimate acknowledgement by adding, “-cchi” to his name, now labeling him as “Kurokocchi.”
It’s also thanks to Kuroko that Kise starts to realize just how fun basketball is because of the aspect of team. So much so, that he looks for Kuroko in high school and tries to recruit him to Kaijo. He also believes that he and Kuroko are like BFF’s because of the mentor and mentee relationship they once shared. You’ll notice throughout the series that Kise really is like a puppy around Kuroko, always vying for his attention. If Kise had a tail, it would be wagging every time he saw the latter.
In Kise’s trivia, it’s noted that the player he has his eyes on is in fact Kuroko. With that being said, I’ve found that to be a literal reoccurrence throughout the series. In several openings and endings, alebit they are brief, you can find Kise’s eyes always drifting in Kuroko’s direction. I think that Kise literally idolizes Kuroko for his teamwork and his skill with misdirection, which is why of all the Generation of Miracles, Kise had acknowledged Kuroko with his personal honorific first, and why he is quick to bring up Kuroko like a fanboy whenever anyone wants to talk about the members of the Generation of Miracles. Below are a few examples:
I always wondered why and where Kise was looking during this OP, and gosh when I finally paid attention…yeah…(image source)
I think these really go to show how much Kise idolized Kuroko in middle school (image source)
Overall, these are the reasons why I love Kise so much. Throughout the series we watched him waver between being a selfish player and a team player, eventually resolving to him being a team player and learning that in order for him to be a better player he has to stop looking up to player but rather aim to be their equals, which allows him to surpass and replicate each of his past teammates styles.
I promise most of the entries of this challenge will not be as lengthy as Ki-chan’s, but I just couldn’t help myself when it comes to my favorite KnB character.
Thoughts and Comments on Kise? Did you guess right on who my favorite character would be for this series? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!