Aomine Daiki: The Curse of the Extraordinary

Aomine Daiki: The Curse of the Extraordinary

Aomine Daiki: The Curse of the Extraordinary

Aomine Daiki: The Curse of the Extraordinary

Despite having a conclusive message that greatly touts the importance of teamwork to unlock true joy and fulfillment in sport, Kuroko no Basket is a story that greatly emphasizes individual, transcendent talent. While it’s effective dip into the sad story of Teiko middle school communicates the nuances of big personalities clashing and how skill will not always equal personal success and fulfillment, in contrast, what it consistently displays is that stellar talent often reigns supreme no matter how hard lesser talents work.

It is a story fixated on the cutthroat nature of competitive sport and it illustrates the fact that some people are just inherently more gifted than others. We need look no further into this point than the five special players from Teiko. Each member of the generation of miracles was a bonafide prodigy and it can be argued that each had a special natural gift equally as potent as the others.

Kise is undoubtedly the most gifted, intuitive and adaptable athlete in general terms, which applied to basketball makes him downright scary. Murasakibara is a physical specimen, with his height, wingspan and power being absolutely perfect for the sport – he is definitely most “born for” the sport in strictly physical terms.

Midorima’s analytical intelligence, cold calculation and flawless execution made him ruthless and fearsome, and Akashi’s eye combined with his supreme strategic intelligence and otherworldly air of absolute authority made him a pure leader of men on the court. But none of them quite had what Aomine Daiki had.

Aomine is truly gifted on an unsurpassable level. He has an aptitude and natural feel for the sport of basketball unlike anyone in the series, which, combined with the joy he exuded when he played, made him a phenom. He just has that X-Factor. The entire generation of miracles and a few other characters in the series are shown to be special.

But this guy has something else. He was born to play basketball. Even Kagami, who soars the highest by the end of the series, is continuously insinuated to be less naturally talented than Aomine. Certain other variables such as hard work, teamwork and Kuroko himself allow Kagami to surpass his rival by the end, but not talent.

Aomine displays otherworldly skill throughout the show, and it is clear that what we see still isn’t the best he has to offer. His unparalleled passion for the sport along with with his specialization make him quite simply the most talented basketball player in the show, and with his motivation at it’s highest and with him in peak physical form, few can aspire to even approach his level.

But life isn’t that simple. When everything comes so easy to you, problems can arise. And the problem for Aomine is getting to that point. Despite being comfortably one of the most impressive players in the story, Aomine never reaches the levels he could have if he worked half as hard as his teammates and rivals.

The beauty of his character is that he loves the sport so much and can play it like no one else, but has so much trouble reaching those points. Certain variables need to be at play for him to get to that level due to his personality and psychology and It isn’t as easy as flicking a switch. And while that is a shame, it is understandable and true to life, the type of thing that you’d expect might happen to such an ace.

But the saddest thing here is that the root cause of this was a complete falling out with the sport, and total disillusionment. I can’t say that I can relate to being so good at anything that a lack of challenge or competition was ever an issue, but I can completely sympathize with how devastating and empty it must feel to be faced with a situation like Aomine had to experience.

It has to be soul crushing to come to understand that the thing that you once woke up excited for in the morning, that once exhilarated you like nothing else, cannot even excite you a little bit. Being a prodigy has it’s tremendous benefits, but every situation in life has a flip side and this is a predictable bi-product of insane talent.

Aomine Daiki: The Curse of the Extraordinary

It defeats the sport, defeats the purpose of life for Aomine. And not only does he hate the detachment he feels due to a lack of challenge, but Aomine is, at heart, a nice guy. There’s no way that he enjoys seeing his opponents completely lose the will to fight and not wanting to play such a great sport.

When we’re introduced to him in the story, he is at a point in his life where nothing – not Momoi, not his team, not Kuroko – can help him. He plays basketball out of obligation and he needs an escape from this hell. He’s the apathetic genius, just waiting, BEGGING for something to rekindle his passion.

As if he’s just screaming and crying out for someone to make him feel something again. It’s actually fundamentally abhorrent to Aomine that he feels this way and a thematic antithesis to a story that continuously displays the lengths people will go to progress and express themselves on the court. Humans have an evolutionarily ingrained instinct to win and when you stop feeling that joy for victory, something is wrong.

It’s unnatural. Sleeping on roofs to avoid practice, becoming emotionally hardened, growing apart from his best friend, losing motivation – this is not Aomine. Or rather, it’s not the Aomine that drew such admiration from Kuroko and others. It eats him alive, it’s actively debilitating, and It’s such a sad thing.

This is why his internal battle to find joy in basketball again is so frustrating for both the audience and him. He demonstrates something transcendent – a simultaneous roaring passion for a sport and an unbelievable knack for it. Yet it’s being stifled. And while not being invested in what you’re amazing at is a great shame, the bigger tragedy is falling out of love.

He needed something to break him out of this – he needed to lose to learn how to properly enjoy winning again. That’s why he feels inklings of his old passion when Kise and Kaijo prove a worthwhile opponent, and that’s why his eventual realization and the reignition of his love is so gratifying when he faces an equal in Kagami.

And later on, learning the path to the Zone beyond the zone is such a breakthrough for him because it is the clearest demonstration that he had been going about this the wrong way. In the moment where he realizes that the one he assumed was guarding the gate is actually the young man who had constantly wanted the best for him, the shadow that showed him the light, Aomine is truly back in business.

And it’s a triumph in itself, where he finally accepts and embraces that despite his superiority and otherworldly talent, he cannot do it alone and he doesn’t want to do it alone. It is here when he sees how far he still has to go, it’s likely the most excited Aomine has ever been. The soul of sport is almost two halves of one whole at the individual level.

On one hand, there is the cold discipline – skill obtained through rigorous repetition and training. On the other, there is burning, unparalleled talent. There is a beauty in both sides and neither is less wondrous to behold, but there is that distinct something in imperfect diamonds like Aomine. He represents free spirit and unstructured pure passion.

Aomine Daiki: The Curse of the Extraordinary

There is no refinement to his game, something further accentuated by his lack of practice in the series. He’s rough around the edges but so good that it doesn’t matter. It just so happens that due to the nature of the prodigy, the absolute heights of their potential are sometimes fleeting because those very talents can make the world seem like an unfriendly place if you cannot find fulfillment in your victories.

But when they do reach their utmost effort and everything clicks, it is something to behold. While such a big part of sport and skill is about practice, refinement, discipline and tactics, there is this organic essence that feels like the most beautiful thing about it. Wild, free instinct, natural talent at a world class degree – people who have that undefinable something special who are born for the sport – That side is what gets people out of their seats, and That side is Aomine Daiki.

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