Tetsuya Kuroko is the main protagonist of the Kuroko no Basuke anime and manga.
Though not an official member, Tetsuya was the Phantom Sixth Player of the Generation of Miracles. Together with Kagami and the team of Seirin, he now aims to bring all of them down to make them enjoy playing basketball again.
In the AWA fics, Tetsuya is a student at the AWA Academy and is part of Class 1.
Kuroko has a fragile outlook and a very small build for a basketball player which is why he is usually seen passing. 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 white, black, and red Seirin jersey with the number 11. He also sometimes wears black sweatbands. His basketball shoes are white with a blue streak. He wore no. 15 jersey when he was in junior high. He also wears it in practices. He also wore the no. 8 jersey as a recruit, and no. 16 when he was still a 3rd stringer.
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 bed-head 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 has no presence and is quite unnoticeable, a trait that goes well with his misdirection. He has also displayed much respect towards fellow passionate basketball players and thinks that while senpais have to have pride, kōhais need to have respect. Despite his initial kind personality, Kuroko gets extremely furious at dirty play, such as when his teammates were threatened and injured by foul methods in the Kirisaki Daīchi game. His aura changes so drastically, that even Kagami gets scared when he sees him like that. When Kuroko gets angry, it gets very hard to beat him, as he is filled up with fighting spirit. When the situation worsens, he seems to turn talkative.
He has metaphorically referred to himself as a "shadow". He means that he is playing for someone else, and that he becomes stronger when the "light" is stronger. The "light" would be the player he supports during a basketball game. During his Junior High school basketball career, 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 Momoiand 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 pretended to have 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 antisocial 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).
Though Kuroko is fairly weak, his 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. Kuroko is incredibly important for Seirin having been called a trump card.
He mostly plays on the position of small forward based on defesive matchups and substitution strategies, but in recent chapters his stats list his position as a questionmark. This is because Kuroko is difficult to place in one of the five set basketball positions, his role in the team applies to none of those, but mostly as a pass-first point guard based on size and passing abilities.
Misdirection - Kuroko is naturally hard to notice so he developed a playing technique using that "invisibility". He simply behaves as if another player will get the ball and not him. Plus, he tries as much as possible to not showing emotions to reduce his already weak presence. He pushes the opponents to focus 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.
Invisible Pass - 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.
Ignite Pass - 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.
Ignite Pass Kai - A new, upgraded version of the Ignite Pass. Instead of simply thrusting the ball using 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 the training of Kagetora.
Cyclone Pass - 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.
Vanishing Drive - 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 member of the Generation of Miracles, and can also pass Takao's Hawk's Eye. Kazuya Hara has speculated that Kuroko uses blinking to bypass the defense, but this has been proven wrong.
Misdirection Overflow - 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.
Phantom Shot - 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.
Quasi-Emperor Eye - To use his misdirection Kuroko needs to analyse and predict the movements of his opponents. This allows him to observe the behaviour and habits of others but mostly his teammates. Kuroko acquired his version of the Emperor Eye from the deep trust and bond he has forged with his teammates and by his observation skills. His Emperor Eye cannot predict the movements of his opponents (unless he has played with them before) but rather the teammates who he is familliar with. Kuroko also uses this to change his passing routes and to change the direction of his teammates passes if he sees the ball will be stole that pass.
Kuroko-Kagami Alley Oop - A 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. The comination started off from a missed shot from Kuroko on a wide open layup attempt and Kagami followed it up. The alley-oop combo can also come from a Phantom Shot, as shown on the game-winning shot at Winter Cup.
- Tetsuya is the first character from Kuroko no Basuke to be introduced in the AWA fics.
- 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 dressed in black and is supposed to be "invisible". This is a clear reference to Kuroko's playing style.
- The kanji (Kuro) in his name means black, hinting to him being the "shadow" towards Kagami.
- He is the 'gatekeeper' in front of the second door of the Zone.
- Punching the ball with your fist is a violation of the rules. Because Kuroko did this to accelerate the ball when first showing his Ignite Pass, when volume 4 was published, this was changed to his palm instead of his fist. The second time he did an Ignite Pass, it was shown with the palm of his hand. His Ignite Pass Kai is also executed with the palm of his hand.
- In school, his best courses are humanities, history, and geography.
- Kuroko is a member of the school's Library Committee.