"If you like basketball, you can't be a bad person" – Aomine, Kuroko, Kagami and the flashback of episode 40
Having written a tl;dr meta on the importance of Aomine’s personal agency in his character arc, a few people approached me with a question on how differently I view his characterisation in the anime. As the Teikou arc is crucial to fully understanding the changes he goes through during the series, it wouldn’t be fair to try and answer that yet; the anime will take forever to get that far, after all. However, ever since the Seirin vs Touou v2 match aired, I have been thinking about this message I received way back when (I lost the original, so forgive me for not including the name of the sender!):
I was really curious to know what you thought about the changes the anime made to Aomine’s character arc, with taking out important flashbacks. I feel that there’s this notion to push the idea that Aomine is no good and Kagami is his new light etc. I feel like that does Aomine’s character an injustice because he’s so much more to Kuroko than just a light.
The reason it stuck with me is because the majority of the “manga vs anime Aomine” debate can actually be condensed into that one particular flashback they took out from episode 40. While a lot of these themes don’t get properly expanded on until the actual Teikou arc, what I am going to talk about is how the decision to remove said flashback doesn’t simply hurt Aomine’s narration – it also hurts Kuroko’s and Kagami’s.