Now That I Think About It
With one more episode and the start of one more match, Kuroko no Basuke seems to be getting better by the week. This was quite a great episode, so much that I can’t really find any points to criticize.
The game aftermath was short and far from boring this time around, as instead of silly, reused jokes, we got some team scouting, both on Seirin’s part and also Shotoku’s. Such attention to research is especially justified, for our protagonists’ semifinals opponent is none other than one of the three top teams in the area, Seihou. Not only that, their playing style is completely different than what you’d expect from a high school basketball team. As is later lampshaded by their captain, playing defense is usually regarded as the less appealing (albeit necessary) part of the game, more even so for teenage boys. Doing something uncommon is already in itself a great advantage, since other teams won’t have trained to defeat the upcoming “abnormality”. But the issue is that Seihou doesn’t simply do something uncommon, they do it well. In fact, they do it rather perfectly. A good job was made in letting their strength be apparent in this episode, and that alone was enough to get me quite excited for the semifinals.
Said match begun in the later part of the episode and, as expected Seihou was quite the wall, keeping Seirin’s score a round zero for the first few minutes of the match. One interesting thing to note is how this time around, Seirin’s opponent is portrayed in quite a neutral light, contrasting with the antagonistically approach to “Dad”’s team . As I pointed out, the Generation of Miracles can’t be the only strong players out there, for that would be highly unrealistic. In this team, we have quite a talented player in the defense field, who’s even blocked Kise before. I actually took a liking to Tsugawa, as I found is nonchalant demeanor, as well as his slightly sadistic approach to basketball to be quite charming xD
It is later explained where part of their excellence in defense comes from, since maintaining such a degree of mobility during the entire game would be rather tiring, and thus, impractical. It seems that they use martial arts techniques to increase their physical resistance by enhancing their durability. Thankfully, Riko manages to decrease the feeling of intimidation and Seirin returns to the match with a different kind of motivation, specially Kagami, who wants to win this game for his seniors, due to Kuroko’s words on how important this game will be for them to overcome. And when he finally has his golden scene, passing through Tsugawa, I realized something. Having a full-time man-to-man defense that never falters is great, but if it fails even once, it’ll have been broken. The reason for that is that you’re too close to each of the other team players, so they can block you for at least a bit if the situation turns around. Since there’s no one else covering any other part of the field, the path is completely open if someone can win on 1-on-1. As long as that condition is met, Seihou is beatable.
In the end, this made for a really interesting and enjoyable episode. More serious than the previous, but not voided of jokes either. In fact, we had some of the funniest ones yet, like the Kise’s scene with the horoscope, which was rather hilarious. (That should be a good test to Midorima’s beliefs in fate.) Not to mention when Riko tries to include some adulation in her motivating speech, by promising a reward to the players. Of course it seems like the poor girl has no sex appeal, much to her despair xD Jokes aside, I’m looking foward to see the continuation of this interesting match next week.