Are we on track for a shutout?!
What They Say:
An up-and-coming power player, Taiga Kagami, is just back from America. When he comes to Seirin High School, he meets the super-ordinary boy, Tetsuya Kuroko. Kagami is shocked to find that Kuroko isn’t good at basketball, in fact, he’s bad! And he’s so plain that he’s impossible to see. But Kuroko’s plainness lets him pass the ball around without the other team noticing him, and he’s none other than the sixth member of the Miracle Generation.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Bringing the next round of the Winter Cup into play quickly was expected and getting a team like Yosen was pretty much in the cards. While Touou was a significant challenge across the board, a lot of its focus was with Aomine and getting him to realize there’s more to the game than what he had been doing with it for so long. His awakening was important in a lot of ways as was seeing the Seirin kids really come into their own as a full fledged team rather than a couple of stars carrying the whole thing. Yosen is a different kettle of fish as they have similarly strong players to Yosen, but there’s also some personal connections and just a different skill set being used here. Such is the case early on here where the defense is so strong whereas Touou preferred offense that it’s making it hard for Seirin to really make a push down the court, upping the potential of a shutout, which would be brutal.
The game definitely has a dark side to it as we go through the first half here and see how the Seirkin kids really are struggling against Yosen. They’re being held back repeatedly and are, as observed by some commentators on the game, holding on by a thread from being completely overwhelmed. Seirin’s able to ease the point spread down a bit potentially compared to what we saw from Yosen’s other shutout game, but that’s not what Seirin is looking for as a victory. Getting shut out entirely for the first quarter is brutal and puts an eighteen point lead out there, which is beyond what most teams could catch up to no matter how good. But what they need to do is to figure out how to turn the tide, and that lands in Kuroko’s lap based on Riko’s plan. And it’s beautiful to behold as he manages to make an impressive play that shakes the overall confidence and superiority of the Yosen players.
So when this new push goes forward, a lot of smaller adjustments along the way come into play and we see through the second quarter how Seirin begins to catch up. They’re still behind, but nowhere near as far and they’re finding their footing better with ways to deal with Yosen. It’s a lot of fun in seeing how they do this, the way they gather their strength and move forward, but also keeping their heads about them because they know Yosen has a lot more up their sleeves. They’re a skilled team that puts a big push forward to create shutouts, but that’s not the sum total of their skills. The strategy sessions on both sides are interesting to watch, especially since it’s made clear that Kuroko’s special play won’t work for this team for a few reasons, and how Yosen knows what they have to take down in order to succeed. Both teams are fully challenged, but it’s the one between Kagami and Tatsuya that looks like it’ll be the most fun to watch.
Kuroko’s Basketball moves forward in the game a lot more than I expected at this point, but it hits a lot of very good points along the way. Each team the Seirin kids face represents a very different challenge and there’s a lot to like with how it shapes and changes them with strategy, skill and understanding of both themselves and their opponents. It’s a good episode we get here as we get the strength of Yosen up front while still holding more abilities in reserve should someone figure out how to push past. It takes time, but Seirin does just that and now we get to see how the two teams, pushing their best strengths and creative approaches, and make their moves. And we get some great personal time coming ahead as well with Tatsuya and Kagami potentially having some really strong moments.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.